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J Toxicol Environ Health A., 2008; 71(21): 1448-56, PMID: 18800294

Health of herring gulls (Larus argentatus) in relation to breeding location in the early 1990s. III. Effects on the bone tissue

Jahr: 2008

Fox GA, Lundberg R, Wejheden C, Lind L, Larsson S, Orberg J, Lind PM
Canadian Wildlife Service, National Wildlife Research Centre, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


Health effects associated with the Great Lakes environment were assessed in adult herring gulls (Larus argentatus) in the early 1990s, including the size and quality of their bones. Femurs were excised from 140 individuals from 10 colonies distributed throughout the Great Lakes and 2 reference colonies in Lake Winnipeg (freshwater) and the Bay of Fundy (marine). Femurs of gulls from the Great Lakes differed from the freshwater or marine reference for 9 of 12 variables of size, composition, and strength assessed using peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) and biomechanical testing. Femurs of Great Lakes gulls were significantly smaller in length (-2.9%), periosteal circumference (-2.4%), and cross-sectional area (-5.4%) than freshwater reference birds. Femurs of the Great Lakes gulls had a lower significant cortical bone mineral content (-8.1%) and density (-2%) than the marine reference. A significant increase in the amount the bone could bend before it broke (+34%) and the energy required to break it (+44%) and a significant decrease (-16.3%) in stiffness during three-point biomechanical bending test were also detected in Great Lakes versus the freshwater gulls. These differences are indicative of impaired mineralization. When divided into high and low 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin toxicity equivalent (TCDD-TEQ) colonies, the amount the bone could bend before it broke and the energy required to break it were significantly higher in the high TEQ colonies, but not high polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) colonies. Breeding location and dietary choices of Great Lakes herring gulls in the early 1990s resulted in modulations of physiological processes that affected the size, mineralization, and biomechanical properties of bone.

GID: 1584; Letzte Änderung: 17.11.2008