[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Parasites are natural stressors that may have multiple negative effects on their host as they usurp energy and nutrients and may lead to costly immune responses that may lead to oxidative stress. The objective of this study was to explore effects of parasites by treating chicks of two raptor species against both internal and external parasites. Treatment against ectoparasites led to a reduction in circulating immunoglobulin plasma levels in male chicks. Treatment against endoparasites reduced immunoglobulin plasma levels in white-tailed sea eagles. Furthermore, total oxidant status was higher when not receiving any parasite reduction treatment and when receiving both endo- and ectoparasitic reduction treatment compared with receiving only one antiparasite treatment.
Ecology and Evolution 11/2013; 3(16):5157-5166. · 1.18 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Top predators in northern ecosystems may suffer from exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) as this exposure may synergistically interact with already elevated natural stress in these ecosystems. In the present study, we aimed at identifying biological (sex, body condition), ecological (dietary carbon source, trophic level) and spatial factors (local habitat, regional nest location) that may influence intra- and interspecific variation in exposure of subarctic predatory bird nestlings to polychlorinated biphenyl 153 (CB 153), polybrominated diphenyl ether 47 (BDE 47), dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p'-DDE) and hexachlorobenzene (HCB). During three breeding seasons (2008-2010), we sampled body feathers from fully-grown nestlings of three ecologically distinct predatory bird species in subarctic Norway: Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis), White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) and Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos). The present study analysed, for the first time, body feathers for both POPs and carbon (δ(13)C) and nitrogen (δ(15)N) stable isotopes, thus integrating the dietary carbon source, trophic level and POP exposure for the larger part of the nestling stage. Intraspecific variation in exposure was driven by a combination of ecological and spatial factors, often different for individual compounds. In addition, combinations for individual compounds differed among species. Trophic level and local habitat were the predominant predictors for CB 153, p,p'-DDE and BDE 47, indicating their biomagnification and decreasing levels according to coast>fjord>inland. Variation in exposure may also have been driven by inter-annual variation arisen from primary sources (e.g. p,p'-DDE) and/or possible revolatilisation from secondary sources (e.g. HCB). Interspecific differences in POP exposure were best explained by a combination of trophic level (biomagnification), dietary carbon source (food chain discrimination) and regional nest location (historical POP contamination). In conclusion, the combined analysis of POPs and stable isotopes in body feathers from fully-grown nestlings has identified ecological and spatial factors that may drive POP exposure over the larger part of the nestling stage. This methodological approach further promotes the promising use of nestling predatory bird body feathers as a non-destructive sampling strategy to integrate various toxicological and ecological proxies.
Environment international 04/2013; 57-58C:25-33. · 4.79 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Raptors are exposed to biomagnifying and toxic organohalogenated compounds (OHCs) such as organochlorines, brominated flame retardants and perfluorinated compounds. To investigate how OHC exposure may affect biochemical pathways we collected blood plasma from Norwegian northern goshawk (n=56), golden eagle (n=12) and white-tailed eagle (n=36) nestlings during three consecutive breeding seasons. We found that blood plasma concentrations of calcium, sodium, creatinine, cholesterol, albumin, total protein, urea, inorganic phosphate, protein:creatinine, urea:creatinine and uric acid:creatinine ratios and liver enzymes ALKP and ALAT were positively correlated to PCBs, chlordanes, p,p'-DDE, HCB, PFCs and/or PBDEs. Total bilirubin and glucose were negatively correlated to PCBs while magnesium and potassium were negatively correlated to HCB and p,p'-DDE. In addition, protein:creatinine and ALAT were also negatively correlated to PCBs and PFCs, respectively. The most significant relationships were found for the highly contaminated northern goshawks and white-tailed eagles. The statistical relationships between OHCs and BCCPs indicate that biochemical pathways could be influenced while it is uncertain if such changes have any health effects. The OHC concentrations were below concentrations causing reproductive toxicity in adults of other raptor species but similar to those of concern for endocrine disruption of thyroid hormones in e.g., bald eagles.
Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 03/2012; 80:76-83. · 2.20 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In previous studies, feathers of adult predatory birds have been evaluated as valid non-destructive biomonitor matrices for persistent organic pollutants (POPs). In this study, we assessed for the first time the usefulness of nestling raptor feathers for non-destructive biomonitoring of POPs. For this purpose, we collected body feathers and blood of nestlings from three avian top predators from northern Norway: northern goshawks (Accipiter gentilis), white-tailed eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) and golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos). We were able to detect a broad spectrum of legacy POPs in the nestling feathers of all three species (Σ PCBs: 6.78-140ng g(-1); DDE: 3.15-145ng g(-1); Σ PBDEs: 0.538-7.56ng g(-1)). However, these concentrations were lower compared to other studies on raptor species, probably due to the aspect of monitoring of nestlings instead of adults. Besides their analytical suitability, nestling feathers also appear to be biologically informative: concentrations of most POPs in nestling feathers showed strong and significant correlations with blood plasma concentrations in all species (p<0.050; 0.775<r<0.994). In addition, the reported correlations between feathers and blood plasma were much higher than those previously reported for adult individuals. Accumulation profiles and species-specific differences were in accordance with other toxicological studies on avian species and generally in agreement with the specific ecology of the studied species. In summary, our results indicate that the use of nestling feathers of northern raptors may be a valid and promising non-destructive biomonitoring strategy for POPs in their ecosystems.
Environment international 04/2011; 37(3):622-630. · 4.79 Impact Factor