Temporal changes in lead levels in common tern feathers in New York and relationship of field levels to adverse effects in the laboratory

Joanna Burger, Meredith Horoszewski Lavery, Michael Gochfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this paper we examine lead levels in the feathers of adult common terns Sterna hirundo from 1978 to 1992, compare them to values for other species breeding in the same or nearby colonies from one year (1989), and contrast these levels with those associated with sublethal behavioral and physiological effects in the lab. Lead levels in feathers of common tern decreased significantly from 1978 through 1985, were stable until 1988, and then increased through 1992. The mean levels of lead in feathers of roseate tern Sterna dougallii, herring gull Larus argentatus, and black skimmer Rynchops niger were slightly higher than those for common terns in 1989. Levels in feathers of some individuals of all species in the wild were within the range associated with behavioral impairment and growth retardation in the lab.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)581-586
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Volume13
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Environmental Chemistry

Keywords

  • Biomonitoring
  • Feathers
  • Lead
  • Sterna hirundo
  • Temporal trends

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