Responses of wild small mammals to arsenic pollution at a partially remediated mining site in Southern France. - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Science of the Total Environment Year : 2013

Responses of wild small mammals to arsenic pollution at a partially remediated mining site in Southern France.

Abstract

Partial remediation actions at a former gold mine in Southern France led to a mosaic of contaminated and rehabilitated zones. In this study, the distribution of arsenic and its potential adverse effects on small mammals were investigated. The effectiveness of remediation for reducing the transfer of this element into wildlife was also discussed. Arsenic levels were measured in the soil and in the stomach contents, livers, kidneys, and lungs of four small mammal species (the wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus), the Algerian mouse (Mus spretus), the common vole (Microtus arvalis), and the greater white-toothed shrew (Crocidura russula)). The animals were caught at the former extraction site, in zones with three different levels of remediation treatments, and at a control site. Arsenic concentrations in the soil were highly spatially heterogeneous (ranging from 29 to 18,900 mu g g(-1)). Despite the decrease in arsenic concentrations in the remediated soils, both wood mice and Algerian mice experienced higher oral exposure to arsenic in remediated zones than in the control area. The accumulated arsenic in their organs showed higher intra-zonal variability than the arsenic distribution in the soil, suggesting that, in addition to remediation processes, other variables can help explain arsenic transfer to wildlife, such as the habitat and diet preferences of the animals or their mobility. A weak but significant correlation between arsenic concentration and body condition was observed, and weak relationships between the liver/kidney/lung mass and arsenic levels were also detected, suggesting possible histological alterations.
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hal-00926054 , version 1 (09-01-2014)

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Séverine Drouhot, Francis Raoul, Nadia Crini, Christelle Tougard, Anne-Sophie Prudent, et al.. Responses of wild small mammals to arsenic pollution at a partially remediated mining site in Southern France.. Science of the Total Environment, 2013, 470-471C, pp.1012-1022. ⟨10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.10.053⟩. ⟨hal-00926054⟩
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