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Temporal trends in metal pollution: using bird excrement as indicator
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
2015 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 10, no 2, e0117071Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Abstract [en]

Past mining and smelting activities have resulted in metal polluted environments all over the world, but long-term monitoring data is often scarce, especially in higher trophic levels. In this study we used bird (Parus major and Ficedula hypoleuca) excrement to monitor metal pollution in the terrestrial environment following 16 years of continuously reduced emissions from a copper/nickel smelter in Finland. In the early 1990s, lead and cadmium concentrations dropped significantly in excrement, but the reduction did not directly reflect the changes in atmospheric emission from the smelter. This is likely due to a continuous contribution of metals also from the soil pool. We conclude that bird excrement can be used to assess changes in the environment as a whole but not specifically changes in atmospheric emission. Inter-annual variation in excrement concentration of especially copper and nickel demonstrates the importance of long-term monitoring to discern significant trends.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Public Library of Science , 2015. Vol. 10, no 2, e0117071
Keyword [en]
flycatchers ficedula-hypoleuca, plasma mass spectrometry, tits parus-major; CU-NI smelter, heavy metal, breeding success, copper smelter, forest soil, wild birds, SW Finland
National Category
Ecology
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URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-113408DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0117071ISI: 000350682600047PubMedID: 25680108OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-113408DiVA: diva2:884859
Available from: 2015-12-17 Created: 2015-12-17 Last updated: 2016-01-08Bibliographically approved

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Berglund, Åsa MM
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Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences
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