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Toxicological risks for small mammals in a diffusely and moderately polluted floodplain

Wijnhoven, S. and Leuven, R.S.E.W. and Velde van der, G. and Eijsackers, H.J.P. (2008) Toxicological risks for small mammals in a diffusely and moderately polluted floodplain. Science of the Total Environment, 406, 401-406. ISSN 0048-9697.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2008.05.059

Abstract

The ecotoxicological risk of heavy metal pollution in diffusely polluted floodplains is largely unclear, as field-based data are scarce. This study investigated cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) accumulation in the liver and kidneys of small mammal species (voles, mice and shrews) from a moderately polluted Dutch floodplain. The Cd and Pb concentrations were compared with effect concentrations (ECs). Reported ECs in literature varied considerably, with the lowest values frequently exceeded by our values, whereas the highest values were encountered only occasionally. Cd and Pb levels were highest in the shrew species, particularly in Sorex araneus. Although toxicological effects at the specimen level were present in these floodplains, effects at population level are thought to be limited, as a result of the animals' relatively short life expectancies (due to recurrent floods) and the rapid maturation of small mammals. Exceptionally high tissue metal concentrations in some specimens of all species indicated local hotspots with peaks in metal concentrations. Sanitizing such local hotspots might reduce toxicological risks.

Item Type:Article
Institutes:Nederlands Instituut voor Ecologie (NIOO)
ID Code:4889
Deposited On:30 Sep 2009 02:00
Last Modified:24 Apr 2012 16:46

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