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Ecotoxicological and pathological studies of common guillemots Uria aalge beached on the Belgian coast during six successive wintering periods (1989-90 to 1994-95)
Debacker, V.; Holsbeek, L.; Tapia, G.; Gobert, S.; Joiris, C.R.; Jauniaux, T.; Coignoul, F.; Bouquegneau, J.-M. (1997). Ecotoxicological and pathological studies of common guillemots Uria aalge beached on the Belgian coast during six successive wintering periods (1989-90 to 1994-95). Dis. Aquat. Org. 29(3): 159-168
In: Diseases of Aquatic Organisms. Inter Research: Oldendorf/Luhe. ISSN 0177-5103; e-ISSN 1616-1580, meer
Peer reviewed article  

Beschikbaar in  Auteurs 

Trefwoorden
    Aquatic organisms > Marine organisms > Aquatic birds > Marine birds
    Fish kill > Winterkill
    Pathology
    Population functions > Mortality
    Stranding
    Toxicology > Ecotoxicology
    Uria aalge (Pontoppidan, 1763) [WoRMS]
    ANE, België, Belgische kust [Marine Regions]
    Marien

Auteurs  Top 
  • Debacker, V., meer
  • Holsbeek, L., meer
  • Tapia, G.
  • Gobert, S., meer
  • Joiris, C.R., meer
  • Jauniaux, T., meer
  • Coignoul, F., meer
  • Bouquegneau, J.-M., meer

Abstract
    During 6 successive wintering periods, 727 common guillemots Uria aalge were recovered from Belgian beaches. One-third of the birds were already dead; the rest passed through rehabilitation centres where they eventually died. All birds were monitored for general condition (body mass, fat reserves), eventual status of oiling and pathological changes (cachexia, acute hemorrhagic gastroenteropathy); 339 birds were sampled for trace metals (total and organic Hg, Cu, Zn, Fe, Cd) and PCB (polychlorinated biphenyl) analysis. Oiling is still a major cause of death for wintering pelagic seabirds: half of the birds showed signs of external or internal oiling, probably a still greater number of oiled birds never reach the shores. Although a low body mass can be considered a normal winter condition for wintering guillemots, pathology results showed that three-quarters of the studied animals were in a state of cachexia with emaciated pectoral muscle and lowered muscle lipid content. Elevated levels of Cu, Zn, Hg and PCBs were linked to the state of cachexia and may well represent an additional stress factor leading to the debilitation and death of part of the wintering guillemot population.

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