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Ecotoxicology

, Volume 24, Issue 5, pp 1064–1072 | Cite as

Trace element analysis of three tissues from Eurasian otters (Lutra lutra) in South Korea

  • Sukmo Kang
  • Jung-Hoon Kang
  • Soohee Kim
  • Seung Heon Lee
  • Seungwoo Lee
  • Hee Jeong Yu
  • Su-Jun Oh
  • Jung-Duck Park
  • Ki-Hoan Nam
  • Sung Yong Han
  • Jong-Deock Lim
  • Doug-Young Ryu
Article

Abstract

Eurasian otters (Lutra lutra) are endangered worldwide, but the specific cause of their decline has not been determined. This study analyzed the concentrations of potentially toxic trace elements, including As, Cd, Pb, Hg, Se, Cu, Mn, and Zn, in the liver, kidney, and lung tissues of Eurasian otters in South Korea. There were high individual variations in the tissue concentrations of all the elements analyzed. The kidneys had the highest concentrations of Cd and Se among the three tissue groups, and the livers had the highest concentrations of Cu, Mn, Zn, and Hg. The Pb and As concentrations in the livers were not significantly different from those in the kidneys, and the lungs had the lowest concentrations of all the elements analyzed. The age-related bioaccumulation of Cd and Hg was evident in the three tissue groups, and of Se in the kidneys. The Pb concentration was higher in the livers of juveniles compared with those of adults and the Zn concentration was higher in the lungs of juveniles. There were no apparent gender differences in the concentrations of the elements analyzed among the tissue groups. The Se concentration correlated with the Hg concentration in the livers and kidneys, and with the Cd concentration in the kidneys. The Hg and Cd levels correlated in the three tissue groups. The Cu and Zn levels also correlated in the livers and kidneys. In general, the element concentrations were within the ranges reported by previous studies of this species from European countries, except for Cd and Hg, the levels of which were mostly lower than those reported previously. These findings may provide baseline information to facilitate the conservation of the Eurasian otter. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first available study of trace element concentrations in the tissues of Eurasian otters from South Korea or Asian countries.

Keywords

Eurasian otter Lutra lutra Trace element 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was supported by the National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage, Cultural Heritage Administration, South Korea (#NRICH-1207-B27F).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10646_2015_1447_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (58 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 59 kb)
10646_2015_1447_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (36 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 36 kb)
10646_2015_1447_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (91 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (PDF 91 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sukmo Kang
    • 1
  • Jung-Hoon Kang
    • 2
  • Soohee Kim
    • 1
  • Seung Heon Lee
    • 1
  • Seungwoo Lee
    • 1
  • Hee Jeong Yu
    • 1
  • Su-Jun Oh
    • 1
  • Jung-Duck Park
    • 3
  • Ki-Hoan Nam
    • 4
  • Sung Yong Han
    • 5
  • Jong-Deock Lim
    • 2
  • Doug-Young Ryu
    • 1
  1. 1.BK21 PLUS Program for Creative Veterinary Science Research, Research Institute for Veterinary Science and College of Veterinary MedicineSeoul National UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.National Research Institute of Cultural HeritageCultural Heritage AdministrationDaejunSouth Korea
  3. 3.College of MedicineChung-Ang UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  4. 4.Laboratory Animal Resource CenterKorea Research Institute of Bioscience and BiotechnologyOchangSouth Korea
  5. 5.Korean Otter Research CenterHwacheonSouth Korea

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