Intra-clutch and inter-colony variability in element concentrations in eggshells of the black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, in northern Poland

Ignacy Kitowski , Piotr Indykiewicz , Dariusz Wiącek , Dariusz Jakubas


Eggshells are good bioindicators of environmental contamination, and therefore, the concentrations of 17 trace elements in 87 eggshells of black-headed gulls, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, were determined in five breeding colonies in an area dominated by farmland in northern Poland. The intra-clutch variability in the eggshell concentrations of heavy metals and other elements was also investigated, and the concentrations of the elements showed the following pattern: Ca > Mg > Sr > Fe > Zn > Al > Cr > Se > Mn > Cu > Pb > As > Ni > Mo = V > Sc > Cd. The concentrations of Fe, Al, and Mn decreased with the order in which the eggs were laid, but Sr concentrations increased. In contrast, the concentration of Cu significantly increased with the laying date. The concentrations of all elements significantly differed among the studied colonies; the highest concentration of eight elements was found in the eggshells from the Kusowo colony, which may have resulted from the intensive use of fertilizers, manure, and slurry in the surrounding agricultural region. The concentrations of Mg, Sr, and Zn in the eggshells from Skoki Duże were higher than those of the other studied colonies, which may have occurred because the gulls were nesting in a functioning gravel pit; soil and the parent rock are natural reservoirs of these elements. The observed element levels indicate that the environment where the black-headed gull eggs were formed, i.e., primarily near the breeding colonies, remains in a relatively unpolluted state, which was reflected by the low levels of Cd, Ni, and Pb and the lack of measurable levels of Hg.
Author Ignacy Kitowski
Ignacy Kitowski,,
, Piotr Indykiewicz
Piotr Indykiewicz,,
, Dariusz Wiącek
Dariusz Wiącek,,
, Dariusz Jakubas (FB / DVEZ)
Dariusz Jakubas,,
- Department of Vertebrate Ecology and Zoology
Journal seriesEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research, ISSN 0944-1344, (A 30 pkt)
Issue year2017
Publication size in sheets0.6
Keywords in Englisheggshells, heavy metals, waterbirds, contamination
Languageen angielski
LicenseOther; published final; Uznanie Autorstwa (CC-BY); with publication
Score (nominal)30
ScoreMinisterial score = 30.0, ArticleFromJournal
Ministerial score (2013-2016) = 30.0, ArticleFromJournal
Publication indicators WoS Impact Factor: 2017 = 2.8 (2) - 2017=2.989 (5)
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* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.