Life history traits and bioaccumulation of POPs
The life history of any given individual is defined by its ability to survive and reproduce over the course of its lifetime. Differences in life history traits can determine how animals acquire resources in the form of energy and allocate them towards different life history traits such as growth and reproduction. Most organisms store their energy within lipids and this becomes particularly important in the Arctic, where seasonal variation influences resource availability and energy utilisation. For example, during periods of limited prey availability, organisms may have to depend on internal energy reserves in order to sustain themselves through a winter season.
Energy release from lipid storages is especially important to consider when it comes to the bioaccumulation of contaminants. While some contaminants are associated with proteins, many contaminants are lipid soluble, including persistent organic pollutants (POPs).
About the project
The main goal of this project is to determine whether how variation in life history strategies influences the bioaccumulation of POPs in the Arctic. This project will focus on coupling ecotoxicology and theoretical ecology with a basis in energy allocation.
1) To systematically organise existing data into digital format in a way that is easily accessible for the scientific community. This includes conducting a meta-analysis and establishing a database containing information on POP levels in individuals as well as their life states.
2) To determine whether differences in reproductive life history strategy lead to varying levels of contaminant bioaccumulation. This will include investigating bioaccumulation of POPs in both income and capital breeders, male and female reproductive strategies as well as different life stages, e.g. such as chick, fledgling, juvenile and adult.
Ministry of Education and Research
Svalbard Miljøfond - Barnacle goose subproject on PFAS
The University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS)