Selenium and mercury concentrations in harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) from central California: Health implications in an urbanized estuary

McHuron, E. A., Harvey, J. T., Castellini, J. M., Stricker, C. A., & O'Hara, T. M. (2014). Selenium and mercury concentrations in harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) from central California: Health implications in an urbanized estuary. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 83(1), 48-57. doi:DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2014.04.031
Metadata
TitleSelenium and mercury concentrations in harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) from central California: Health implications in an urbanized estuary
AuthorsA. McHuron, T. Harvey, M. Castellini, A. Stricker, M. O'Hara
AbstractWe measured total selenium and total mercury concentrations ([TSe] and [THg]) in hair (n = 138) and blood (n = 73) of harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) from California to assess variation by geography and sex, and inferred feeding relationships based on carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur stable isotopes. Harbor seals from Hg-contaminated sites had significantly greater [THg], and lesser [TSe] and TSe:THg molar ratios than seals from a relatively uncontaminated site. Males had significantly greater [THg] than females at all locations. Sulfur stable isotope values explained approximately 25% of the variability in [THg], indicating increased Hg exposure for seals with a greater use of estuarine prey species. Decreased [TSe] in harbor seals from Hg-contaminated regions may indicate a relative Se deficiency to mitigate the toxic effects of Hg. Further investigation into the Se status and the potential negative impact of Hg on harbor seals from Hg-contaminated sites is warranted. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Date2014
Volume83
Issue1
Start page48
End page57
SubjectsBlood, Hair, Marine mammals, San Francisco Bay, Stable isotopes (C, N, S), Trace elements
NoteHarbor Seals

Bookmark

Bookmarks: