Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Changes in polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) exposure in tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) nesting along the Sheboygan River, WI, USA

July 1, 2014

Exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) eggs on the Sheboygan River, Wisconsin in the 1990s was higher at sites downstream (geometric means = 3.33–8.69 μg/g wet wt.) of the putative PCB source in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin than it was above the source (1.24 μg/g) with the exposure declining as the distance downstream of the source increased. A similar pattern of declining exposure was present in the 2010s as well. Although exposure to PCBs in eggs along the Sheboygan River at sites downstream of Sheboygan Falls has declined by ~60 % since the mid-1990s (8.69 down to 3.27 μg/g) there still seems to be residual pockets of contamination that are exposing some individuals (~25 %) to PCB contamination, similar to exposure found in the 1990s. The exposure patterns in eggs and nestlings among sites, and the changes between the two decades, are further validated by accumulation rate information.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2014
Title Changes in polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) exposure in tree swallows (<i>Tachycineta bicolor</i>) nesting along the Sheboygan River, WI, USA
DOI 10.1007/s10646-014-1286-7
Authors Christine M. Custer, Thomas W. Custer, Sean M. Strom, Kathleen A. Patnode, J. Christian Franson
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Ecotoxicology
Index ID 70133047
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization National Wildlife Health Center, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, Contaminant Biology Program