Environmental Pollution and Hunting: Exposure of Birds to Metals in their Trophic Areas, and of Humans to Lead in Game Birds

Borghesi, Fabrizio (2016) Environmental Pollution and Hunting: Exposure of Birds to Metals in their Trophic Areas, and of Humans to Lead in Game Birds, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze ambientali: tutela e gestione delle risorse naturali, 28 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/7547.
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This doctorate is focused on birds and their relationships with trace elements (MTEs). The Mediterranean coast hosts millions migratory birds every year. However, Mediterranean countries are among the most influenced in the world by human pressure. There is a strong impulse by GOs and NGOs operating in the European Union to improve methods and standardization in studies on contaminants involving birds. Birds are potential biomonitors of change in the environment and feathers has proven to be a very informative tool. On the other hand, there is the need to improve methods in order to avoid errors in interpretation of concentrations in feathers. It is the case of external contamination on feathers due to lithic particles adhered to the surface. Intake of MTEs naturally present in their environment occurs to birds, as well as assumption of anthropogenic MTEs in polluted areas. Furthermore, birds are exposed to lead due to the ammunition shot by hunters, which can be assumed from sediments and preys which have lead pieces embedded in their body. Aim of this doctorate is to improve the possibility to use birds as biomonitors of metal exposure through non-invasive methods adopting a multidisciplinary approach. In particular, the studies included in this work achieved these objectives: 1) some wetlands in the Northern Adriatic coast very important for colonial waterbirds, have been investigated for their geochemical characteristics for any future ecotoxicological studies; 2) a new geochemical approach has been proposed for studies on MTE bioaccumulation in Greater flamingo feathers, in order to reduce biases caused by environmental (external) contamination; 3) new information about type, frequency and distribution of Pb particles embedded in two small-sized bird species (European starling and Eurasian woodcock) killed by hunters has been given. This work is structured in six scientific articles and one short communication.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Borghesi, Fabrizio
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze della terra e dell'ambiente
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Geochemistry, North Adriatic, wetlands, sediments, feathers, trace elements, metals, external contamination, flamingo, waterbirds, embedded lead, ammunition, hunting, plumbism, lead fragments, game bird, starling, woodcock, peregrine falcon
Data di discussione
9 Maggio 2016

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