Individual-based model framework to assess population consequences of polychlorinated biphenyl exposure in bottlenose dolphins

A.J. Hall, B.J. McConnell, T.K. Rowles, A. Aguilar, A. Borrell, L. Schwacke, P.J.H. Reijnders, R. Wells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Marine mammals are susceptible to the effects of anthropogenic contaminants. Here we examine the effect of different polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) accumulation scenarios on potential population growth rates using, as an example, data obtained for the population of bottlenose dolphins from Sarasota Bay, Florida. To achieve this goal, we developed an individual-based model framework that simulates the accumulation of PCBs in the population and modifies first-year calf survival based on maternal blubber PCB levels. In our example the current estimated annual PCB accumulation rate for the Sarasota Bay dolphin population might be depressing the potential population growth rate. However, our predictions are limited both by model naivety and parameter uncertainty. We emphasize the need for more data collection on the relationship between maternal blubber PCB levels and calf survivorship, the annual accumulation of PCBs in the blubber of females, and the transfer of PCBs to the calf through the placenta and during lactation. Such data require continued efforts directed toward long-term studies of known individuals in wild and semiwild populations. Keywords: calf survival, endocrine disruption, risk assessment
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-64
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Volume114
Issue numberSuppl. 1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Keywords

  • lawrence beluga whales
  • tursiops-truncatus
  • marine mammals
  • organochlorine contaminants
  • coastal waters
  • seals
  • pcbs
  • reproduction
  • porpoises
  • responses

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