Metal contamination of aquatic environments also threatens birds on land

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Credit: Umea University

The destructive affect of metals in polluted lakes on aquatic organisms could also adversely have an effect on insectivorous birds on land. This is the conclusion of a dissertation from the Industrial Doctoral School for Research and Innovation at Umeå University. Ecologist Johan Lidman might be defending his outcomes on 19 February at Umeå University.

Knowledge of how hazardous substances unfold in and have an effect on the surroundings is key to creating secure environmental requirements, thereby limiting the environmental injury finished by pollution. The affect of metallic contamination on land and in water have historically been handled individually, typically ignoring the truth that contamination can unfold from water to land.

Johan Lidman’s research, which have targeted on the affect of lead and zinc contamination from a decommissioned mine in northern Sweden, present that aquatic bugs can transport vital quantities of metals saved throughout their larval stage from water to land, thereby exposing terrestrial animals that eat the bugs—birds, for instance—to metals from aquatic environments.

Until now, this transport by way of organisms has seldom been thought of in threat assessments for terrestrial organisms and, in response to Johan Lidman, earlier assessments of areas contaminated with metals could have underestimated the actual threat.

“We can see that chicks and fledgelings living near polluted lakes ingest a significant amount of lead from aquatic insects. Were solely land exposure to be included, then incorrect conclusions regarding exposure sources for birds would have been drawn,” says Johan Lidman of the Industrial Doctoral School for Research and Innovation and Department of Ecology and Environmental Science at Umeå University.

As nicely as the danger of aquatic bugs exposing terrestrial birds to metals from water, Johan Lidman’s dissertation demonstrates that metallic contamination of lakes can also have an effect on the meals provide of insectivorous birds. According to Johan, the larval stage for bugs turns into longer and fewer aquatic bugs hatch from extra polluted lakes, which may create an imbalance between meals provide and demand that results in meals shortages and a destructive affect on birds.

“Even if the birds have access to other prey, my results show that to some extent the health of chicks and fledglings is affected by access to high-quality food, where nonbiting midges, mayflies and caddisflies are preferable to, for example, spiders and ants.”

The research also present that the results of metallic contamination on aquatic bugs after the larval stage, in the course of the metamorphosis to flying bugs. Researchers often solely examine the results in the course of the larval stage of aquatic bugs, which is to disregard the affect throughout metamorphosis and in the end underestimate the seemingly penalties.

“This may mean that environmental quality standards, which are usually based on studies focused on the larval stage, may be set too high and therefore fail to protect aquatic organisms.”


Improving water high quality might assist preserve insectivorous birds


More info:
Metals take flight: Transport and results throughout ecosystems. umu.diva-portal.org/smash/record.jsf?pid=diva2%3A1522344&dswid=-2164

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Umea University


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Metal contamination of aquatic environments also threatens birds on land (2021, April 8)
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