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Survival rate and breeding outputs in a high Arctic seabird exposed to legacy persistent organic pollutants and mercury

Abstract : Chronic exposure to pollutants may represent a threat for wildlife. We tested whether adult survival rate, breeding probability and breeding success the year of sampling and the following year were affected by blood levels of mercury or persistent organic pollutants in Svalbard black-legged kittiwake Rissa tridactyla, by using capture–mark–recapture models over a five-year period. Survival rate was negatively linked to HCB levels in females, to chlordane mixture and oxychlordane, tended to decrease with increasing PCBs or DDE levels, but was unrelated to mercury. Breeding probability decreased with increasing mercury levels during the sampling year and with increasing CHL or HCB levels during the following year, especially in males observed as breeders. Surprisingly, the probability of raising two chicks increased with increasing HCB levels. Although levels of these legacy pollutants are expected to decline, they represent a potential threat for adult survival rate and breeding probability, possibly affecting kittiwake population dynamics.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - 3:11:38 PM
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Aurélie Goutte, Christophe Barbraud, Dorte Herzke, Paco Bustamante, Frédéric Angelier, et al.. Survival rate and breeding outputs in a high Arctic seabird exposed to legacy persistent organic pollutants and mercury. Environmental Pollution, Elsevier, 2015, 200, pp.1-9. ⟨10.1016/j.envpol.2015.01.033⟩. ⟨hal-01118127⟩

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