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Increasing concentrations ofperfluoroalkyl acids in Scandinavian otters (Lutra lutra) between 1972 and 2011: a new threat to the otter population?
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Organismal Biology, Environmental toxicology. Naturhistoriska riksmuseet, Swedish Museum of Natural History.
Stockholms universitet, Stockholm University.
Stockholms universitet, Stockholm University.
Norsk institutt for Naturforskning, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research.
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2013 (English)In: Environmental Science and Technology, ISSN 0013-936X, E-ISSN 1520-5851, Vol. 47, no 20, 11757-11765 p.Article in journal, Editorial material (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Liver samples from 140 otters (Lutra lutra) from Sweden and Norway were analyzed for 10 perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids (PFCAs; C6-C15), 4 perfluoroalkane sulfonic acids (PFSAs; C4,C6,C8,C10) and perfluorooctane sulfonamide (FOSA). Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) was the dominant compound accounting for approximately 80% of the fluorinated contaminants and showing concentrations up to 16 mu g/g wet weight. Perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) was the dominant PFCA (up to 640 ng/g wet weight) closely followed by the C10 and C11 homologues. A spatial comparison between otters from southwestern Norway, southern and northern Sweden sampled between 2005 and 2011 revealed that the samples from southern Sweden had generally the largest contaminant load, but two PFCAs and FOSA were higher concentrated in the Norwegian samples. A temporal trend study was performed on otters from southern Sweden collected between 1972 and 2011. Seven PFCAs (C8-C14), PFOS and perfluorodecane sulfonic acid (PFDS) showed significantly increasing trends with doubling times between 5.5 and 13 years. The PFCAs also showed significantly increasing trends over the period 2002 to 2011. These findings together with the exceptionally high liver concentrations of PFOS are of great concern for the Scandinavian otter populations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 47, no 20, 11757-11765 p.
Keyword [en]
Perfluoroalkyl acids; otters (Lutra lutra); time trends; Sweden; Norway; PFOS
National Category
Developmental Biology
Research subject
Biology with specialization in Environmental Toxicology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-199063DOI: 10.1021/es401485tISI: 000326123600050OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-199063DiVA: diva2:619353
Available from: 2013-05-03 Created: 2013-05-03 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically 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. 47 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1051
Keyword
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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