Assessing the Heavy Metal Content in Forest Dormouse (Dryomys nitedula Pallas, 1778) from an Agricultural Region in Bulgaria

Georgi G. Markov1, Maria A. Kocheva1, Milena K. Gospodinova1, Hristo A. Dimitrov2*
1 – Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 1 Tzar Osvobiditel Blvd.1000 Sofia, BULGARIA
2 - University of Plovdiv, Faculty of Biology, Department of Zoology, 24 Tzar Assen Str., BG-4000 Plovdiv, BULGARIA
*Corresponding author: :
Abstract. The heavy metals load in the forest dormouse (Dryomys nitedula), inhabiting in forest shelter belts in the agricultural region was assessed. The concentrations of Cd, Co, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn (expressed in mg/kg of dry tissue) were established in the liver, using an atomic-absorption analysis. The fact that the highly toxic metals (Cd and Pb) were found in considerable concentrations together with other metals with concentration dependent toxic effect (Cu, Ni, Zn and Co) in the liver of forest dormice, suggests that it is necessary to carry out regular assessment and forecasting of accumulation of these metals in species, which are not direct targets of cultivation and control activities in agricultural ecosystems. The obtained values were used to create a baseline for estimation of heavy metal accumulation in the internal organs of the forest dormouse, both in anthropogenically transformed habitats and natural biotopes, as well as for using this species as a monitor of environmental status.
Key words: heavy metals, forest dormouse, forest shelterbelts, Dryomys nitedula.

Ecologia Balkanica, 2016, vol. 8, Issue 1, pp. 1-8
Article № eb.16107, ICID: 1207825, [Full text - PDF]pdf

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