Effects of trophic ecology and habitat use on maternal transfer of contaminants in lamniform sharksPublished in September 2013
Effects of trophic ecology and habitat use on maternal transfer of contaminants in four species of young of the year lamniform sharks
Kady Lyons, Aaron Carlisle, Antonella Preti, Christopher Mull, Mary Blasius, John O’Sullivan, Chuck Winkler, Christopher G. Lowe
Organic contaminant and total mercury concentrations were compared in four species of lamniform sharks over several age classes to examine bioaccumulation patterns and gain insights into trophic ecology. Contaminants found in young of the year (YOY) sharks were assumed to be derived from maternal sources and used as a proxy to investigate factors that influence maternal offloading processes. YOY white (Carcharodon carcharias) and mako (Isurus oxyrinchus) sharks had comparable and significantly higher concentrations of PCBs, DDTs, pesticides, and mercury than YOY thresher (Alopias vulpinus) or salmon (Lamna ditropis) sharks. A significant positive relationship was found between YOY contaminant loads and maternal trophic position, suggesting that trophic ecology is one factor that plays an important role in maternal offloading. Differences in organic contaminant signatures and contaminant concentration magnitudes among species corroborated what is known about species habitat use and may be used to provide insights into the feeding ecology of these animals.
Marine Environmental Research, Volume 90, Pages 27–38