The Broad-Scale Analysis of Metals, Trace Elements, Organochlorine Pesticides and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Wetlands Along an Urban Gradient, and the Use of a High Trophic Snake as a Bioindicator
MetadataShow full item record
This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. The final authenticated version is available online at: http://doi.org/10.1007/s00244-020-00724-z
Wetlands and their biodiversity are constantly threatened by contaminant pollution from urbanisation. Despite evidence suggesting that snakes are good bioindicators of environmental health, the bioaccumulation of contaminants in reptiles is poorly researched in Australia. We conducted the first broad-scale analysis of 17 metals and trace elements, 21 organochlorine pesticides, and 14 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the sediments (4 samples per site, December 2018) from four wetlands along an urban gradient in Perth, Western Australia, and from the livers (5 livers per site, February–April 2019) of western tiger snakes Notechis scutatus occidentalis captured at those sites. All 17 metals and trace elements were detected in the sediments of wetlands as well as 16 in the livers of tiger snakes. Arsenic, Cu, Hg, Pb, Se, and Zn were at concentrations exceeding government trigger values in at least one sediment sample. Two organochlorine pesticides and six of seven polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons were detected in the sediments of a single wetland, all exceeding government trigger values, but were not detected in tiger snakes. Metals and trace elements were generally in higher concentration in sediments and snake livers from more heavily urbanised wetlands. The least urbanised site had some higher concentrations of metals and trace elements, possibly due to agriculture contaminated groundwater. Concentrations of nine metals and trace elements in snake livers were statistically different between sites. Arsenic, Cd, Co, Hg, Mo, Sb, and Se near paralleled the pattern of contamination measured in the wetland sediments; this supports the use of high trophic wetland snakes, such as tiger snakes, as bioindicators of wetland contamination. Contamination sources and impacts on these wetland ecosystems and tiger snakes are discussed herein.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Lettoof, Damian C. ; Rankenburg, Kai ; McDonald, Bradley; Evans, Noreen ; Bateman, Bill ; Aubret, Fabien; Gagnon, Marthe Monique (2021)Wetland snakes, as top predators, are becoming globally recognised as bioindicators of wetland contamination. Livers are the traditional test organ for contaminant exposure in organisms, but research is moving towards a ...
Evidence and patterns of maternal transfer of metals and trace elements in Western tiger snakes (Notechis scutatus occidentalis) – a pilot studyLettoof, Damian C. ; Van Dyke, J.U.; Gagnon, Marthe Monique (2021)Urban wildlife are regularly exposed to a variety of anthropogenic contaminants that have the potential to bioaccumulate in body tissues. As a consequence, developing embryos and offspring can be at risk from exposure to ...
Investigating the role of urbanisation, wetlands and climatic conditions in nematode parasitism in a large Australian elapid snakeLettoof, Damian; von Takach, B.; Bateman, Bill ; Gagnon, Marthe Monique ; Aubret, Fabien (2020)Tiger snakes (Notechis scutatus) in wetlands of South-West Western Australia (SW WA) are commonly parasitised by the nematode Ophidascaris pyrrhus. Host-parasite interactions are complex and can potentially be impacted ...