Trace and rare earth elements in excreta of two species of marine mammals from South Shetland Islands, Antarctica

José E. Celis, Winfred Espejo, Gustavo Chiang, Daiki Kitamura, Elvira Vergara, Shosaku Kashiwada, Nelson J. O'Driscoll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Pinnipeds are sentinel species for marine pollution, but their role as vectors of trace elements (TEs) or rare earth elements (REEs) to ecosystems has been poorly studied. The present study tested pinniped feces for 61 elements, including REEs. Feces of adult seals (Mirounga leonina, Hydrurga leptonyx) from Fildes Bay, King George Island, Antarctica, were analyzed by ICP-MS. TEs varied by several orders of magnitude across the suite examined herein, with Fe, Al, Zn, Mn, HgII and Sr as the top six in both species. Of the REEs, Ce, Dy, Er, Eu, Gd, Ho, La, Lu, Nd, Pr, Sc, Sm, Tb, Y and Yb were found consistently in all samples and ranged from 0.935 to 0.006 μg g−1 d.w. The results show that both species act as biovector organisms of TEs and REEs through feces in remote environments, whose actual impacts and long-term fate need further exploration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114095
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume183
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

Keywords

  • Elephant seal
  • Emerging contaminants
  • Feces
  • Leopard seal
  • Metals
  • Southern Ocean

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution

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