Mammals metabolize some pesticides to limit their biomagnification

Jul 21, 2014
This is some lichen. Credit: Morris, A. D., Muir, D. C.G., Solomon, K. R., Teixeira, C., Duric, M. and Wang, X. (2014), Trophodynamics of current use pesticides and ecological relationships in the Bathurst region vegetation-caribou-wolf food chain of the Canadian Arctic. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. doi: 10.1002/etc.2634

The concentrations of many historically used, and now widely banned, pesticides and other toxic chemicals—called legacy contaminants—can become magnified in an animal that eats contaminated food; however, a new Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry study has found that Arctic mammals metabolize some currently used pesticides, preventing such 'biomagnification.'

Researchers who studied the vegetation-caribou-wolf food chain in the Bathurst region of Canada say that currently use pesticides enter the food chain and become concentrated in vegetation, but the evidence shows that they are not biomagnified through the diets of their consumers.

"Since these replaced some legacy contaminants that do biomagnify in similar food chains, this is good news for the wildlife and the people of the Arctic who survive by hunting caribou and other ," said first author Adam Morris. "But this is still only a small part of a much larger picture regarding replacement contaminants and how they're behaving compared with their legacy counterparts."

Explore further: How can I wash all the pesticides off my food?

More information: Morris, A. D., Muir, D. C.G., Solomon, K. R., Teixeira, C., Duric, M. and Wang, X. (2014), Trophodynamics of current use pesticides and ecological relationships in the Bathurst region vegetation-caribou-wolf food chain of the Canadian Arctic. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. DOI: 10.1002/etc.2634

Related Stories

Study shows legacy of pesticides difficult to avoid

Jul 29, 2013

A University of Otago study shows that the tell-tale legacy in rural South Island areas of pesticides banned many years ago remains, regardless of the type of sheep and beef farming now taking place on the land.

Caribou the missing piece of arctic warming puzzle

May 01, 2013

In the first study of its type in Canada, new research has shown caribou have a role to play in climate warming in the arctic. Despite declining herd numbers, caribou grazing is controlling plant growth in ...

Chesapeake Bay pesticides: Some diminish, some persist

Jul 07, 2011

Scientists with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are identifying factors that influence pesticide levels in the Chesapeake Bay airshed, including traces of "legacy" pesticides that still linger even though they are ...

Recommended for you

Zoologists tap into GPS to track badger movements

15 minutes ago

Zoologists from Trinity College Dublin's School of Natural Sciences are using GPS tracking technology to keep a 'Big Brother' eye on badgers in County Wicklow. By better understanding the badgers' movements and the reasons ...

Climate change costing soybean farmers

15 hours ago

Even during a good year, soybean farmers nationwide are, in essence, taking a loss. That's because changes in weather patterns have been eating into their profits and taking quite a bite: $11 billion over ...

Equatorial fish babies in hot water

22 hours ago

Scientists have discovered that rising ocean temperatures slow the development of baby fish around the equator, raising concerns about the impact of global warming on fish and fisheries in the tropics.

Beneficial insect virus gets boost as crop pest fighter

22 hours ago

Common baking ingredients may offer a way to bolster the effectiveness of Cydia pomonella granulovirus (CpGV), a natural insect pathogen that's been commercially formulated to kill codling moth larvae, a ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.