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Title: Trace elements in faeces of great tit nestlings in relation to breeding performance in coastal areas in central Portugal
Author: Costa, R. A.
Eeva, T.
Eira, C.
Vaqueiro, J.
Vingada, J. V.
Issue Date: Nov-2012
Publisher: Springer
Abstract: This long-term study (2003-2010) compared the breeding parameters of great tits living in a paper-and-pulp-industry area to those of great tits living in a rural area on the west coast of Portugal. We also measured the abundance of caterpillar biomass, an important food source and determinant of breeding success for tits. In 2009, we further analysed trace metal [arsenic (As), calcium (Ca), cadmium, copper, mercury (Hg), nickel, lead, selenium, and zinc] as well as Ca concentrations in excrement of 15-day-old great tit nestlings. Generally, for most trace metals, fecal concentrations were similar at both sites. Nonetheless, greater Hg levels and lower As levels were detected in the industrial area. Great tits laid more eggs and produced more fledglings in the industrial area than in the rural area. Caterpillar biomass was also greater in the industrial area, which likely explains the better breeding success. Our results suggest that there are no direct effects of emissions on the studied species.
Peer review: yes
DOI: 10.1007/s00244-012-9798-8
ISSN: 0090-4341
Appears in Collections:CESAM - Artigos
DBio - Artigos

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