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McKinney, Melissa A; Letcher, Robert J; Aars, Jon; Born, Erik W; Branigan, Marsha; Dietz, Rune; Evans, Thomas J; Gabrielsen, Geir W; Muir, Derek C G; Peacock, Elizabeth; Sonne, Christian (2011): (Tables S1,2) Stable isotopes in muscle tissue of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from various regions of the Arctic. PANGAEA,, Supplement to: McKinney, MA et al. (2011): Regional contamination versus regional dietary differences: Understanding geographic variation in brominated and chlorinated contaminant levels in polar bears. Environmental Science & Technology, 45(3), 896-902,

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The relative contribution of regional contamination versus dietary differences to geographic variation in polar bear (Ursus maritimus) contaminant levels is unknown. Dietary variation between Alaska, Canada, East Greenland, and Svalbard subpopulations was assessed by muscle nitrogen and carbon stable isotope (d15N, d13C) and adipose fatty acid (FA) signatures relative to their main prey (ringed seals). Western and southern Hudson Bay signatures were characterized by depleted d15N and d13C, lower proportions of C20 and C22 monounsaturated FAs and higher proportions of C18 and longer chain polyunsaturated FAs. East Greenland and Svalbard signatures were reversed relative to Hudson Bay. Alaskan and Canadian Arctic signatures were intermediate. Between-subpopulation dietary differences predominated over interannual, seasonal, sex, or age variation. Among various brominated and chlorinated contaminants, diet signatures significantly explained variation in adipose levels of polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants (14-15%) and legacy PCBs (18-21%). However, dietary influence was contaminant class-specific, since only low or nonsignificant proportions of variation in organochlorine pesticide (e.g., chlordane) levels were explained by diet. Hudson Bay diet signatures were associated with lower PCB and PBDE levels, whereas East Greenland and Svalbard signatures were associated with higher levels. Understanding diet/food web factors is important to accurately interpret contaminant trends, particularly in a changing Arctic.
Further details:
Hoekstra, Paul F; O'Hara, T M; Fisk, Aaron T; Borgå, Katrine; Solomon, Keith R; Muir, Derek C G (2003): Trophic transfer of persistent organochlorine contaminants (OCs) within an Arctic marine food web from the southern Beaufort-Chukchi Seas. Environmental Pollution, 124(3), 509-522,
Norstrom, Ross J; Belikov, S E; Born, Erik W; Garner, G W; Malone, B; Olpinski, S; Ramsay, M A; Schliebe, S; Stirling, Ian; Stishov, M S; Taylor, M K; Wiig, Øystein (1998): Chlorinated Hydrocarbon Contaminants in Polar Bears from Eastern Russia, North America, Greenland, and Svalbard: Biomonitoring of Arctic Pollution. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 35(2), 354-367,
Median Latitude: 68.407273 * Median Longitude: -83.982727 * South-bound Latitude: 56.000000 * West-bound Longitude: -168.000000 * North-bound Latitude: 78.500000 * East-bound Longitude: 15.500000
Alaska-Bering-Chukchi_Sea * Latitude: 66.000000 * Longitude: -168.000000 * Location: Bering Sea * Device: Biological sample (BIOS)
BaffinBay-NE-Baffin_Is * Latitude: 71.000000 * Longitude: -72.500000 * Location: Baffin Bay * Device: Biological sample (BIOS)
DavisStrait-SE-Baffin-Is * Latitude: 62.500000 * Longitude: -68.000000 * Location: Hudson Strait * Device: Biological sample (BIOS)
Data extracted in the frame of a joint ICSTI/PANGAEA IPY effort, see
#NameShort NameUnitPrincipal InvestigatorMethodComment
1Area/localityAreaMcKinney, Melissa A
2delta 15Nd15Nper mil airMcKinney, Melissa AIsotope ratio mass spectrometry
3delta 15N, standard deviationd15N std dev±McKinney, Melissa AIsotope ratio mass spectrometry
4delta 13Cd13Cper mil PDBMcKinney, Melissa AIsotope ratio mass spectrometry
5delta 13C, standard deviationd13C std dev±McKinney, Melissa AIsotope ratio mass spectrometry
6Ursus maritimusU. maritimus#McKinney, Melissa A
7Male, matureMale m#McKinney, Melissa A>4 yr old
8Female, matureFemale m#McKinney, Melissa A>4 yr old
9NumberNoMcKinney, Melissa Aof subadults <5 yr old
10Time coverageCoverageMcKinney, Melissa A
11Sampling dateSampling dateMcKinney, Melissa A
12Sample commentSample commentMcKinney, Melissa Alatitudinal capture range
13Sample commentSample commentMcKinney, Melissa Alongitudinal capture range
14Age, relative, number of yearsAgeaMcKinney, Melissa Amedian
15Age, relative, number of yearsAgeaMcKinney, Melissa Arange min
16Age, relative, number of yearsAgeaMcKinney, Melissa Arange max
17CommentCommentMcKinney, Melissa Acollection region of ringed seal samples used to adjust polar bear fatty acids
18CommentCommentMcKinney, Melissa Acollection region of ringed seal samples used to adjust polar bear stable isotopes
193 data points

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