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BEHAVIOURAL ECOTOXIOCOLOGY MEETS CLIMATE CHANGE: Interactive effects of mercury pollution and climate change on behaviour, physiology and fitness in a keystone arctic seabird

Descrizione del progetto

Interazioni tra inquinanti e cambiamento climatico

Il cambiamento climatico e i contaminanti antropogenici rappresentano minacce in crescita per gli ecosistemi dell’Artico. Mentre l’Artico si scalda, inquinanti come il metilmercurio, che si accumulano nelle filiere alimentari marine, rappresentano pericoli ecologici in aumento. Tuttavia, la ricerca ecotossicologica nell’Artico non ha preso in sufficiente considerazione gli effetti degli agenti inquinanti sul comportamento e sulla salute degli animali, né le interazioni tra inquinanti e cambiamento climatico. Il progetto BehavToxArc, finanziato dall’UE, affronterà questo problema studiando un uccello marino artico chiave di volta chiamato piccola alca. I dati relativi al comportamento e alla salute dell’uccello marino saranno raccolti da due colonie che vivono in condizioni ambientali e di effetti del cambiamento climatico diversi. BehavToxArc esaminerà se è possibile che l’alterazione del comportamento o la fisiologia dello stress dovute al mercurio riducano l’adattamento ai cambiamenti ambientali.

Obiettivo

The arctic marine biota is vulnerable to effects of climate change and anthropogenic contaminants. The artic is warming rapidly and is a sink for pollutants, including methylmercury (MeHg), which bioaccumulates in marine food chains. Ecotoxicological studies in the arctic have not adequately considered effects of contaminants on animal behaviour and fitness, or interactions between contaminants and climate change. This study (BehavToxArc) will address these urgent research areas using a keystone arctic seabird, the little auk (Alle alle). I will collect data from two colonies that are experiencing different environmental conditions and climate change impacts, and explore whether disruption of behaviour or stress physiology by Hg might limit adjustments to environmental change. I will use ultralight GPSs and accelerometers to collect unique behavioural data, which will be linked to state-of-the-art Hg measurements, and complemented by a long-term dataset (from accelerometers since 2009). I will also perform cutting-edge experiments to manipulate stress physiology, and explore cross-generational effects of Hg exposure in the context of climate change, focusing on telomeres. I will work with Dr. Jérôme Fort within the AMARE (Responses of Marine Organisms to Environmental Variability) group at La Rochelle University’s Institute Littoral Environnement et Sociétés. BehavToxArc will synthesize my expertise in behavioural ecotoxicology and telomere biology with Dr. Fort’s expertise in arctic ecotoxicology and spatial ecology. The project will introduce me to state-of-the art methods to monitor movement behaviour and measure telomeres, and the highly topical fields of arctic ecotoxicology and global change biology. Results will be disseminated by top-tier publications, conferences and public engagement, and used to advance scientific knowledge and environmental policy. The project will pivotally advance my career and propel me towards a permanent research position.

Coordinatore

LA ROCHELLE UNIVERSITE
Contribution nette de l'UE
€ 184 707,84
Indirizzo
Avenue Albert-Einstein 23
17031 La Rochelle
Francia

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Regione
Nouvelle-Aquitaine Poitou-Charentes Charente-Maritime
Tipo di attività
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Collegamenti
Costo totale
€ 184 707,84