[MARMAM] New paper: trace metals in fin whale bone

Morgana Vighi morgana at massimiliano.org
Thu Dec 22 02:15:26 PST 2016

Dear MARMAMers,

We are pleased to announce that the following paper has been published

Morgana Vighi, A. Borrell, A. Aguilar
Bone as a surrogate tissue to monitor metals in baleen whales

Metals are massively deposited in the marine environment through direct
emissions or atmospheric dry and wet depositions, a process since long
enhanced by human activities. Metal contamination in the marine organisms
has been increasingly investigated, but most research focuses on few
tissues, elements and species considered indicative. Baleen whales have
been scarcely studied in this respect. Here we contribute to the fragmented
knowledge on this field examining the concentrations of zinc, copper, lead,
titanium and strontium in the bone of fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus)
from NW Spain and W Iceland. Bone was selected because it is a tissue
commonly available in archival historic collections, and it is therefore
useful to examine long-term trends in metal pollution. We tested
differences between populations and we investigated age- and sex-related
accumulation trends, as well as the occurrence of placental transfer. Sr
concentrations and Pb accumulation rates with age were significantly higher
in individuals from NW Spain than in those from W Iceland. Placental
transfer occurred, at different levels, for all metals: as a result fetuses
showed significantly higher Cu, Pb and Zn concentrations than adults. After
birth, only Zn and Pb concentrations significantly increased with age.
Through this study we contributed to fill some gaps in the knowledge
regarding metal contamination in marine mammals, and we concluded that bone
can be a suitable surrogate tissue to monitor a number of trace elements,
provided that dissimilarities in tissue-specific deposition are taken into
account when comparing concentrations from different tissues.

free access to the article will be available until February 09, 2017, from
the following link:


For any questions do not hesitate to contact me at: morgana.vighi at gmail.com

A merry Christmas and a great beginning of 2017 to you all,

Best regards,

Morgana Vighi

Morgana Vighi, PhD

Departament de Biologia Evolutiva, Ecologia i Ciències Ambientals
University of Barcelona
Av. Diagonal 643, 08028 Barcelona
+34 633656763
+39 3388269806
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