Title of Project

Heavy metal concentration in loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) in Broward County

Researcher Information

Jenna Klingsick

Project Type

Event

Start Date

6-4-2018 12:00 AM

End Date

6-4-2018 12:00 AM

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Apr 6th, 12:00 AM Apr 6th, 12:00 AM

Heavy metal concentration in loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) in Broward County

Seven extant species of sea turtles are either threatened or endangered and one of the leading causes for their population decline is believed to be pollution. Heavy metals are a potential contaminant and their concentrations can be influenced by anthropogenic effects. An accumulation of non-essential heavy metals and an excessive amount of essential heavy metals can have life-threatening effects on these organisms. Concentrations of 9 heavy metal concentrations from loggerhead and green sea turtle eggshells turtles are used as a proxy for adult female turtles which nest along Broward County beaches. An Atomic Absorption spectrophotometer is used to test for cadmium, chromium, cobalt, copper, lead, manganese, nickel, vanadium, and zinc. Preliminary results indicate no detectable levels of vanadium, an essential element rarely found in nature. A range of metal concentrations for cadmium (not detected4.32 ppm), chromium (not detected100.38 ppm), cobalt (not detected58.41 ppm), copper (10.7377.99 ppm), lead (not detected111.18 ppm), manganese (not detected10.27 ppm), nickel (not detected28.06 ppm), and zinc (not detected71.44 ppm) have been measured for the loggerhead sea turtles. A range of metal concentrations for cadmium (not detected1.62 ppm), chromium (not detected42.77 ppm), cobalt (not detected45.70 ppm), copper (not detected58.00 ppm), lead (not detected220.93 ppm), manganese (not detected34.39 ppm), nickel (not detected53.07 ppm), and zinc (not detected20.59 ppm) have been measured for the green sea turtles.