[MARMAM] New publication on "Biological variables and health status affecting inorganic element concentrations in Harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) from Portugal (Western Iberian Peninsula)"

Silvia Monteiro silvia.sm.monteiro at gmail.com
Fri Jan 22 02:33:11 PST 2016

Dear Marmam Readers,

I am very pleased to announce the following publication:

Ferreira, M.; Monteiro, S.S.; Torres, J.; Oliveira, I.; Sequeira, M.;
López, A.; Vingada, J.; Eira, C. (2016). Biological variables and health
status affecting inorganic element concentrations in Harbour porpoises
phocoena*) from Portugal (Western Iberian Peninsula). Environmental
Pollution 210: 293-302. 10.1016/j.envpol.2016.01.027


The coastal preferences of harbour porpoise (*Phocoena phocoena*) intensify
their exposure to human activities. The harbour porpoise Iberian population
is presently very small and information about the threats it endures is
vital for the conservation efforts that are being implemented to avoid
local extinction. The present study explored the possible relation between
the accumulation of trace elements by porpoises and their sex, body length,
nutritional state, presence of parasites and gross pathologies. The
concentrations of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), mercury (Hg),
manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), zinc (Zn) and selenium (Se) were
evaluated in 42 porpoises stranded in Portugal between 2005 and 2013.
Considering European waters, porpoises stranded in Portugal present the
highest Hg concentrations and the lowest Cd concentrations, which may
reflect dietary preferences and the geographic availability of these
pollutants. While no effect of sex on trace element concentrations was
detected, there was a positive relationship between porpoise body length
and the concentration of Cd, Hg and Pb. Animals in worse nutritional
condition showed higher levels of Zn. Harbour porpoises with high parasite
burdens showed lower levels of Zn and As in all analysed tissues and also
lower levels of renal Ni, while those showing gross pathologies presented
higher Zn and Hg levels. This is the first data on the relationship between
trace elements and health-related variables in porpoises from southern
European Atlantic waters, providing valuable baseline information about the
contamination status of this vulnerable population.

For an early view of this paper, please visit:


If you are unable to download the article, please contact me by email and I
will be
happy to send you a copy: s.monteiro at ua.pt

Best wishes,

Silvia Monteiro
Postdoctoral researcher
CESAM (Centro de estudos do ambiente e do Mar)
University of Aveiro
s.monteiro@ <http://www.bio.ua.pt/>ua.pt

Sociedade Portuguesa de Vida Selvagem/Portuguese Wildlife Society
University of Minho
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