Evaluation of claws as an alternative route of mercury elimination from the herring gull (Larus argentatus)

Agnieszka Grajewska , Lucyna Falkowska , Andrzej Reindl


Mercury enters the body of seabirds in its most toxic organic form, i.e. methylmercury, mainly via the alimentary tract. Inside the body, mercury is transformed into less toxic forms and accumulates in the internal organs. The process of mercury removal from the body, most effective during the formation of new feathers and claws, is beneficial for the bird. The presented research was undertaken on account of the high affinity of mercury to keratin – a protein that forms feathers and claws – to compare the concentration levels (HgTOT) in these structures and to assess their contribution to the purification of the body of herring gulls (Larus argentatus). Bi rd feathers are the only epidermal structure that is extensively described in the literature, whereas the claws have so far been poorly researched.T he study has shown that mercury in claws is built in as effectively as in feathers, and the obtained concentrations were within a wide range of 127.2–5341.5 ng HgTOT g−1 of dry weight. In addition, the concentrations of total mercury accumulated in the claws were a better reflection of Hg levels in internal organs compared to feathers.
Author Agnieszka Grajewska (FOG / IO / DMChEP)
Agnieszka Grajewska,,
- Division of Marine Chemistry and Environmental Protection
, Lucyna Falkowska (FOG / IO / DMChEP)
Lucyna Falkowska,,
- Division of Marine Chemistry and Environmental Protection
, Andrzej Reindl (FOG / IO / DMChEP)
Andrzej Reindl,,
- Division of Marine Chemistry and Environmental Protection
Journal seriesOceanological and Hydrobiological Studies, ISSN 1730-413X, e-ISSN 1897-3191, (N/A 40 pkt)
Issue year2019
Publication size in sheets0.5
Keywords in Englishherring gulls, mercury elimination, claws, southern Baltic Sea
ASJC Classification1910 Oceanography
URL https://doi.org/10.1515/ohs-2019-0015
Languageen angielski
Score (nominal)40
Score sourcejournalList
ScoreMinisterial score = 40.0, 04-03-2020, ArticleFromJournal
Publication indicators WoS Citations = 0; Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2017 = 0.463; WoS Impact Factor: 2018 = 0.674 (2) - 2018=0.854 (5)
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