Carola Sanpera

Carola Sanpera
University of Barcelona | UB · Department of Animal Biology

About

81
Publications
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Publications

Publications (81)
Article
Wetlands such as rice paddies are important ecosystems that provide habitat for a numerous range of species but are considered as a major source of mercury in the most toxic form of methylmercury. An in situ mesocosm experiment was conducted during the rice cultivation season of 2018 in rice paddies from the Ebro Delta (NE, Spain) to investigate th...
Article
As top-predators in marine ecosystems, seabirds are regarded as appropriate bioindicator species for a variety of contaminants. Mercury (Hg) is a global pollutant, which can biomagnify along marine and freshwater food webs. Therefore, mercury body burden in seabirds, such as gulls, will integrate information about pollution in the environment. In t...
Article
Full-text available
Human fisheries provide scavengers with abundant and predictable feeding opportunities that may schedule their behavioural patterns. Using miniaturized global positioning system (GPS) tracking technology, we evaluated how Audouin’s gull (Ichthyaetus audouinii), a Mediterranean endemic seabird that makes extensive use of feeding opportunities provid...
Article
Full-text available
The pressure elicited by invasive species on native species significantly increases with the increase of the overlap of their ecological niches. Still, the specific mechanisms of the trophic displacement of native species during the invasion process are unclear. The effects of the invasive American mink (Neovison vison) on the critically endangered...
Article
The evaluation of mercury (Hg) toxicity in wildlife species has prompted a search for sensitive indicators to accurately measure the body burden of Hg. Despite the extensive use of feathers as an indicator of Hg in birds, they do not appear to be an entirely suitable indicator of the extent of contamination in certain conditions and bird species si...
Article
Trace elements can be toxic when they cannot be easily removed after entering an ecosystem, so a long-term assessment is fundamental to guide ecosystem restoration after catastrophic pollution. In 1998, a pyrite mining accident in Aznalcóllar (south-western Spain) spilled toxic waste over a large area of the Guadiamar river basin, where, after rest...
Article
Methylmercury (MeHg) is the most bioavailable and toxic form of the globally distributed pollutant Hg. Organisms of higher trophic levels living in aquatic ecosystems have potentially higher concentrations of MeHg. In this work, we analysed both MeHg and inorganic Mercury (Hg(II)) concentrations from dorsal feathers of chicks from ten colonies of Y...
Article
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Objectives: Ecological similarity between species can lead to interspecific trophic competition. However, when ecologically similar species coexist, they may differ in foraging strategies and habitat use, which can lead to niche partitioning. As the body tissues of consumers contain a stable isotope signature that reflects the isotopic composition...
Article
The carotenoid-based colouration that many birds present may honestly reflect the quality of the bearer, as carotenoids have to be obtained through diet. These pigments are important for many physiological functions and individuals could find a trade-off between the allocation of carotenoids for these uses and their accumulation for secondary-sexua...
Article
The availability of food subsidies of anthropogenic origin has strong consequences on the trophic ecology and population dynamics of several opportunistic species. However, evidence suggests that the use of certain feeding sources is very local, and hence, potentially important food subsidies may have a relatively small area of influence, resulting...
Article
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Telomere shortening to a critical length can trigger aging and shorter life spans in mice and humans by a mechanism that involves induction of a persistent DNA damage response at chromosome ends and loss of cellular viability. However, whether telomere length is a universal determinant of species longevity is not known. To determine whether telomer...
Article
The ecology of opportunistic foragers can be highly dependent on anthropogenic food sources, such as landfills, resulting in changes in several ecological and demographic aspects. The total closure of several landfill sites and the use of deterrence systems to prevent access to the remaining open landfill sites in a region in the northern Iberian P...
Article
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Reversed Size Dimorphism (RSD), where female is larger than male, is common in several bird families, such as Brown booby (Sula leucogaster). One of the hypotheses to explain it, attributed to differences in diet between males and females. This work aims to explore foraging segregation in S. leucogaster breeding at Peña Blanca Island by measuring s...
Article
Stable isotope analysis is a widespread tool in ecological studies of diet composition and habitat use. In deserts, freshwater environments constitute threatened local hotspots of biodiversity. In these environments, stable isotopes may help to describe trophic ecology of top-predators. We examined stable carbon (δ¹³C) and nitrogen (δ¹⁵N) isotopes...
Article
Full-text available
The composition of organochlorine compounds (OCs), pentachlorobenzene (PeCB), hexachlorobenzene (HCB), hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), DDTs and polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs), has been analyzed in eggs from cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis) and little egret (Egretta garzetta), two species of herons (family Ardeidae), nesting at the same remote riverine envir...
Article
Eggs of Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea) were collected from three sampled sites inside the Ebro River basin in years 2006 and 2007. These sites were located besides (Flix), upstream (Aiguabarreig) and downstream (Delta) a chlor-alkali plant. Organochlorine compounds (OCs) such as dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes (DDTs), polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs), po...
Data
Figure S1. (A) Parameter estimate ± standard error for the logistic GLMM to fit the proportion of rice field positions over the total feeding positions. Weekends were used as a reference level in the analysis. (B) 95% CI of the estimated proportion of rice field positions derived from the model. Figure S2. (A) Parameter estimate ± standard error fo...
Article
The control of overabundant vertebrates is often problematic. Much work has focused on population-level responses and overabundance due to anthropogenic subsidies. However, far less work has been directed at investigating responses following the removal of subsidies. We investigate the consequences of two consecutive perturbations-closure of a land...
Article
Full-text available
Although the breeding ecology of Audouin’s gull has been widely studied, its spatial distribution patterns have received little attention. We assessed the foraging movements of 36 GPS-tracked adult Audouin’s gulls breeding at the Ebro Delta (NW Mediterranean), coinciding with the incubation period (May 2011). This also coincided with a trawling mor...
Article
Full-text available
Some seabird species have learnt to efficiently exploit fishing discards from trawling activities. However, a discard ban has been proposed as necessary in Europe to ensure the sustainability of the seas. It is of crucial importance for the management and conservation purposes to study the potential consequences of a discard ban on the foraging eco...
Chapter
Large numbers of seabirds are killed annually from marine oil spills. In recent decades, increased efforts have been made to document and reduce impacts of oil spills on seabirds, especially in the United States after the passage of the Oil Pollution Act in 1990. We provide an overview of various aspects of these recent developments. Key factors af...
Conference Paper
The control of overabundant vertebrates is often problematic. Much work has focused on population-level responses and overabundance due to anthropogenic subsidies. However, far less work has been directed at investigating responses following the removal of subsidies. We investigate the consequences of two consecutive perturbations, the closure of a...
Article
Full-text available
The yellow-legged gull Larus michahellis is usually considered as an opportunistic species that depends on food derived from anthropogenic activity, such as garbage and fishery discards. However, although it has become a problematic species in many Mediterranean countries, there is still no information about its status in Tunisia. The aim of this w...
Article
Full-text available
Background: In oligotrophic tropical marine environments, the main mechanism explaining the coexistence of sympatric seabirds is segregation by habitat or segregation by prey within the same habitat. Both types of segregation can play a role during the breeding season due to different constraints associated with different phases of the breeding cyc...
Article
Full-text available
Major oil spills can have long-term impacts since oil pollution does not only result in acute mortality of marine organisms, but also affects productivity levels, predator-prey dynamics, and damages habitats that support marine communities. However, despite the conservation implications of oil accidents, the monitoring and assessment of its lasting...
Article
Understanding how resources are allocated to form eggs is crucial to our better understanding of avian reproductive strategies. However, little is currently known about how egg synthesis in wild birds might be constrained by the availability of specific micronutrients. Here, we investigated the potential role of calcium (Ca) in constraining egg syn...
Article
Full-text available
The Birama Swamp is the second largest wetland in the Caribbean region and it is inhabited by large populations of waterbirds. Here we report, for the first time, the foraging ecology and pollutant levels of three Ardeidae species: Cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis), Snowy egret (Egretta thula), and Tricolored heron (E. tricolor) breeding in this wetland...
Article
Stable isotopes analyses (SIAs) are an efficient tool to obtain a general insight into the diet of generalist consumers, such as the Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis). Here we analysed δ(13)C, δ(15)N and δ(34)S values in feathers of chicks and adults, and used Bayesian triple-isotope mixing models to reconstruct the diet of a Yellow-legged Gul...
Article
Full-text available
The Flix reservoir, in the low course of the Ebro River, contains thousands of tons of polluted sediments, accumulated from the activities of a chemical factory. An ongoing project is working toward removing these pollutants. Piscivore birds like the purple heron (Ardea purpurea) may be useful bioindicators, so eggs and nestling feathers were sampl...
Article
Full-text available
Notwithstanding the potential applications of stable isotopes in feeding and migration studies, the simultaneous influence of diet, foraging behavior and spatial variation on the stable isotope signatures of seabirds is poorly understood. Many studies have interpreted their isotopic signatures without considering local baseline and prey isotopic si...
Article
Energy or nutritional constraints associated to female dietary shifts during the clutch production period may play a role in generating intra-clutch egg size variation in yellow-legged gulls Larus michahellis. To explore this possibility, we determined albumen δ13C and δ15N values in three-egg clutches (modal clutch size) from three different breed...
Article
Saltworks have emerged as important alternative/complementary feeding habitats for avifauna. However, the consequences of such habitat shifts in terms of changes in exposure to contaminants are poorly understood. We evaluated the exposure of the waterbird community breeding at the saltworks of Thyna (Tunisia) to total Hg (THg) and Se according to t...
Article
Full-text available
The Little Egret, Egretta garzetta, has breeding colonies in the island of Chikly (in the lake of Tunis) and in Thyna saltpans (in the gulf of Gabès), two important Tunisian wetlands that are strongly affected by anthropogenic activity. Here, we used E. garzetta chick feathers for environmental monitoring of breeding grounds of this species. Since...
Article
Asymmetry between males and females in the energy they invest initially in reproduction has resulted in the evolution of differing reproductive strategies (caring females vs. competitive males). However, parental care in many birds is shared by both sexes suggesting that male energy expenditure in agonistic behaviors and courtship feeding might com...
Article
Full-text available
The widespread omnivory of consumers and the trophic complexity of marine ecosystems make it difficult to infer the feeding ecology of species. The use of stable isotopic analysis plays a crucial role in elucidating trophic interactions. Here we analysed δ15N, δ13C and δ34S in chick feathers, and we used a Bayesian triple-isotope mixing model to re...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of the study was to describe Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis chick diet in the southeast Bay of Biscay. Sampling was carried out in three colonies (Ulía, Santa Clara, Guetaria) in Gipuzkoa, northern Iberia, during the breeding seasons of 2007 and 2008. Regurgitates (n = 70) were collected from chicks of c. 20 days old when they were ri...
Article
Blood biomarkers and levels of major pollutants in eggs and feathers were used to determine pollution effects in nestlings of the Purple Heron Ardea purpurea and the Little Egret Egretta garzetta, sampled on three Ebro River (NE Spain) areas: a reference site, a site affected by the effluents of a chlor-alkali industry and the river Delta. The two...
Article
We used Yellow-legged Gull (YLG) chicks to monitor trace elements in Tunisian areas subject to different pollution stresses: urban contamination (Chikly), industrial pollution (Thyna) and an unpolluted area (Kneis). We measured trace element concentrations (Hg, Se and Pb) in chick feathers. We also assessed their feeding ecology by analyzing both r...
Article
Full-text available
Feathers of seabirds are widely used as a nondestructive tissue for pollution monitoring of trace elements, as well as convenient samples for trophic ecology studies by means of stable isotope analysis (SIA). Nevertheless, feathers can be occasionally impregnated with oil from deliberate ship discharges and from massive oil spill accidents. The fea...
Article
1. We examined whether egg fatty acid (FA) profiles and stable isotopes (SIA) could be used in a comparative way to infer the diet of two aquatic bird species with contrasting feeding habits: a surface forager, the pheasant-tailed jacana (Hydrophasianus chirurgus), and a pursuit-diving forager, the little cormorant (Phalacrocorax niger), at Haleji...
Article
Full-text available
In recent decades, the Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis) has become a problematic species in many Mediterranean countries, mainly because it interferes with human interests. However, this gull also has a negative impact on several other bird species, many of which are classified as endangered. Two different European Union Action Plans are curr...
Article
Full-text available
Accurate determination of feeding habits using only conventional dietary analysis is usually difficult, due to both biases caused by prey digestibility differences and to the discrete aspect of the sampling. However, combining conventional methods with stable isotope analysis provides an integrated view of the assimilated diet. Here, we measured st...
Article
Full-text available
Para comprender mejor la conectividad migratoria entre las poblaciones reproductivas y no reproductivas de Larus audouinii hemos analizado el mercurio (Hg) y los isótopos estables de nitrógeno (δ15N), carbono (δ13C) y azufre (δ34S) en muestras de dos colonias de cría: Delta del Ebro (Noreste España) e Islas Chafarinas (Suroeste Mediterráneo). Aunqu...
Article
Full-text available
In recent decades, the Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis) has become a problematic species in many Mediterranean countries, mainly because it interferes with human interests. However, this gull also has a negative impact on several other bird species, many of which are classified as endangered. Two different European Union Action Plans are curr...
Article
The Prestige oil spill resulted in the mortality of several seabird species on the Atlantic NW coast of Spain. Shag casualties were particularly relevant, since populations are resident in the area the whole year round and because of several features which make them highly vulnerable to environmental hazards. Ecological catastrophes give us the opp...
Article
The frequency of micronuclei (MN) in peripheral erythrocytes was tested for 59 heron nestlings (Ardea purpurea, Egretta garzetta and Bubulcus ibis) sampled at two areas (polluted and reference) on the River Ebro (NE Spain) and at its Delta during Spring 2006. Flow-cytometry analysis revealed higher (three- to six-fold) MN counts in samples from the...
Article
Mercury levels of Audouin's gull are amongst the highest for Mediterranean seabirds, and have been mainly attributed to its piscivorous habits in these naturally Hg rich waters. Moreover, two additional factors could enhance its mercury intake: the consumption of discarded fish (which attain higher concentrations) and/or feeding in areas receiving...
Article
Full-text available
To better understand migratory connectivity between breeding and nonbreeding populations, we analyzed mercury (Hg) and stable isotope signatures of nitrogen (δ15N), carbon (δ13C), and sulfur (δ34S) in Audouin's Gulls (Larus audouinii) breeding in two different colonies, the Ebro Delta (northeastern Spain) and the Chafarinas Islands (southwestern Me...
Article
Full-text available
We have studied the breeding parameters, organochlorine compounds (OCs) concentrations, and fatty acid (FA) composition of egg yolks (n = 47) and plasma (n = 90) of common terns (Sterna hirundo) from two colonies (Banya and Fangar) in the Ebro delta, NE Spain. Terns from Banya tend to have smaller clutch size and lower hatching success than terns f...
Article
The concentrations of PCBs, DDTs, HCHs, HCB and OCS were determined in sediments and associated biota, both invertebrates (Physella acuta, Hirudo medicinalis, chironomid larvae, Hydrous pistaceus, Helochares lividus) and vertebrates (Rana perezi), in a temporary aquatic system, a rice field in the Ebro Delta (NE Spain). The qualitative and quantita...
Article
Full-text available
Environments in Pakistan are subject to increasing pollution, but previous studies were very scanty. During 1999 and 2000, we assessed trace element contamination at three wetlands, Karachi Harbour (with presumed industrial-urban pollution), Taunsa Barrage (agricultural pollution), and Haleji Lake (relatively unpolluted), using as indicators the eg...
Article
Full-text available
The main goal of the present work has been to study the use of egret eggs to assess environmental pollution by POPs (HCB, HCHs, cyclodienes, DDTs and PCBs) in three Pakistani wetlands that are presumed to be affected by different types of pollution. Taunsa Barrage, affected mainly by agricultural pollutants; Karachi Harbor because of the supposed e...
Article
Full-text available
We analysed concentrations of cadmium, lead, mercury and selenium in blood from males and females of the 2 sibling species of giant petrels, the northern Macronectes halli and the southern M. giganteus, breeding sympatrically at Bird Island (South Georgia, Antarctica). Blood samples were collected in 1998 during the incubation period, from 5 Novemb...