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Trace elements in blood of sea ducks from Dutch Harbor and Izembek Lagoon, Alaska

December 31, 2022

In 2001, we collected whole blood from sea ducks (Steller’s eider Polysticta stelleri, harlequin duck Histrionicus histrionicus, black scoter Melanitta nigra, and long-tailed duck Clangula hyemalis) wintering at Dutch Harbor, Alaska, and from Steller’s eiders molting at Izembek Lagoon on the Alaska Peninsula. Blood samples were analyzed for 19 trace elements, of which 17 were detected in one or more samples. In Steller’s eiders, mean concentrations of six trace elements (As, B, Fe, Hg, Se, Mo) were greater at Dutch Harbor and mean concentrations of four trace elements (Cr, Cu, Mg, Zn) were greater at Izembek Lagoon. Among sea ducks at Dutch Harbor, mean concentrations of five trace elements (Cu, Hg, Se, Zn, V) differed by species. Steller’s eiders had greater concentrations of Cu, Zn, and V in their blood, black scoters had the highest Se, and harlequin ducks had the highest Hg, with a mean concentration slightly above a threshold effect level. One Steller’s eider and one harlequin duck from Dutch Harbor had blood Pb levels above background concentrations. We have no observations to indicate that concentrations of these trace elements were associated with adverse effects.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2022
Title Trace elements in blood of sea ducks from Dutch Harbor and Izembek Lagoon, Alaska
DOI 10.3996/JFWM-21-065
Authors J. Christian Franson, Tuula E. Hollmen, Paul L. Flint, Angela C. Matz
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management
Index ID 70239806
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Alaska Science Center; National Wildlife Health Center

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