Heavy metals and other inorganic elements (mainly from anthropogenic sources) have an increased impact on marine wildlife. Sea turtles are considered sentinels of ecological health in marine ecosystems. Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) population from Cape Verde is the second largest population of this species in the Atlantic and the third in the world. In this picture to know baseline levels of the most physiologically or toxicologically relevant inorganic elements is mandatory. For this purpose concentrations of 11 inorganic elements (Cu, Mn, Pb, Zn, Cd, Ni, Cr, As, Al, Hg, and Se) were assessed in a large sample of loggerhead sea turtles from a nesting colony of BoaVista Island, Cape Verde, (Eastern Atlantic). 201 female turtles were sampled and levels of inorganic elements were measured with Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optic Emission Spectrometry technique (ICP-OES) using a Perkin Elmer Optima 2100 DV instrument, coupled with a CETAC U5000AT+ ultrasound nebulizer for mercury. It has to be highlighted that all the samples (100%) showed detectable levels of the 11 elements quantified, and only one sample showed levels of mercury below the limit of detection. The most prevalent elements in blood were the essential elements Zn and Se reaching median values in blood as high as 6.05 and 2.28 μg/g, respectively. Other essentials elements, such as Cu, Cr, and Mn were also present, but at lower levels (0.50, 0.08, and 0.02 μg/g, respectively). The median concentration of the most toxic metals Cd, Pb, and Hg, were 0.24, 0.06, and 0.03 μg/g, respectively. In addition, the metalloid As was present at levels of 0.38 μg/g. Having into account the large number of animals involved in this study we can assure that these figures represent the basal levels of these inorganic elements in healthy nesting loggerhead sea turtles, and, as a consequence, these values may be used as reference in future studies involving such population. Additionally, our study reinforce the utility of blood as an excellent sample to monitoring, in a relatively non-invasive way, levels of contamination by toxic inorganic elements in sea turtles.

Basal levels of inorganic elements healthy nesting loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta): results from a large study on the nesting colony of Boa Vista Island (Cape Verde)

ZACCARONI, ANNALISA;SILVI, MARINA;
2013

Abstract

Heavy metals and other inorganic elements (mainly from anthropogenic sources) have an increased impact on marine wildlife. Sea turtles are considered sentinels of ecological health in marine ecosystems. Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) population from Cape Verde is the second largest population of this species in the Atlantic and the third in the world. In this picture to know baseline levels of the most physiologically or toxicologically relevant inorganic elements is mandatory. For this purpose concentrations of 11 inorganic elements (Cu, Mn, Pb, Zn, Cd, Ni, Cr, As, Al, Hg, and Se) were assessed in a large sample of loggerhead sea turtles from a nesting colony of BoaVista Island, Cape Verde, (Eastern Atlantic). 201 female turtles were sampled and levels of inorganic elements were measured with Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optic Emission Spectrometry technique (ICP-OES) using a Perkin Elmer Optima 2100 DV instrument, coupled with a CETAC U5000AT+ ultrasound nebulizer for mercury. It has to be highlighted that all the samples (100%) showed detectable levels of the 11 elements quantified, and only one sample showed levels of mercury below the limit of detection. The most prevalent elements in blood were the essential elements Zn and Se reaching median values in blood as high as 6.05 and 2.28 μg/g, respectively. Other essentials elements, such as Cu, Cr, and Mn were also present, but at lower levels (0.50, 0.08, and 0.02 μg/g, respectively). The median concentration of the most toxic metals Cd, Pb, and Hg, were 0.24, 0.06, and 0.03 μg/g, respectively. In addition, the metalloid As was present at levels of 0.38 μg/g. Having into account the large number of animals involved in this study we can assure that these figures represent the basal levels of these inorganic elements in healthy nesting loggerhead sea turtles, and, as a consequence, these values may be used as reference in future studies involving such population. Additionally, our study reinforce the utility of blood as an excellent sample to monitoring, in a relatively non-invasive way, levels of contamination by toxic inorganic elements in sea turtles.
Workshop on Biology and Ecotoxicology of large marine certebrates and seabirds: potential sentinels of Good Environmental Status of marine environment, implication on European marine Strategy Framework Directive
56
57
A. Zaccaroni; M. Silvi; O.P. Luzardo; L.D. Boada; C. Formigaro; J. Orós; M. Zumbado; M. Camacho
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/157037
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