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Rune Dietz

Individual Prey Specialization Drives PCBs in Icelandic Killer Whales

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

DOI

  • Anaïs Remili, McGill Univ, McGill University, McGill Space Inst
  • ,
  • Robert J Letcher, Carleton Univ, Carleton University, Ottawa Carleton Inst Phys
  • ,
  • Filipa I P Samarra, Marine and Freshwater Research Institute
  • ,
  • Rune Dietz
  • Christian Sonne
  • Jean-Pierre Desforges, Department of Natural Resource Sciences, McGill Univ, McGill University, McGill Space Inst, Valacta, Dairy Production Centre of Expertise Quebec-Atlantic, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC, Canada
  • ,
  • Gislí Víkingsson, Marine and Freshwater Research Institute
  • ,
  • David Blair, Carleton Univ, Carleton University, Ottawa Carleton Inst Phys
  • ,
  • Melissa A McKinney, McGill Univ, McGill University, McGill Space Inst

Interindividual variation in prey specialization is an essential yet overlooked aspect of wildlife feeding ecology, especially as it relates to intrapopulation variation in exposure to toxic contaminants. Here, we assessed blubber concentrations of an extensive suite of persistent organic pollutants in Icelandic killer whales (Orcinus orca). Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) concentrations in blubber were >300-fold higher in the most contaminated individual relative to the least contaminated, ranging from 1.3 to 428.6 mg·kg-1 lw. Mean PCB concentrations were 6-to-9-fold greater in individuals with a mixed diet including marine mammals than in fish specialist individuals, whereas males showed PCB concentrations 4-fold higher than females. Given PCBs have been identified as potentially impacting killer whale population growth, and levels in mixed feeders specifically exceeded known thresholds, the ecology of individuals must be recognized to accurately forecast how contaminants may threaten the long-term persistence of the world's ultimate marine predator.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftEnvironmental Science & Technology
ISSN0013-936X
DOI
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 24 mar. 2021

    Forskningsområder

  • POPs, stable isotopes, Diet, intrapopulation prey specialization, trophic position, contaminants, Risk assessment

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