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Element concentrations, histology and serum biochemistry of arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) and shorthorn sculpins (Myoxocephalus scorpius) in northwest Greenland

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  • Rasmus Dyrmose Nørregaard, Greenland Institute of Natural Resources
  • ,
  • Lis Bach
  • Ole Geertz-Hansen, Grønlands Naturinstittut
  • ,
  • Jacob Nabe-Nielsen
  • Barbara Nowak, University of Tasmania
  • ,
  • Khattapan Jantawongsri, University of Tasmania
  • ,
  • Mai Dang, University of Tasmania, Australien
  • Jens Søndergaard
  • Pall Leifsson, Københavns Universitet
  • ,
  • Bjørn Munro Jenssen
  • Tomasz M. Ciesielski, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Danmark
  • Augustine Arukwe, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norge
  • Christian Sonne

The increasing exploratory efforts in the Greenland mineral industry, and in particular, the proposed rare earth element (REE) mining projects, requires an urgent need to generate data on baseline REE concentrations and their potential environmental impacts. Herein, we have investigated REE concentrations in anadromous Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) and shorthorn sculpins (Myoxocephalus scorpius) from uncontaminated sites in Northwest Greenland, along with the relationships between the element concentrations in gills and liver, and gill histology and serum biochemical parameters. Concentrations of arsenic, silver, cadmium, cerium, chromium, copper, dysprosium, mercury, lanthanum, neodymium, lead, selenium, yttrium, and zinc in gills, liver and muscle are presented. No significant statistical correlations were observed between element concentrations in different organs and gill histology or serum biochemical parameters. However, we observed positive relationships between age and histopathology, emphasizing the importance of including age as a co-variable in histological studies of fish. Despite no element-induced effects were observed, this study is considered an important baseline study, which can be used as a reference for the assessment of impacts of potential future REE mine sites in Greenland.

TidsskriftEnvironmental Research
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - maj 2022


  • Arctic char, Shorthorn sculpin, greenland, elements, histology, biochemistry, serum

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