Physiological impacts of pollution exposure in seabird's progeny nesting in a Mediterranean contaminated area

Oudi, Abir (UR17ES44 "Ecologie de la faune terrestre", University of Gabès, Faculty of Sciences, Gabès, Tunisia) ; Chokri, Mohamed Ali (UR17ES44 "Ecologie de la faune terrestre, University of Gabès, Faculty of Sciences, Gabès, Tunisia) ; Hammouda, Abdessalem (UR17ES44 "Ecologie de la faune terrestre, University of Gabès, Faculty of Sciences, Gabès, Tunisia) ; Chaabane, Rim (Laboratory of Biochemistry, CHU Hédi Chaker of Sfax, Sfax, Tunisia) ; Badraoui, Riadh (Laboratory of Histology-Embryology, Faculty of Medicine, , University of Sfax, Sfax, Tunisia) ; Besnard, Aurélien (EPHE, PSL Research Unversitiy, CNRS, UM, SupAgro, IRD, INRA, Montpellier, France) ; Santos, Raphaël (School of Engineering, Architecture and Landscape (hepia), HES-SO // University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland ; EPHE, PSL Research Unversity, CNRS, UM, SupAgro, INRA, Montpellier, France)

Aquatic wildlife is exposed through trophic transfer of hazardous substances to several threats inducing physiological impairments. We aimed at assessing the impact of contamination in one of the hot spots of pollution along Mediterranean coasts, the gulf of Gabes in Tunisia, on Common tern Sterna hirundo, a piscivorous top predator bird. Firstly, we compared the reproductive effort of breeding adults through clutch size distribution in three sites with different levels of pollution. Then, a battery of genotoxicity and oxidative stress biomarkers was carried out to assess physiological impairments in chicks. While defense mechanisms showed a depletion, lipid peroxidation and genotoxicity increased significantly according to pollution level. The multi-biomarker approach used here, discriminated chicks according to contamination degree of their nesting sites. Increases in genotoxicity and oxidative stress were correlated to a decrease in chick body mass known to lead to long-term impacts on juvenile survival and recruitment in birds.

Article Type:
Ingénierie et Architecture
HEPIA - Genève
inTNE - Institut Terre-Nature-Environnement
10 p.
Published in:
Marine Pollution Bulletin
Numeration (vol. no.):
2019, vol. 142, pp. 196-205
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 Record created 2019-07-16, last modified 2019-08-20

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