[MARMAM] New paper on blue whale chemical profiles

Trumble, Stephen J. Stephen_Trumble at baylor.edu
Thu Sep 19 11:51:38 PDT 2013

Please be alerted to the following publication in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (early online edition)

Blue whale earplug reveals lifetime contaminant exposure and hormone profiles

Stephen J. Trumble, Eleanor M. Robinson, Michelle Berman-Kowalewski, Charles W. Potter, and Sascha Usenko


Lifetime contaminant and hormonal profiles have been reconstructed
for an individual male blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus,
Linnaeus 1758) using the earplug as a natural aging matrix
that is also capable of archiving and preserving lipophilic compounds.
These unprecedented lifetime profiles (i.e., birth to death)
were reconstructed with a 6-mo resolution for a wide range of
analytes including cortisol (stress hormone), testosterone (developmental
hormone), organic contaminants (e.g., pesticides and
flame retardants), and mercury. Cortisol lifetime profiles revealed
a doubling of cortisol levels over baseline. Testosterone profiles
suggest this male blue whale reached sexual maturity at approximately
10 y of age, which corresponds well with and improves on
previous estimates. Early periods of the reconstructed contaminant
profiles for pesticides (such as dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes
and chlordanes), polychlorinated biphenyls, and polybrominated
diphenyl ethers demonstrate significant maternal transfer occurred
at 0-12 mo. The total lifetime organic contaminant burden measured
between the earplug (sum of contaminants in laminae layers) and
blubber samples from the same organism were similar. Total mercury
profiles revealed reduced maternal transfer and two distinct
pulse events compared with organic contaminants. The use of
a whale earplug to reconstruct lifetime chemical profiles will allow
for a more comprehensive examination of stress, development, and
contaminant exposure, as well as improve the assessment of contaminant
use/emission, environmental noise, ship traffic, and climate
change on these important marine sentinels.

[Doc - Apr 16, 2012 14-09.jpg]

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