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Queen's University


PEARL researchers show that seabirds transport unique suites of metal contaminants to their nesting colonies depending on their trophic levels.

Seabirds have been shown to transport nutrients from the ocean to the land by nesting in colonies where they defecate and bring food for their offspring. Lead author Neal Michelutti, PI John Smol and others report that common eiders (molluscivores) and arctic terns (piscivores) both transport significant amounts of metal contaminants to their breeding colonies but that the signatures of these differ because of their diets. The work is reported in a recent paper in PNAS.

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