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Mercury has contaminated rivers worldwide, with health consequences for aquatic organisms and humans who consume them. Researchers have focused on aquatic birds as sentinels for mercury. However, trophic transfer between adjacent ecosystems could lead to the export of aquatic mercury to terrestrial habitats. Along a mercury-contaminated river in Virginia,(More)
Incorporation of global climate change (GCC) effects into assessments of chemical risk and injury requires integrated examinations of chemical and nonchemical stressors. Environmental variables altered by GCC (temperature, precipitation, salinity, pH) can influence the toxicokinetics of chemical absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion as well as(More)
Recent evidence suggests that mercury exposure has negative effects on the health of songbirds, and species that forage in wetlands may be at a greater risk of bioaccumulation of mercury than are those of other habitats. we examined mercury concentrations in blood and feathers from the wetland obligate and rapidly declining Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus(More)
Mercury is a pervasive environmental contaminant and a well-documented immunosuppressor. However, little is known about the effects of mercury contamination on health of free-living vertebrate populations. The South River in Virginia, USA was heavily contaminated with industrial mercury from 1929 to 1950, and recent studies have documented high levels of(More)
Mercury (Hg) is a ubiquitous contaminant with deleterious effects on many wildlife species. Most studies to date have focused on fish-eating birds and mammals because much historical Hg pollution is aquatic. Recently, however, comparable blood-Hg levels have been found in terrestrial insectivorous songbirds. As a result, research is needed to clarify the(More)
Mercury is a global pollutant that biomagnifies in food webs, placing wildlife at risk of reduced reproductive fitness and survival. Songbirds are the most diverse branch of the avian evolutionary tree; many are suffering persistent and serious population declines and we know that songbirds are frequently exposed to mercury pollution. Our objective was to(More)
We investigate the scenario in which some amount of higher quality habitat is destroyed and is then replaced by some undetermined amount of lower quality habitat. We examined how much low-quality habitat would need to be created to maintain the equilibrium population abundance in the entire geographic area. Using a source–sink model, we find that (1) the(More)
Ecotoxicologists often implicitly assume that populations are homogenous entities in which all individuals have similar responses to a contaminant. However, genetically variable responses occur within populations. This variation can be visualized using dose-response curves of genetically related groups, similar to the way that evolutionary biologists(More)
Mercury is a widespread and persistent environmental contaminant that occurs in aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Recently, songbirds that forage from primarily terrestrial sources have shown evidence of bioaccumulation of mercury, but little research has assessed the effects of mercury on their health and fitness. There are many indications that mercury(More)
Nest boxes are commonly erected in managed landscapes such as backyards, golf courses and parks, attracting cavity-nesting birds to habitats they would not otherwise occupy. Although studies have shown that habitat around natural nests influences postfledging survival, this relationship has not been examined for artificial nest cavities, which humans may(More)