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Distribution of trace elements in organs of six species of cetaceans from the Ligurian Sea (Mediterranean), and the relationship with stable carbon and nitrogen ratios
Capelli, R.; Das, K.; Pellegrini, R.D.; Drava, G.; Lepoint, G.; Miglio, C.; Minganti, V.; Poggi, R. (2008). Distribution of trace elements in organs of six species of cetaceans from the Ligurian Sea (Mediterranean), and the relationship with stable carbon and nitrogen ratios. Sci. Total Environ. 390(2-3): 569-578. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2007.10.036
In: Science of the Total Environment. Elsevier: Amsterdam. ISSN 0048-9697, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 141569 [ OMA ]

Keywords
    Bioaccumulation; Biogeography; Cadmium; Carbon; Chemical analysis; Copper; Ecology; Iron; Isotopes; Lead; Liver; Manganese; Mercury; Nitrogen; Nitrogen isotopes; Selenium; Species diversity; Spleen; Stable isotopes; Statistical analysis; Trace elements; Trophic levels; Zinc; Cetacea [WoRMS]; MED, Ligurian Sea [Marine Regions]; MED, Western Mediterranean [Marine Regions]; Marine
Author keywords
    cetaceans; mercury; stable isotopes; trace elements; trophic position

Authors  Top 
  • Capelli, R.
  • Das, K., more
  • Pellegrini, R.D.
  • Drava, G.
  • Lepoint, G., more
  • Miglio, C.
  • Minganti, V.
  • Poggi, R.

Abstract
    Mercury (total and organic), cadmium, lead, copper, iron, manganese, selenium and zinc concentrations were measured in different organs of 6 different cetacean species stranded in an area of extraordinary ecological interest (Cetaceans' Sanctuary of the Mediterranean Sea) along the coast of the Ligurian Sea (North-West Mediterranean). Stable-isotopes ratios of carbon (13C/12C) and nitrogen (15N/14N) were also measured in the muscle. A significant relationship exists between 15N/14N, mercury concentration and the trophic level. The distribution of essential and non-essential trace elements was studied on several organs, and a significant relationship between selenium and mercury, with a molar ratio close to 1, was found in the cetaceans' kidney, liver and spleen, regardless of their species. High selenium concentrations are generally associated with a low organic to total mercury ratio. While narrow ranges of concentrations were observed for essential elements in most organs, mercury and selenium concentrations are characterised by a wide range of variation. Bio-accumulation and bio-amplification processes in cetaceans can be better understood by comparing trace element concentrations with the stable-isotopes data.

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