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Local and interannual variations in mercury and cadmium in eggs of eight seabird species of the Sinaloa coast, México

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Mercury (Hg) and cadmium (Cd) concentrations in eggs of eight seabird species inhabiting five coastal ecosystems in Sinaloa, México were determined during two breeding seasons (2012 and 2013): Blue‐footed Booby (BFBO; Sula nebouxii), Brown Booby (BRBO; S. leucogaster), Double‐crested Cormorant (DCCO; Phalacrocorax auritus), Magnificent Frigatebird (MAFR; Fregata magnificens), Brown Pelican (BRPE; Pelecanus occidentalis), Royal Tern (ROTE; Thalasseus maximus), Laughing Gull (LAGU; Leucophaeus atricilla) and Heermann's Gull (HEGU; Larus heermanni). The interspecific differences found in the concentrations of both metals were attributed to the diet and foraging ecology of the species. The highest Hg concentrations were detected in piscivorous species (BRPE, 0.42 µg/g; BRBO, 0.31 µg/g; BFBO, 0.26 µg/g; and DCCO, 0.23 µg/g); whereas species with more varied diets presented the highest Cd concentrations (HEGU, 0.31 µg/g; LAGU, 0.27 µg/g; and MAFR, 0.27 µg/g). Cadmium concentrations were significantly greater in 2013 than 2012 for most species, while BRPE and LAGU also had higher Hg concentrations in 2013 in Santa María Bay, suggesting a relationship due to the changes either in oceanographic conditions or in continental runoff. Mercury concentrations in BRPE and Cd concentrations in HEGU and LAGU were above threshold levels for adverse effects on reproduction and survival. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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