Metabolic concentration of lipid soluble organochlorine burdens in the blubber of southern hemisphere humpback whales through migration and fasting

Nash, Susan M. Bengtson, Waugh, Courtney A. and Schlabach, Martin (2013) Metabolic concentration of lipid soluble organochlorine burdens in the blubber of southern hemisphere humpback whales through migration and fasting. Environmental Science and Technology, 47 16: 9404-9413. doi:10.1021/es401441n


Author Nash, Susan M. Bengtson
Waugh, Courtney A.
Schlabach, Martin
Title Metabolic concentration of lipid soluble organochlorine burdens in the blubber of southern hemisphere humpback whales through migration and fasting
Journal name Environmental Science and Technology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0013-936X
1520-5851
Publication date 2013-08
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1021/es401441n
Open Access Status
Volume 47
Issue 16
Start page 9404
End page 9413
Total pages 10
Place of publication Washington, DC, United States
Publisher American Chemical Society
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Abstract Southern hemisphere humpback whales undertake the longest migrations and associated periods of fasting of any mammal. Fluctuations in lipid energy stores are known to profoundly affect the toxicokinetics of lipophilic organochlorine compound (OC) burdens. Results from blubber biopsy sampling of adult, male humpback whales at two time points of the annual migration journey revealed dramatic concentration effects for the majority of OC compounds. The observed concentration effect was, however, not linear with measured average blubber lipid loss indicating significant redistribution of OCs and hence the importance of alternate lipid depots for meeting the energetic demands of the migration journey. Applying lipophilic OC burdens as novel tracers of whole-body lipid dynamics, the observed average concentration index suggests an average individual weight loss of 13% over 4 months of the migration journey. This value is based upon lipid derived energy and is in good agreement with previous weight prediction formulas. Notably, however, these estimates may greatly underestimate individual weight loss if significant protein catabolism occurs. Biomagnification factors between migrating southern hemisphere humpback whales and their principal prey item, Antarctic krill, closely resembled those of baleen whales feeding on herbivorous zooplankton in the Arctic. This study emphasizes the importance of considering prolonged periods of food deprivation when assessing chemical risks posed to wildlife. This is of particular importance for Polar biota adapted to extremes in ecosystem productivity.
Keyword Metabolic concentration
Lipid soluble organochlorine
Humpback whales
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
National Research Centre for Environmental Toxicology Publications
 
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