Global monitoring of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) using seabird preen gland oil

Yamashita, Rei; Takada, Hideshige; Nakazawa, Arisa; Takahashi, Akinori; Ito, Motohiro; Yamamoto, Takashi; Watanabe, Yuuki Y.; Kokubun, Nobuo; Sato, Katsufumi; Wanless, Sarah; Daunt, Francis ORCID:; Hyrenbach, David; Hester, Michelle; Deguchi, Tomohiro; Nishizawa, Bungo; Shoji, Akiko; Watanuki, Yutaka. 2018 Global monitoring of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) using seabird preen gland oil. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 75 (4). 545-556.

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Situated at high positions on marine food webs, seabirds accumulate high concentrations of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane and its metabolites (DDTs), and hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs). Our previous studies proposed the usefulness of seabirds preen gland oil as a nondestructive biomonitoring tool. The present study applied this approach to 154 adult birds of 24 species collected from 11 locations during 2005–2016 to demonstrate the utility of preen gland oil as a tool for global monitoring POPs, i.e., PCBs, DDTs, and HCHs. Concentrations of the POPs were higher in the Northern Hemisphere than in the Southern Hemisphere. In particular, ∑20PCBs and∑DDTs were highly concentrated in European shags (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) and Japanese cormorants (Phalacrocorax capillatus), explainable by a diet of benthic fishes. Higher concentrations of γ-HCH were detected in species from the polar regions, possibly reflecting the recent exposure and global distillation of ∑HCHs. We examined the relationship between age and POP concentrations in preen gland oil from 20 male European shags, aged 3–16 years old. Concentrations and compositions of POPs were not related to age. We also examined sex differences in the POP concentrations from 24 streaked shearwaters (Calonectris leucomelas) and did not detect a sex bias. These results underline the importance of the geographic concentration patterns and the dietary behavior as determinants species-specific POPs concentrations in preen gland oil.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Biodiversity (Science Area 2017-)
UKCEH Fellows
ISSN: 0090-4341
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Publisher link (see Related URLs) provides a read-only full-text copy of the published paper.
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Related URLs:
Date made live: 11 Oct 2018 13:57 +0 (UTC)

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