Blood plasma levels of heavy metals and trace elements in white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) and potential health consequences

Liza Merly, Lucia Lange, Michael Meÿer, Adrian Michael Hewitt, Pieter Koen, Chris Fischer, Johann Muller, Volker Schilack, Mauritz Wentzel, Neil Hammerschlag

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Heavy metals may adversely affect health in marine organisms. As top predators, sharks may be especially vulnerable to exposure over long lifespans. Here we evaluate plasma levels of 14 heavy metals and 12 trace elements in white sharks, Carcharodon carcharias, in South Africa to determine whether they are related to sex, body size, and/or body condition and other health parameters. High levels of mercury and arsenic were found in shark blood at levels considered toxic in other vertebrates. Heavy metal concentrations were not related to body size or sex. Metal concentrations were not related to body condition with exception of copper, which was positively correlated. Protective effects of elements such as selenium, zinc, and iron were not detected. No negative effects on health parameters, such as total leukocytes or granulocyte to lymphocyte ratios were observed. Results suggest that sharks may have protective mechanisms that mitigate harmful effects of heavy metal exposure, providing new opportunities for future studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-92
Number of pages8
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume142
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Carcharodon carcharias
shark
Trace elements
blood plasma
Heavy metals
trace elements
heavy metals
Blood
blood
sharks
Health
trace element
heavy metal
Plasmas
plasma
body condition
body size
Lymphocytes
Mercury (metal)
gender

Keywords

  • Arsenic
  • Carcharodon carcharias
  • Heavy metals
  • Mercury
  • Trace elements
  • White sharks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution

Cite this

Blood plasma levels of heavy metals and trace elements in white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) and potential health consequences. / Merly, Liza; Lange, Lucia; Meÿer, Michael; Hewitt, Adrian Michael; Koen, Pieter; Fischer, Chris; Muller, Johann; Schilack, Volker; Wentzel, Mauritz; Hammerschlag, Neil.

In: Marine Pollution Bulletin, Vol. 142, 01.05.2019, p. 85-92.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Merly, Liza ; Lange, Lucia ; Meÿer, Michael ; Hewitt, Adrian Michael ; Koen, Pieter ; Fischer, Chris ; Muller, Johann ; Schilack, Volker ; Wentzel, Mauritz ; Hammerschlag, Neil. / Blood plasma levels of heavy metals and trace elements in white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) and potential health consequences. In: Marine Pollution Bulletin. 2019 ; Vol. 142. pp. 85-92.
@article{165e5966936542a7aea7c851134eb9f3,
title = "Blood plasma levels of heavy metals and trace elements in white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) and potential health consequences",
abstract = "Heavy metals may adversely affect health in marine organisms. As top predators, sharks may be especially vulnerable to exposure over long lifespans. Here we evaluate plasma levels of 14 heavy metals and 12 trace elements in white sharks, Carcharodon carcharias, in South Africa to determine whether they are related to sex, body size, and/or body condition and other health parameters. High levels of mercury and arsenic were found in shark blood at levels considered toxic in other vertebrates. Heavy metal concentrations were not related to body size or sex. Metal concentrations were not related to body condition with exception of copper, which was positively correlated. Protective effects of elements such as selenium, zinc, and iron were not detected. No negative effects on health parameters, such as total leukocytes or granulocyte to lymphocyte ratios were observed. Results suggest that sharks may have protective mechanisms that mitigate harmful effects of heavy metal exposure, providing new opportunities for future studies.",
keywords = "Arsenic, Carcharodon carcharias, Heavy metals, Mercury, Trace elements, White sharks",
author = "Liza Merly and Lucia Lange and Michael Me{\"y}er and Hewitt, {Adrian Michael} and Pieter Koen and Chris Fischer and Johann Muller and Volker Schilack and Mauritz Wentzel and Neil Hammerschlag",
year = "2019",
month = "5",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.marpolbul.2019.03.018",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "142",
pages = "85--92",
journal = "Marine Pollution Bulletin",
issn = "0025-326X",
publisher = "Elsevier Inc.",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Blood plasma levels of heavy metals and trace elements in white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) and potential health consequences

AU - Merly, Liza

AU - Lange, Lucia

AU - Meÿer, Michael

AU - Hewitt, Adrian Michael

AU - Koen, Pieter

AU - Fischer, Chris

AU - Muller, Johann

AU - Schilack, Volker

AU - Wentzel, Mauritz

AU - Hammerschlag, Neil

PY - 2019/5/1

Y1 - 2019/5/1

N2 - Heavy metals may adversely affect health in marine organisms. As top predators, sharks may be especially vulnerable to exposure over long lifespans. Here we evaluate plasma levels of 14 heavy metals and 12 trace elements in white sharks, Carcharodon carcharias, in South Africa to determine whether they are related to sex, body size, and/or body condition and other health parameters. High levels of mercury and arsenic were found in shark blood at levels considered toxic in other vertebrates. Heavy metal concentrations were not related to body size or sex. Metal concentrations were not related to body condition with exception of copper, which was positively correlated. Protective effects of elements such as selenium, zinc, and iron were not detected. No negative effects on health parameters, such as total leukocytes or granulocyte to lymphocyte ratios were observed. Results suggest that sharks may have protective mechanisms that mitigate harmful effects of heavy metal exposure, providing new opportunities for future studies.

AB - Heavy metals may adversely affect health in marine organisms. As top predators, sharks may be especially vulnerable to exposure over long lifespans. Here we evaluate plasma levels of 14 heavy metals and 12 trace elements in white sharks, Carcharodon carcharias, in South Africa to determine whether they are related to sex, body size, and/or body condition and other health parameters. High levels of mercury and arsenic were found in shark blood at levels considered toxic in other vertebrates. Heavy metal concentrations were not related to body size or sex. Metal concentrations were not related to body condition with exception of copper, which was positively correlated. Protective effects of elements such as selenium, zinc, and iron were not detected. No negative effects on health parameters, such as total leukocytes or granulocyte to lymphocyte ratios were observed. Results suggest that sharks may have protective mechanisms that mitigate harmful effects of heavy metal exposure, providing new opportunities for future studies.

KW - Arsenic

KW - Carcharodon carcharias

KW - Heavy metals

KW - Mercury

KW - Trace elements

KW - White sharks

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85063035560&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85063035560&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2019.03.018

DO - 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2019.03.018

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85063035560

VL - 142

SP - 85

EP - 92

JO - Marine Pollution Bulletin

JF - Marine Pollution Bulletin

SN - 0025-326X

ER -