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Bone mineral density in Swedish otters (Lutra lutra) in relation to PCB and DDE concentrations
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Organism Biology, Environmental Toxicology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Organism Biology, Environmental Toxicology.
2010 (English)In: Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, ISSN 0147-6513, E-ISSN 1090-2414, Vol. 73, no 5, p. 1063-1070Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to elucidate if DDE (dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene) or PCB (polybrominated diphenyls), are responsible for the pathological alterations observed in Swedish otter bone tissues. Femurs from 86 male otters collected between 1832 and 2004 were measured using peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT). Some otters had very high and others fairly low concentrations of OCs (ranging between 1.4-970 mg SigmaPCB/kg l.w. and 0.0-24 mg DDE/kg l.w. in muscle tissue). Positive relationships were found between three of the four cortical bone variables analysed (area, content and thickness) and SigmaPCB concentration, while no significant relationships with DDE concentration were found. None of the trabecular variables were significantly related to PCB or DDE concentration. Three of the four trabecular bone variables showed decreasing values in the beginning and increasing values at the end of period 1974-2004. No temporal trends were found for cortical bone variables. OC concentrations decreased between 1974 and 2004.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 73, no 5, p. 1063-1070
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Ecotoxicology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-130397DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2010.02.008ISI: 000279623800048PubMedID: 20188416OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-130397DiVA, id: diva2:349562
Available from: 2010-09-07 Created: 2010-09-07 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The Otter (Lutra lutra) in Sweden: Contaminants and Health
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Otter (Lutra lutra) in Sweden: Contaminants and Health
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In the 1950s the otter started to decline in numbers and distribution in Sweden and other parts of Europe. In 1972 a game law came into force, listing otter as a species that if found dead should be reported and sent to the authorities. The numbers of dead otters reported from different areas indicate population status and distribution. Between 1970 and 2012, 832 otters were sent to the authorities, the majority (66%) during the last ten years. Most were killed in traffic accidents or drowned in fishing gear. However, the main cause of the decline is believed to be environmental contaminants. Experimental data show that a PCB residue level in muscle tissue of 12 mg/kg lw causes reproductive impairment in mink (Neovison vison), suggesting reproductive problems also in the highly PCB-exposed otters in Sweden. Since the bans of PCB and DDT in the mid-1970s, concentrations of these substances in otter and fish have decreased and the otter population is increasing.

Few pathological changes in otters have been found that can be related to high contaminant concentrations. However, we found a correlation between elevated PCB concentrations and alterations in bone mineral density. No relationship was seen between DDE and bone parameters.

The decline of the otter coincided with the decline of grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) and white-tailed sea eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) in Sweden, all showing decreased reproductive outcome. Reproductive success started to increase for all of them around 1990 and during the same period concentrations of PCB and DDE have decreased in these species.

The body condition among female otters has increased over the study period, indicating an improved health status. However, we found a high prevalence (71%) of cysts on the spermatic duct in otters collected between 1999 and 2012, possibly caused by endocrine disrupting chemicals.

Although the organochlorine concentrations in otters have decreased, otters still face many problems. New threats to the otter population in Scandinavia are the perfluorinated chemicals, including PFOS and PFOA. Results in this thesis show an increasing trend for these compounds in otters up to 2011, including some extremely high concentrations of PFOS in otters from southern Sweden.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2013. p. 47
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1051
Keywords
Otter (Lutra lutra), PCB, DDT, PFAAs, reproduction, bone, time trends
National Category
Developmental Biology
Research subject
Biology with specialization in Environmental Toxicology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-199068 (URN)978-91-554-8688-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-06-11, Lindahlsalen, Norbyvägen 18A, Uppsala, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-05-21 Created: 2013-05-03 Last updated: 2013-08-30Bibliographically approved

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