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An Exploration of Pesticides in a Lake Michigan Ecosystem

Joseph J. Hickey, J. A. Keith and Francis B. Coon
Journal of Applied Ecology
Vol. 3, Supplement: Pesticides in the Environment and Their Effects on Wildlife. (Jun., 1966), pp. 141-154
DOI: 10.2307/2401453
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2401453
Page Count: 14
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An Exploration of Pesticides in a Lake Michigan Ecosystem
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Abstract

Organochlorine residues in the Green Bay area of north-west Lake Michigan have been investigated. Analyses have been made of: (1) shallow and deep water mud samples, (2) the amphipod Pontoporeia affinis which is an important food source for fishes, (3) Alewives, Whitefish and Chub, and (4) Old-squaw Ducks, Ring-billed Gulls and Herring Gulls. This preliminary study shows the biological concentration of pesticides previously reported for smaller lakes. In Pontoporeia the concentration factor is about 50 times that of the residue level in mud (DDE increases most), and in fish this factor is increased roughly 10 times more still. Among birds, all of which spend part of their life cycle off Lake Michigan, organochlorine levels were progressively higher in brain, breast and body fat; m Old-squaw Ducks, Ring-billed Gulls and Herring Gulls; and in adult as opposed to younger birds. Body fat averaged 2441 ± 334 ppm of the three compounds in twelve Herring Gulls collected in June and in a seemingly healthy condition.

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