Persistent organic pollutants in the green sea turtle Chelonia mydas: nesting population variation, maternal transfer, and effects on development

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Title Persistent organic pollutants in the green sea turtle Chelonia mydas: nesting population variation, maternal transfer, and effects on development
Author van de Merwe, Jason; Hodge, Mary; Whittier, Joan M.; Ibrahim, Kamarruddin; Lee, Shing Yip
Journal Name Marine Ecology Progress Series
Year Published 2010
Place of publication Germany
Publisher Inter-Research
Abstract Persistent organic pollutants (POPs), such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), have a wide range of toxic effects on humans and wildlife, and have been reported in a number of endangered sea turtle populations. The present study screened for POPs in a green sea turtle Chelonia mydas population in Peninsular Malaysia and investigated the maternal transfer and effects of POPs on embryonic development. At the Ma'Daerah Turtle Sanctuary, blood, eggs and hatchling blood were collected from 11 nesting female C. mydas. Samples were analysed for 83 PCBs, 23 OCPs and 19 PBDEs using gas chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry. The chemical profiles of eggs from individual turtles were significantly different, indicating variable contaminant uptake during foraging. There was evidence of maternal transfer of POPs to eggs and hatchlings, with significant correlations in sum of PCBs (ΣPCB), sum of PBDEs (ΣPBDE), γ-hexachlorocyclohexane (γ-HCH), trans-chlordane and mirex concentrations between maternal blood and eggs (p < 0.05, R2 < 0.71), between eggs and hatchling blood (p < 0.05, R2 < 0.83), and between maternal and hatchling blood (p < 0.05, R2 < 0.61). In addition, there was congener-specific transfer of PCBs with less lipophilic congeners (e.g. PCB 99) more readily transferred to hatchlings than the more lipophilic congeners (e.g. PCBs 180 + 193). There was also a significant correlation between increasing egg POP concentration and decreasing hatchling mass:length ratio. POPs may therefore have subtle effects on the development of C. mydas eggs, which may compromise offshore dispersal and predator avoidance.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Alternative URI http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/meps08462
Volume 403
Page from 269
Page to 278
ISSN 0171-8630
Date Accessioned 2010-06-04
Date Available 2010-08-31T07:49:12Z
Language en_AU
Research Centre Australian Rivers Institute
Faculty Faculty of Science, Environment, Engineering and Technology
Subject Environmental Monitoring; Wildlife and Habitat Management
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/33176
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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