Specific accumulation of mercury and selenium in seabirds

TitleSpecific accumulation of mercury and selenium in seabirds
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1996
AuthorsKim, EY, Saeki, K, Tanabe, S, Tanaka, H, Tatsukawa, R
Pagination261 - 265
Date Published01/1996
ISBN Number0269-7491

Total mercury (T-Hg), methyl mercury (MeHg) and selenium (Se) concentrations were determined to elucidate the relationship between Hg and Se levels in the liver of 10 seabird species. Highest concentrations of T-Hg (mean 267 μg/g dry wt), MeHg (mean 25.5 μg/g dry wt) and Se (mean 113 μg/g dry wt) were in the liver of black-footed albatross (Diomedea nigripes). An equivalent molar ratio of 1:1 between T-Hg and Se was found in the liver of individuals which contain over 100 μg Hg/g. However, such a relationship was unclear in other individuals which had relatively low Hg levels. This suggests that Se plays a role in Hg detoxification for those individuals with high Hg. In seabird tissues, Hg and Se levels should be a most important factor determining the relationship between Hg and Se, and fluctuation of Hg burden through molting and the species-specific demethylation capacity would also influence their relationships.

Short TitleEnvironmental Pollution