High within-individual variation in total mercury concentration in seabird feathers

Alexander L. Bond, Antony W. Diamond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


To our knowledge, no rigorous assessment of the variation in mercury concentrations within individual seabirds has been made using multiple body feathers. We analyzed five feathers from individual Arctic terns (Sterna paradisaea Pontoppidan), common terns (Sterna hirundo L.), and Leach's storm-petrels (Oceanodroma leucorhoa Veillot) and found levels of within-individual variability higher than population or time-series variation. Using a randomization procedure, we found a large range of possible mercury concentrations if only one feather per individual had been sampled. Researchers should report within-individual variability in future studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2375-2377
Number of pages3
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2008


  • Feather
  • Mercury
  • Monitoring
  • Seabird
  • Variation


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