Environ Monit Assess (2014) 186:8517–8525 DOI 10.1007/s10661-014-4021-1

Concentration of trace elements in feathers of waterfowl, Korea Jungsoo Kim & Jong-Min Oh

Received: 4 February 2014 / Accepted: 21 August 2014 / Published online: 11 September 2014 # Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Abstract Cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), and iron (Fe) were analyzed in the breast feather of white-fronted geese (Anser albifrons, n = 15), mallards (Anas platyrhynchos, n = 4), and spot-billed ducks (Anas poecilorhyncha, n=13) found dead in Gimpo, Korea. All of the mallards and eight of the 13 spot-billed ducks had embedded shot. Concentrations of Pb, Cr, Cu, Mn, Zn, and Fe were significantly different among waterfowl species. Mallards with embedded shot had relatively higher Pb, Cr, Mn, and Fe concentrations than the other species. Cd and Cr in feathers of waterfowl species were within the range reported for other birds, and no specimen exceeded the tentative threshold effect levels of Cd (2 μg/g dry weight (dw)) and Cr (2.8 μg/g dw) for birds. However, Pb in feathers of all four mallards and two spot-billed ducks exceeded the threshold for deleterious effects (>4 μg/g dw). Essential elements such as Cu, Mn, Zn, and Fe in the feather of waterfowl species were not at toxic levels and within the background or normal range for the homeostatic mechanisms.

Keywords Trace elements . Waterfowl . Embedded shot . Threshold point . Homeostatic mechanisms J. Kim (*) : J.Mn>Cu>Pb>Cr>Cd), while the element pattern for white-fronted geese and spot-billed ducks without shot was slightly different (Table 1). Concentrations of Pb, Cr, Cu, Mn, Zn, and Fe were significantly different among species (Table 1). Pb, Cr, and Fe concentrations in mallards (embedded shot) were higher than measured in white-fronted geese (no shot) and spot-billed ducks (no shot and embedded shot). Also, Pb, Cu, and Mn concentrations in spot-billed ducks with embedded shot were greater than those in spot-billed ducks without shot. White-fronted geese (no shot) had higher Cu concentrations in feathers than measured in the other species. Mn concentrations in feathers of mallards (embedded shot) and spot-billed

Correlation between trace metals Among the 21 combinations of the seven trace element concentrations in feathers of the three waterfowl species, Pb was significantly correlated with Cr, Mn, and Fe; Cr with Mn and Fe; Cu with Zn; and Mn with Fe (Table 2).

Discussion Cd Cd concentrations in feathers were not different among waterfowl species. No difference between species in Cd concentrations of feathers was reported on herons and egrets (Kim and Koo 2007). However, species-specific accumulations of Cd have been reported on the same habitat in herons and egrets by different dietary Cd

Table 1 Trace element concentrations (geometric mean, 95 % confidence intervals (CIs), and mean±SD (μg/g dw)) in feathers of three waterfowl species from Korea Cd

Pb

Cr

Cu

Mn

Zn

Fe

1.63c*

1.30b

18.9a

21.8b

91.5b

363c

White-fronted geese (n=15) (no shot) Geomean

1.41

CIs

1.17–1.64

1.09–2.18

1.16–1.44

17.1–20.7

17.9–25.7

82.6–100

311–414

Mean±SD

1.47±0.46

1.96±1.04

1.33±0.27

19.2±3.58

23.2±7.72

93.2±17.5

376±101

Mallards (n=4) (embedded shot) Geomean

1.31

6.19a

2.34a

17.4b

34.0a

79.2c

1,125a

CIs

1.30–1.31

4.30–8.08

1.89–2.78

17.3–17.6

29.4–38.7

56.8–102

925–1,325

Mean±SD

1.31±0.01

6.26±1.37

2.35±0.32

17.4±0.10

34.1±3.34

80.0±16.2

1,130±144

Spot-billed ducks (n=5) (no shot) Geomean

1.51

1.29c

1.58b

12.3c

27.0b

69.9d

500b

CIs

1.49–1.53

0.60–3.42

1.05–2.10

9.86–14.8

23.0–30.9

58.2–81.7

153–849

Mean±SD

1.51±0.01

1.69±1.54

1.60±0.38

12.4±1.77

27.0±2.82

70.2±8.48

531±251

Spot-billed ducks (n=8) (embedded shot) Geomean

1.26

2.53b

1.32b

16.3b

32.4a

107a

489b

CIs

0.97–1.54

1.36–3.71

1.12–1.52

13.6–18.9

28.4–36.5

93.2–121

293–685

Mean±SD

1.30±0.33

2.85±1.34

1.33±0.23

16.5±2.99

32.6±4.61

108±15.9

524±223

P value**

NS

Concentration of trace elements in feathers of waterfowl, Korea.

Cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), and iron (Fe) were analyzed in the breast feather of white-fronted gee...
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