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SSF-Svalbard Science Forum

Consequences of emerging contaminants exposure during the mating period in an Arctic seabird (RIS-ID-10424)

Awarded: NOK 64,999

Owing to their high volatility and persistence in time, persistent organic pollutants (POPs) reach remote areas such as the Arctic. Once deposited in aquatic ecosystems, POPs are assimilated by living organisms via food intake, bioaccumulate in individuals and biomagnifiy along food webs. In the Arctic, negative effects of contaminants (heavy metals and legacy POPS such as organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and PCBs) on wildlife have been well documented. However, effects of some emerging contaminants such as poly- and perfluorinated alkyl substances (PFASs) have received much less attention. PFASs have been used as surface-active agents in a multitude of manufactured and consumer products (personal care products, non-stick cookware, fire-fighting foam, water proof clothing and stain-resistant carpets). These contaminants are now the most prevalent pollutants in Arctic seabirds such as Svalbard Black-Legged Kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla). The goal of this project is to investigate the consequences of PFASs exposure during the mating stage in the Black-Legged Kittiwake. The mating period is a critical stage during which hormonal mechanisms and pair formation processes are established for the onset of breeding. Specifically, we will investigate the effects of PFASs on: 1)Sexual signaling ornamentation 2)Luteinizing hormone secretion (LH) 3)Spermatic quality 4)Fitness consequences

Funding scheme:

SSF-Svalbard Science Forum