Journal: Science of the Total Environment, vol. 850, 2022
To assess how climate-sensitive factors may affect the exposure to organochlorines (OCs) and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), we monitored concentrations in eggs of the common goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) over two decades (1999–2019) in central Norway. The goldeneye alternates between marine and freshwater habitats and is sensitive to climate variation, especially due to alterations in ice conditions which may affect feeding conditions. We assessed how biological factors such as diet (stable isotopes δ13C and δ15N), the onset of egg laying, and physical characteristics such as winter climate (North Atlantic Oscillation: NAOw) influenced exposure. We predicted compounds to show different temporal trends depending on whether they were still in production (i.e. some PFASs) or have been banned (i.e. legacy OCs and some PFASs). Therefore, we controlled for potential temporal trends in all analyses. There were declining trends for α- and γ-hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH), oxychlordane, cis-chlordane, cis-nonachlor, p,p′-dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (p.p′-DDT) and less persistent polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners (e.g. PCB101). In contrast, the dominant compounds, such as p,p′-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p′-DDE) and persistent PCB congeners, were stable, whereas hexachlorobenzene (HCB) increased over time. Most OCs were positively related to δ15N, suggesting higher exposure in birds feeding at upper trophic levels. Chlordanes and HCB were positively associated with δ13C, indicating traces of marine input for these compounds, whereas the relationships to most PCBs were negative. Among PFASs, perfluorooctanesulfonamide (PFOSA) and perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS) declined. Most PFASs were positively associated with δ13C, whereas there were no associations with δ15N. Egg laying date was positively associated to perfluoroheptanesulfonic acid (PFHpS), perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), suggesting that some of the PFAS load originated from the wintering locations. Although NAOw had little impact on the exposure to organohalogenated contaminants, factors sensitive to climate change, especially diet, were associated with the exposure to OHCs in goldeneyes.