Geographical and temporal variation in levels of organochlorine contaminants in marine mammals

A. Aguilar, A. Borrell, P.J.H. Reijnders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

163 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The interpretation of the spatial and temporal patterns of variation in organochlorine concentrations in marine mammal populations is complex because of the lack of wide-scale, long-term surveys. Therefore the results from several surveys must be combined and this causes undesired heterogeneity due to differences in the sampling and analytical techniques used and in the biological characteristics of the individuals sampled. Moreover, information is not homogeneously distributed in either space or in time. Most research is concentrated in western Europe, northern America and certain areas of Asia, while it is extremely limited or non-existent in Africa and most regions of the southern hemisphere. Marine mammals from the temperate fringe of the northern hemisphere, particularly fish-eating species which inhabit the mid-latitudes of Europe and North America, show the greatest organochlorine loads; noteworthy are the extremely high levels found in the Mediterranean Sea and certain locations on the western coasts of the United States. Concentrations in the tropical and equatorial fringe of the northern hemisphere and throughout the southern hemisphere are low or extremely low. The polar regions of both hemispheres showed the lowest concentrations of DDTs and PCBs, although levels of HCHs, chlordanes and HCB were moderate to high in the cold waters of the North Pacific. During recent decades, concentrations have tended to decrease in the regions where pollution was initially high but they have increased in regions located far from the pollution source as a consequence of atmospheric transport and redistribution. It is expected that the Arctic and, to a lesser extent, the Antarctic, will become major sinks for organochlorines in the future; this process may already be significant for some compounds such as HCB and HCHs. Effort should be devoted to both assessment of organochlorine trends in the now highly polluted populations of the temperate fringe of the northern hemisphere and to the implementationof long-term monitoring of marine mammal populations inhabiting polar regions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-452
JournalMarine Environmental Research
Volume53
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Fingerprint

Mammals
marine mammal
marine mammals
geographical variation
organochlorine
temporal variation
Polar Regions
Impurities
Northern Hemisphere
pollutant
hexachlorobenzene
Pollution
polar region
HCH
pollution
Southern Hemisphere
chlordane
Western European region
Polychlorinated biphenyls
Mediterranean Sea

Keywords

  • fauna

Cite this

@article{8f771089df4543d7bcbf60355be74a45,
title = "Geographical and temporal variation in levels of organochlorine contaminants in marine mammals",
abstract = "The interpretation of the spatial and temporal patterns of variation in organochlorine concentrations in marine mammal populations is complex because of the lack of wide-scale, long-term surveys. Therefore the results from several surveys must be combined and this causes undesired heterogeneity due to differences in the sampling and analytical techniques used and in the biological characteristics of the individuals sampled. Moreover, information is not homogeneously distributed in either space or in time. Most research is concentrated in western Europe, northern America and certain areas of Asia, while it is extremely limited or non-existent in Africa and most regions of the southern hemisphere. Marine mammals from the temperate fringe of the northern hemisphere, particularly fish-eating species which inhabit the mid-latitudes of Europe and North America, show the greatest organochlorine loads; noteworthy are the extremely high levels found in the Mediterranean Sea and certain locations on the western coasts of the United States. Concentrations in the tropical and equatorial fringe of the northern hemisphere and throughout the southern hemisphere are low or extremely low. The polar regions of both hemispheres showed the lowest concentrations of DDTs and PCBs, although levels of HCHs, chlordanes and HCB were moderate to high in the cold waters of the North Pacific. During recent decades, concentrations have tended to decrease in the regions where pollution was initially high but they have increased in regions located far from the pollution source as a consequence of atmospheric transport and redistribution. It is expected that the Arctic and, to a lesser extent, the Antarctic, will become major sinks for organochlorines in the future; this process may already be significant for some compounds such as HCB and HCHs. Effort should be devoted to both assessment of organochlorine trends in the now highly polluted populations of the temperate fringe of the northern hemisphere and to the implementationof long-term monitoring of marine mammal populations inhabiting polar regions.",
keywords = "fauna, fauna, milieuverontreiniging, zeezoogdieren",
author = "A. Aguilar and A. Borrell and P.J.H. Reijnders",
year = "2002",
doi = "10.1016/S0141-1136(01)00128-3",
language = "English",
volume = "53",
pages = "425--452",
journal = "Marine Environmental Research",
issn = "0141-1136",
publisher = "Elsevier",
number = "5",

}

Geographical and temporal variation in levels of organochlorine contaminants in marine mammals. / Aguilar, A.; Borrell, A.; Reijnders, P.J.H.

In: Marine Environmental Research, Vol. 53, No. 5, 2002, p. 425-452.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Geographical and temporal variation in levels of organochlorine contaminants in marine mammals

AU - Aguilar, A.

AU - Borrell, A.

AU - Reijnders, P.J.H.

PY - 2002

Y1 - 2002

N2 - The interpretation of the spatial and temporal patterns of variation in organochlorine concentrations in marine mammal populations is complex because of the lack of wide-scale, long-term surveys. Therefore the results from several surveys must be combined and this causes undesired heterogeneity due to differences in the sampling and analytical techniques used and in the biological characteristics of the individuals sampled. Moreover, information is not homogeneously distributed in either space or in time. Most research is concentrated in western Europe, northern America and certain areas of Asia, while it is extremely limited or non-existent in Africa and most regions of the southern hemisphere. Marine mammals from the temperate fringe of the northern hemisphere, particularly fish-eating species which inhabit the mid-latitudes of Europe and North America, show the greatest organochlorine loads; noteworthy are the extremely high levels found in the Mediterranean Sea and certain locations on the western coasts of the United States. Concentrations in the tropical and equatorial fringe of the northern hemisphere and throughout the southern hemisphere are low or extremely low. The polar regions of both hemispheres showed the lowest concentrations of DDTs and PCBs, although levels of HCHs, chlordanes and HCB were moderate to high in the cold waters of the North Pacific. During recent decades, concentrations have tended to decrease in the regions where pollution was initially high but they have increased in regions located far from the pollution source as a consequence of atmospheric transport and redistribution. It is expected that the Arctic and, to a lesser extent, the Antarctic, will become major sinks for organochlorines in the future; this process may already be significant for some compounds such as HCB and HCHs. Effort should be devoted to both assessment of organochlorine trends in the now highly polluted populations of the temperate fringe of the northern hemisphere and to the implementationof long-term monitoring of marine mammal populations inhabiting polar regions.

AB - The interpretation of the spatial and temporal patterns of variation in organochlorine concentrations in marine mammal populations is complex because of the lack of wide-scale, long-term surveys. Therefore the results from several surveys must be combined and this causes undesired heterogeneity due to differences in the sampling and analytical techniques used and in the biological characteristics of the individuals sampled. Moreover, information is not homogeneously distributed in either space or in time. Most research is concentrated in western Europe, northern America and certain areas of Asia, while it is extremely limited or non-existent in Africa and most regions of the southern hemisphere. Marine mammals from the temperate fringe of the northern hemisphere, particularly fish-eating species which inhabit the mid-latitudes of Europe and North America, show the greatest organochlorine loads; noteworthy are the extremely high levels found in the Mediterranean Sea and certain locations on the western coasts of the United States. Concentrations in the tropical and equatorial fringe of the northern hemisphere and throughout the southern hemisphere are low or extremely low. The polar regions of both hemispheres showed the lowest concentrations of DDTs and PCBs, although levels of HCHs, chlordanes and HCB were moderate to high in the cold waters of the North Pacific. During recent decades, concentrations have tended to decrease in the regions where pollution was initially high but they have increased in regions located far from the pollution source as a consequence of atmospheric transport and redistribution. It is expected that the Arctic and, to a lesser extent, the Antarctic, will become major sinks for organochlorines in the future; this process may already be significant for some compounds such as HCB and HCHs. Effort should be devoted to both assessment of organochlorine trends in the now highly polluted populations of the temperate fringe of the northern hemisphere and to the implementationof long-term monitoring of marine mammal populations inhabiting polar regions.

KW - fauna

KW - fauna

KW - milieuverontreiniging

KW - zeezoogdieren

U2 - 10.1016/S0141-1136(01)00128-3

DO - 10.1016/S0141-1136(01)00128-3

M3 - Article

VL - 53

SP - 425

EP - 452

JO - Marine Environmental Research

JF - Marine Environmental Research

SN - 0141-1136

IS - 5

ER -