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Interactions between environmental contaminants and gastrointestinal parasites: novel insights from an integrative approach in a marine predator

Carravieri, Alice; Burthe, Sarah J.; de la Vega, Camille; Yonehara, Yoshinari; Daunt, Francis; Newell, Mark A.; Jeffreys, Rachel M.; Lawlor, Alan J.; Hunt, Alexander; Shore, Richard F.; Pereira, M. Glória; Green, Jonathan A.. 2020 Interactions between environmental contaminants and gastrointestinal parasites: novel insights from an integrative approach in a marine predator. Environmental Science & Technology, 54 (14). 8938-8948. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.0c03021

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Abstract/Summary

Environmental contaminants and parasites are ubiquitous stressors that can affect animal physiology and derive from similar dietary sources (co-exposure). To unravel their interactions in wildlife, it is thus essential to quantify their concurring drivers. Here, the relationship between blood contaminant residues (11 trace elements and 17 perfluoroalkyl substances) and nonlethally quantified gastrointestinal parasite loads was tested while accounting for intrinsic (sex, age, and mass) and extrinsic factors (trophic ecology inferred from stable isotope analyses and biologging) in European shags Phalacrocorax aristotelis. Shags had high mercury (range 0.65–3.21 μg g–1 wet weight, ww) and extremely high perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) residues (3.46–53 and 4.48–44 ng g–1 ww, respectively). Males had higher concentrations of arsenic, mercury, PFOA, and PFNA than females, while the opposite was true for selenium, perfluorododecanoic acid (PFDoA), and perfluooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS). Individual parasite loads (Contracaecum rudolphii) were higher in males than in females. Females targeted pelagic-feeding prey, while males relied on both pelagic- and benthic-feeding organisms. Parasite loads were not related to trophic ecology in either sex, suggesting no substantial dietary co-exposure with contaminants. In females, parasite loads increased strongly with decreasing selenium:mercury molar ratios. Females may be more susceptible to the interactive effects of contaminants and parasites on physiology, with potential fitness consequences.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.0c03021
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Biodiversity (Science Area 2017-)
Pollution (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 0013-936X
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 27 Jul 2020 16:12 +0 (UTC)
URI: https://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/528233

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