Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Predicting the effects of polychlorinated biphenyls on cetacean populations through impacts on immunity and calf survival

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Author(s)

Ailsa J. Hall, Bernie J. McConnell, Lori H. Schwacke, Gina M. Ylitalo, Rob Williams, Teri K. Rowles

School/Research organisations

Abstract

The potential impact of exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) on the health and survival of cetaceans continues to be an issue for conservation and management, yet few quantitative approaches for estimating population level effects have been developed. An individual based model (IBM) for assessing effects on both calf survival and immunity was developed and tested. Three case study species (bottlenose dolphin, humpback whale and killer whale) in four populations were taken as examples and the impact of varying levels of PCB uptake on achievable population growth was assessed. The unique aspect of the model is its ability to evaluate likely effects of immunosuppression in addition to calf survival, enabling consequences of PCB exposure on immune function on all age-classes to be explored. By incorporating quantitative tissue concentration-response functions from laboratory animal model species into an IBM framework, population trajectories were generated. Model outputs included estimated concentrations of PCBs in the blubber of females by age, which were then compared to published empirical data. Achievable population growth rates were more affected by the inclusion of effects of PCBs on immunity than on calf survival, but the magnitude depended on the virulence of any subsequent encounter with a pathogen and the proportion of the population exposed. Since the starting population parameters were from historic studies, which may already be impacted by PCBs, the results should be interpreted on a relative rather than an absolute basis. The framework will assist in providing quantitative risk assessments for populations of concern.
Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-418
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Volume233
Early online date5 Nov 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018

    Research areas

  • Individual based model , Risk assessment, Marine mammal, Contaminants

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Harbour Seal Decline – vital rates and drivers: Report to Scottish Government HSD2.

    Arso Civil, M., Langley, I., Law, A., Hague, E., Jacobson, E. K., Thomas, L., Smout, S. C., Hewitt, R., Duck, C. D., Morris, C., Brownlow, A., Davison, N., Doeschate, M., McConnell, B. J. & Hall, A. J., 2020, Sea Mammal Research Unit. 46 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportOther report

  2. Response to L. Witting: PCBs still a major risk for global killer whale populations

    Desforges, J. P., Hall, A., McConnell, B., Rosing Asvid, A., Barber, J. L., Brownlow, A., De Guise, S., Eulaers, I., Jepson, P. D., Letcher, R. J., Levin, M., Ross, P. S., Sonne, C. & Dietz, R., Jul 2019, In: Marine Mammal Science. 35, 3, p. 1201-1206 6 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

  3. Predicting global killer whale population collapse from PCB pollution

    Desforges, J-P., Hall, A., McConnell, B., Rosing-Asvid, A., Barber, J. L., Brownlow, A., De Guise, S., Eulaers, I., Jepson, P. D., Letcher, R. J., Levin, M., Ross, P. S., Samarra, F., Vikingson, G., Sonne, C. & Dietz, R., 28 Sep 2018, In: Science. 361, 6409, p. 1373-1376 4 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. Harbour Seal Decline – vital rates and drivers. Report to Scottish Government HSD2.

    Arso Civil, M., Smout, S. C., Thompson, D., Brownlow, A., Davison, N., Doeschate, M., Duck, C. D., Morris, C., Cummings, C., McConnell, B. J. & Hall, A. J., 2017, Sea Mammal Research Unit. 35 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportOther report

  5. Harbour Seal Decline - vital rates and drivers: Report to Scottish Government MMSS/002/15

    Arso Civil, M., Smout, S. C., Duck, C. D., Morris, C., Onoufriou, J., Thompson, D., Brownlow, A., Davison, N., Cummings, C., Pomeroy, P., McConnell, B. J. & Hall, A. J., Jun 2016, SMRU. 63 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

Related by journal

  1. Mercury biomagnification in a Southern Ocean food web

    Seco, J., Aparício, S., Brierley, A. S., Bustamante, P., Ceia, F. R., Coelho, J. P., Philips, R. A., Saunders, R. A., Fielding, S., Gregory, S., Matias, R., Pardal, M. A., Pereira, E., Stowasser, G., Tarling, G. A. & Xavier, J. C., 15 Apr 2021, In: Environmental Pollution. 275, 116620.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Main drivers of mercury levels in Southern Ocean lantern fish Myctophidae

    Seco, J., Xavier, J. C., Bustamante, P., Coelho, J. P., Saunders, R. A., Ferreira, N., Fielding, S., Pardal, M. A., Stowasser, G., Viana, T., Tarling, G. A., Pereira, E. & Brierley, A. S., Sep 2020, In: Environmental Pollution. 264, 10 p., 114711.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  3. Spatial variability in total and organic mercury levels in Antarctic krill Euphausia superba across the Scotia Sea

    Seco, J., Xavier, J. C., Coelho, J. P., Pereira, B., Tarling, G., Pardal, M. A., Bustamante, P., Stowasser, G., Brierley, A. S. & Pereira, M. E., Apr 2019, In: Environmental Pollution. 247, p. 332-339 8 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. Relationships between vitamin A and PCBs in grey seal mothers and pups during lactation

    Vanden Berghe, M., Mat, A., Arriola, A., Polain, S., Stekke, V., Thome, J-P., Gaspart, F., Pomeroy, P., Larondelle, Y. & Debier, C., May 2010, In: Environmental Pollution. 158, 5, p. 1570-1575 6 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

ID: 251475991

Top