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Biological Concentration of Cadmium in Estuarine Birds of the New York Bight

Michael Gochfeld and Joanna Burger
Colonial Waterbirds
Vol. 5 (1982), pp. 116-123
Published by: Waterbird Society
DOI: 10.2307/1521042
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1521042
Page Count: 8
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Biological Concentration of Cadmium in Estuarine Birds of the New York Bight
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Abstract

Four species of estuarine birds, Black Duck (Anas rubripes), Greater Scaup (Aythya marila), Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) and Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) from Raritan Bay, New Jersey and adjacent beach areas were analyzed for cadmium (Cd) content of livers and stomach contents to determine Concentration Factors (CFs) and whether biological amplification occurred. Cd levels in liver ranged from 254 to 2417 parts per billion (ppb, wet weight). Terns, higher on the food chain than the other species showed the highest absolute mean levels, providing evidence for biological amplification. Terns also had slightly higher CFs than did the other species. CFs ranged from 6.1 to 9.5, being comparable to those found for mercury (Hg), which is known to occur in lipophilic organic form. CFs for Cd tended to be higher than those reported for lead. The role of protein-binding to metallothioneins is considered an important mechanism accounting for concentration and amplification, although the possible occurrence of small amounts of organic Cd in nature can neither be ruled out nor ignored.

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