Show simple item record

dc.contributor.authorDainowski, Bonita Hope
dc.date.accessioned2017-06-01T00:16:58Z
dc.date.available2017-06-01T00:16:58Z
dc.date.issued2017-05
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/11122/7598
dc.descriptionDissertation (Ph.D.) University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2017en_US
dc.description.abstractWe evaluated if total mercury (THg) concentrations of keratin-based and bone-based tissues can predict THg concentrations in skeletal muscle, renal medulla, renal cortex, and liver. The THg concentration in matched tissues of 65 red foxes, Vulpes vulpes, from western Alaska was determined. Hair THg concentration had a significant positive correlation with liver, renal medulla, renal cortex, and muscle. The THg concentration is moderately predictive of THg concentration in the renal cortex and liver for these foxes based on R² values (R² = 0.61 and 0.63, respectively), but was not moderately predictive of THg for renal medulla R² = 0.50 and muscle R² = 0.39. Bone is weakly predictive of THg concentration in muscle (R² = 0.40), but not a reliable tissue to predict THg concentration in liver (R² = 0.24), renal cortex (R² = 0.35), or renal medulla (R² = 0.25).These results confirm the potential use of trapped animals, specifically foxes, as useful Arctic sentinel species to inform researchers about patterns in THg levels over time as industrialization of the Arctic continues. Stable isotope analysis was also performed on the same red fox tissues from the first study. We examined stable carbon (δ¹³C) and nitrogen isotopes (δ¹⁵N) to 1) examine the lipid extraction process, 2) evaluate carbon and nitrogen correlations among tissues to establish stable isotope values for modern northern wild fox populations, 3) describe the C:N ratios in males and females, 4) establish trophic positions of freeranging northern red foxes, and 5) to relate the wild red fox trophic level to potential mercury biomagnifications reported in a previous study. Hair, bone, muscle, liver, renal cortex and medulla tissues of the red fox were isotopically significantly different from each other. We found evidence that the Western Alaska red fox was eating a different diet based upon a lower trophic position than red foxes from other northern areas. We concluded that stable isotope data can help explain mercury concentration levels influenced by seasonal diet changes of the Alaska red fox. In our third study, we took a forensic approach to look at the health and dietary indicators in museum preserved bone of red (Vulpes vulpes) and Arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) from the Yukon Territory in Canada. This study attempts to 1) measure the mercury (THg) concentration levels, 2) estimate a diet using carbon stable isotopes (δ¹³C) and 3) establish a trophic level using nitrogen stable isotopes (δ¹⁵N), from bones of these sentinel species. This study examines two Arctic foxes and three red foxes of unknown age and origin. Yukon Territory Arctic foxes THg concentrations were 0.017 and 0.025 mg/kg. The red foxes THg concentrations were 0.010, 0.036 and 0.073 mg/kg. The δ¹³C levels were -21.13‰ and -21.36‰ for Arctic foxes and -20.05‰, -20.08‰, and -23.12‰ for red foxes. Their δ¹⁵N levels were 5.59‰ and 7.22‰ for the Arctic foxes and 6.10‰, 6.57‰ and 6.66‰ for red foxes. These Arctic and red Yukon Territory foxes indicate a trophic level similar to Arctic terrestrial omnivores.en_US
dc.description.tableofcontentsChapter 1: Hair and bone as predictors of tissular mercury concentration in the Western Alaska red fox, Vulpes vulpes -- Chapter 2: A stable carbon and nitrogen isotope investigation of various tissues in the free-ranging Western Alaska red fox -- Chapter 3: A Forensic Evaluation: The use of mercury and stable isotope analysis of museum bone samples to monitor if environmental changes are affecting the eating patterns of red and Arctic foxes -- General Conclusions and Future Direction.en_US
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.titleEnvironmental forensics: an innovative technique using bone to identify mercury and stable isotope levels in internal tissues of wildlife in a changing western Alaska environmenten_US
dc.typeDissertationen_US
dc.type.degreephden_US
dc.identifier.departmentDepartment of Chemistry and Biochemistryen_US
dc.contributor.chairDuffy, Lawrence K.
dc.contributor.committeeMcIntyre, Julie P.
dc.contributor.committeeLayer, Paul W.
dc.contributor.committeeDunlap, Kriya L.
refterms.dateFOA2019-05-03T00:00:00Z


Files in this item

Thumbnail
Name:
Dainowski_B_2017.pdf
Size:
20.85Mb
Format:
PDF

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record