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Trace metals in an urbanized estuarine sea turtle food web in San Diego Bay, CA.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22261404     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
San Diego Bay is an anthropogenically impacted waterway that is also a critical habitat for many sensitive species such as the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas). In this study, we quantified trace metal concentrations in sediment and organisms composing the green sea turtle diet, and identified bioaccumulation patterns for a suite of trace metals. We found Ag, Cd, Cu, Mn, Se, and Zn exhibited the highest bioaccumulation levels in this food web. Cu and Mn concentrations in resident biota displayed a strong spatial gradient from the mouth to the head of the Bay, which was different from the patterns found in the sediment itself. Sediment median concentrations followed a general pattern across the bay of Al>Mn>Cu≈Zn>Pb>As>Cd>Ag>Se>Hg. In contrast, eelgrass displayed differential patterns in the mouth versus the back of the Bay (three front Bay sites: Al>Mn>Zn>Cu>Pb>Se>Cd≈Ag>As; five back Bay sites: Mn>Al>Zn>Cu>Pb≈Se>Cd>Ag>Hg>As) with the exception of Shelter Island where levels of Zn and Cu were elevated as a result of anti-fouling paint pollution. Observed differences between sediment and biota metal patterns are likely due to complex processes related to trace metals input and bioavailability, habitat characteristics and specific metabolic functioning of the trace metals for each member of the food web. These data highlight the fact that for the San Diego Bay ecosystem, the current use of toxicity reference values scaled up from sediment and invertebrate testing ex-situ is likely to be inaccurate when transposed to the green sea turtle. Here, we illustrate how identifying spatial variability in metal exposure can improve our understanding of habitat utilization by sea turtles in highly urbanized estuaries. Monitoring contaminants directly in food webs of sensitive vertebrates may greatly improve our understanding of their direct and indirect exposure to potentially deleterious contamination, and should be considered in the future to improve traditional risk assessment approaches.
Lisa M Komoroske; Rebecca L Lewison; Jeffrey A Seminoff; Douglas D Deustchman; Dimitri D Deheyn
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-1-17
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Science of the total environment     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1879-1026     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2012 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-1-20     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0330500     Medline TA:  Sci Total Environ     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Department of Biology and Coastal & Marine Institute, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA 92182-4614, United States; Department of Wildlife, Fish & Conservation Biology, University of California at Davis, Davis, CA 95616, United States.
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