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Penguin guano trace metals release to Antarctic waters: a kinetic modelling

Abstract: Penguin guano has been considered as a suitable bioindicator of the exposure to environmental contaminants in Antarctic environment. Although trace metal content values in penguin guano have been widely reported, the kinetics of their mobility in seawater have not been determined. In the present study, we have estimated the release rate of dissolved Cd, Co, Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb, V, and Zn from Gentoo (Pygoscelis papua) penguins guano to Antarctic seawater by 120 h laboratory and at external natural conditions of temperature and light experiments. A mathematical model using two metal pools guano (labile and equilibrium) and seawater compartments considering pseudo-first-order kinetics, is proposed in order to interpret and predict the release of trace metals. A good statistical agreement between experimental and modelled concentration values allows us obtention of kinetic parameters and partition coefficients (Kdi). These values allow to estimate releases into seawater from 5400 to 6.3 ug/day·penguin of Cu and V, respectively. More than 50 % of the initial content of all the studied elements are released during the first two hours, reaching 90 % release in the decreasing order of speed Ni>> Cu Mo > Mn = Co > Cd = Pb; periods of up to one hour, Fe, V and Zn reach a maximum release and are then readsorbed. Equilibrium releases >90 % for Mo and Cd, and 55 % - 46 % for Co, Ni, Pb and Mn are obtained; Zn with 5.4 %, V with 1.7 % and Fe with 0.88 % show the lowest values. With an overwhelming growth of estimated population south of 60°S of 259.750 breeding pairs we estimate that the Gentoo penguin population is releasing annually in the Southern Ocean, 716 kg Cu, 188 kg Mn, 113 kg Fe, 102 kg Zn, 17.7 kg Mo, 12.0 kg Ni, 8.70 kg Cd, 4.59 kg Co, 6.27 kg Pb and 0.790 kg V of soluble metals.

 Authorship: Gutiérrez G.R., Sparaventi E., Corta B.G., Tovar-Sánchez A., Viguri Fuente J.R.,

 Fuente: Science of the Total Environment, 2023, 902, 166448

 Publisher: Elsevier

 Publication date: 01/12/2023

 No. of pages: 11

 Publication type: Article

 DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.166448

 ISSN: 0048-9697,1879-1026

 Spanish project: RTI2018-098048-B-I00

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