Document Type

Article

Date

2013

Embargo Period

3-6-2013

Keywords

Bicknell’s Thrush, Bioaccumulation, Biomagnification, Hispaniola, Mercury, Neotropical migrant, Tropical ecotoxicology

Disciplines

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Description/Abstract

Despite growing concerns over mercury (Hg) exposure to humans and wildlife on a global scale, little is known about Hg bioaccumulation in the New World tropics. From 2005 to 2011, we monitored Hg concentrations in blood of nine avian species occupying a geographic range of tropical wet broadleaf sites on the island of Hispaniola, including eight passerines (two Nearctic- Neotropical migrant and six resident species) and one top order predatory accipiter. Invertivorous songbirds were further differentiated by foraging guild, with six species of groundforagers and two species of foliage-gleaners. Blood Hg concentrations were orders of magnitude higher in birds sampled in central and southern cloud forest sites (1000 – 1800 m elevation) than in northern and northeastern rainforest sites (50 – 500 m elevation), with migratory and resident species both showing 2 – 20 X greater blood Hg concentrations in cloud forests than in rainforests. Within cloud forest sites, ground-foraging species had higher Hg concentrations than foliage-gleaning species. Top order predatory sharp-shinned hawks (Accipiter striatus) had the highest blood Hg concentrations among all species, suggesting that Hg biomagnification is occurring in terrestrial forests of Hispaniola. Two migrant songbird species overwintering on the island had higher blood Hg concentrations than have been recorded on their North American breeding grounds. Future studies should seek to elucidate sources of variation in atmospheric Hg deposition on Hispaniola and to quantify the dynamics of Hg cycling in tropical forest ecosystems, which may differ in important ways from patterns documented in temperate forest ecosystems.

Additional Information

Copyright 2013 Ecotoxicology. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and Ecotoxicology. .

The article may be found at

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10646-012-1005-1

Source

Local Input

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.