[MARMAM] New paper on Mercury and Selenium in Commerson's dolphins

Iris Cáceres-Saez caceres.saez at gmail.com
Fri Aug 7 10:00:15 PDT 2015

Dear Colleagues,

We finally be able to share our new paper with you (published in

*The skin of Commerson's dolphins (Cephalorhynchus commersonii**) as a
biomonitor of mercury and selenium in Subantarctic waters.* CÁCERES-SAEZ I,
*Chemosphere* 138: 735-743.


The skin of bycaught Commerson’s dolphins was tested for mercury (Hg) and
selenium (Se) biomonitoring in Subantarctic environments. The correlation
of levels detected in the skin with those found in internal tissues – lung,
liver, kidney and muscle – was assessed to evaluate how skin represents
internal Hg and Se distribution for monitoring purposes. Mercury in skin
had a concentration range of 0.68–3.11 μg g−1 dry weight (DW), while Se had
a higher concentration range of 74.3–124.5 μg g−1 DW. There was no
significant correlation between selenium levels in any of the analyzed
tissues. Thus, the skin selenium concentration did not reflect the tissular
Se levels and did not provide information for biomonitoring. The lack of
correlation is explained by the biological role of Se, provided that each
tissue regulates Se levels according to physiological needs. However, the
skin Hg level had significant positive correlation with the levels in
internal tissues (ANOVA p < 0.05), particularly with that of muscle (R2 =
0.79; ANOVA p = 0.0008). Thus, this correlation permits the estimation of
Hg content in muscle based on the multiplication of skin biopsy levels by a
factor of 1.85. Mercury bioindication using skin biopsies is a non-lethal
approach that allows screening of a large number of specimens with little
disturbance and makes possible an adequate sampling strategy that produces
statistically valid results in populations and study areas. The correlation
between Hg levels in the skin and internal tissues supports the use of the
epidermis of Commerson’s dolphins for Hg biomonitoring in the waters of the
Subantarctic, which is a poorly studied region regarding Hg levels, sources
and processes.

Please, contact with us if you like further information and/or a pdf copy.

*I would like to dedicate this work to the memory of my advisor RNP
Goodall, for her valuable contribution to my studies, and even more to our

Best wishes,


Dra. Cáceres-Saez Iris
Laboratorio de Ecología, Comportamiento y Mamíferos Marinos
División Mastozoología, Área Zoología de Vertebrados
Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales "Bernardino Rivadavia" - CONICET
Av. Ángel Gallardo 470
C1405DJR Buenos Aires, ARGENTINA
TEL: +54-11-4982-9410 / 6670 (Int. 211)
FAX: +54-11-4982-5243 / 4494
*caceres-saez at macn.gov.ar <caceres-saez at macn.gov.ar>*

Museo Acatushún de Aves y Mamíferos Australes
Ea. Harberton, Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, ARGENTINA
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