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Temporal trends (1989-2011) in levels of mercury and other heavy metals in feathers of fledgling great egrets nesting in Barnegat Bay, NJ



Temporal trends (1989-2011) in levels of mercury and other heavy metals in feathers of fledgling great egrets nesting in Barnegat Bay, NJ



Environmental Research 122: 11-17



There is an abundance of data for levels of metals from a range of species, but relatively few long-term time series from the same location. In this paper I examine the levels of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese, mercury and selenium in feathers from fledgling great egrets (Ardea alba) collected at nesting colonies in Barnegat Bay, New Jersey from 1989 to 201The primary objectives were to test the null hypotheses that (1) There were no temporal differences in metal levels in feathers of fledgling great egrets, and Great egrets nesting in different areas of Barnegat Bay (New Jersey) did not differ in metal levels. There were significant yearly variations in levels of all heavy metals in feathers of fledgling great egret, but levels decreased significantly from 1989 to 2011 only for lead (1470ppb to 54.3ppb), cadmium (277ppb to 30.5ppb), and manganese (only since 1996; 2669ppb to 329ppb)). Although mercury levels decreased from 2003 2008 (6430ppb to 1042ppb), there was no pattern before 2003, and levels increased after 2008 to 2610ppb in 201Lead, cadmium, chromium, manganese and mercury were higher in feathers from great egrets nesting in the northern part of the bay, and selenium was highest in feathers from mid-bay. The lack of a temporal decline in mercury levels in feathers of great egrets is cause for concern, since the high levels in feathers from some years (means as high as 6430ppb) are in the range associated with adverse effects (5000ppb for feathers). Metals were monitored in feathers of great egrets from Barnegat Bay, New Jersey. Levels of cadmium and lead decreased significantly from 1989 201Mercury levels in feathers from great egrets did not decline from 1989 201Metal levels were generally higher in great egrets and black-crowned night heron feathers than in snowy egrets.

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Accession: 036775168

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 23434313

DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2013.01.003



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