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Concentrations of cadmium and lead, but not zinc, are higher in red fox tissues than in rodents—pollution gradient study in the Małopolska province (Poland)

Ziętara, Joanna, Wierzbowska, Izabela A., Gdula-Argasińska, Joanna, Gajda, Agnieszka, Laskowski, Ryszard
Environmental science and pollution research international 2019 v.26 no.5 pp. 4961-4974
Apodemus flavicollis, Clethrionomys glareolus, Vulpes vulpes, cadmium, carnivores, chronic exposure, kidneys, lead, liver, monitoring, muscles, rodents, soil, tissues, zinc, Poland
The main purpose of our research was to assess the chronic exposure of red foxes to Cd, Pb and Zn. We have determined concentrations of these metals in the kidney, liver and muscle of 36 red foxes hunted between December 2002 and March 2003 in differently polluted areas in southern Poland. Tissue concentrations of Pb and Cd in the red foxes significantly co-varied with concentrations of these elements in the soil, and differed between the tissues. We compared concentrations of Pb, Cd, and Zn in red foxes with two rodent species, Apodemus flavicollis and Myodes glareolus, trapped simultaneously in the same area. Concentrations of Pb and Cd appeared significantly higher in the red foxes than in the rodents, but the slopes of the relationship between metal concentrations in tissues and in soil were similar in all species. This indicates that extrapolation from results of monitoring studies conducted on rodents to mammalian carnivores is possible but requires applying an extrapolation factor.