Levels and Potential Effects of PCBs, OH-PCBs, OH-PBDEs, and Hg on Plasma Progesterone Levels in Breeding Glaucous Gulls (Larus hyperboreus) from Kongsfjorden, Svalbard
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- Institutt for biologi 
Arctic life faces the risk of exposure to a magnitude of anthropogenic pollutants. Due to the chemical stability and persistence of many organic pollutants, they are able to undergo long-range transportation from emission sources at southern latitudes. When reaching arctic regions, these pollutants condense and are deposited before accumulating in the marine food web. Due to processes of bioaccumulation and biomagnification, these pollutants may pose a threat to species at higher trophic levels, such as the glaucous gull (Larus hyperboreus). Many of the compounds and their metabolic derivatives detected in the glaucous gull have structural similarities to reproductive hormones. They are toxic and can potentially lead to adverse endocrine disrupting effects in glaucous gulls. This study aimed to investigate the potential effects of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), hydroxylated polychlorinated biphenyls (OH PCBs), hydroxylated polybrominated diphenyl ethers (OH-PBDEs), and mercury on the sex steroid progesterone in incubating glaucous gulls sampled in 2011, 2012, and 2013 in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard. Significant positive relationships were found between progesterone levels and OH-PCBs (p = 0.057) and OH-PBDEs (p = 0.079 - 0.006) in female glaucous gulls. In male glaucous gulls, a significant positive relationship was found between progesterone levels and PCBs (p = 0.072). No relationships were found between mercury and progesterone in either of the sexes. The ultimate effects of altered progesterone levels in glaucous gulls may lead to repercussions in reproductive success, for example through physiological or behavioral manifestations.