Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
Elements, Metals, Bowhead whale, Baleen, Arctic, SECLER
This study established the first baseline of changing elemental concentrations in bowhead whale baleen over time (1958–1999). From previously published stable isotope data, year, season (summer or winter), and location (Beaufort or Bering/Chukchi seas) were attributed to each sample. Thirteen elements (Al, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Se, V, Zn) in baleen from nine subsistence-harvested bowhead whales (n = 138) were detected. Al, Cu, and Fe were the highest concentrations while Cd and V were among the lowest. Our data supports absorption as the main route of exposure to environmental elements rather than biomagnification due to bowhead whales’ low trophic position. A linear mixed-effects model confirmed most elements’ concentrations increased with time, while location and sex were insignificant explanatory factors. These temporal fluctuations were most likely a product of environmental changes due to a warming climate and human activities.
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Samantha Shore, Dimitri Giarikos, Lawrence K. Duffy, Mickie Rae Edwards, and Amy Hirons. 2021. Temporal Baseline of Essential and Non-essential Elements Recorded in Baleen of Western Arctic Bowhead Whale (Balaena mysticetus) .Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology . https://nsuworks.nova.edu/occ_facarticles/1230.