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Reproduction and environmental contamination in tree swallows nesting in the Fox River Drainage and Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA

Authors

  • Christine M. Custer,

    Corresponding author
    1. U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, Upper Mississippi Science Center, P.O. Box 818, LaCrosse, Wisconsin 54602-0818
    • U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, Upper Mississippi Science Center, P.O. Box 818, LaCrosse, Wisconsin 54602-0818
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  • Thomas W. Custer,

    1. U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, Upper Mississippi Science Center, P.O. Box 818, LaCrosse, Wisconsin 54602-0818
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  • P. David Allen,

    1. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Ecological Services Division 1015 Challenger Court Green Bay Wisconsin 54311
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  • Kenneth L. Stromborg,

    1. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Ecological Services Division 1015 Challenger Court Green Bay Wisconsin 54311
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  • Mark J. Melancon

    1. U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Laurel, Maryland 20708-4041
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Abstract

Concentration, accumulation, and effects of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) o nreproduction in tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) were studied at four sites in the Fox River drainage and in Green Bay, Lake Michigan, Wisconsin, USA, in 1994 and 1995. Total PCBs in eggs and newly hatched young (mean = 3.01 μg/g wet weight, years and sites combined) and 12-d-old nestlings (mean = 2.34 μg/g wet weight) at two contaminated sites (Kidney Island and Arrowhead) were higher than concentrations at two reference sites (Lake Poygan and High Cliff State Park, years and sites combined, pippers mean = 0.26 μg/g, nestlings mean = 0.01 μg/g). Concentrations of 11 PCB congeners were also higher at contaminated compared to reference sites. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) accumulated in nestlings at a higher rate (1.34–6.69 μg/d) at contaminated sites compared to reference locations (0.06–0.42 μg/d). Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) was the only other organochlorine found in all samples; concentrations for all samples averaged ≤0.20 μg/g wet weight. Total PCBs and p,p′-DDE concentrations did not differ among clutches where all eggs hatched, some eggs hatched, and no eggs hatched.

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