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versão On-line ISSN 2007-3364


MENDEZ-RODRIGUEZ, Lía  e  ALVAREZ-CASTANEDA, Sergio Ticul. Differences in metal content in liver of Heteromyids from deposits with and without previous mining operations. Therya [online]. 2019, vol.10, n.3, pp.235-242.  Epub 09-Set-2020. ISSN 2007-3364.

Some rodents of the family Heteromyidae can survive without drinking water, as they obtain it from food. All these species have in common that they eat seeds and fruits. The content of trace metals in food varies depending on the local geology and anthropogenic activities. Baja California Sur has mineral deposits that have been exploited; thus, the metals released may be incorporated into seeds and fruits that are consumed by Heteromyidae. Therefore, metal content in the liver is expected to reflect the presence of mining in soil where these rodents thrive. Individuals from different species of Heteromyidae were collected at sites with mineral deposits; these were divided into two groups: rodents captured in sites with a history of mining operations (Santa Rosalia, San Juan de la Costa, and El Triunfo), and rodents captured in areas with no mining activities (El Vizcaíno, Punta Abreojos, Magdalena Island, and Santiago). The liver of these rodents was excised and its manganese, copper, cadmium, lead, zinc, nickel, and iron contents were determined using atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Manganese was the element that showed the highest significant differences between species, followed by zinc and copper. Iron and cadmium showed the lowest differences. Nickel and lead showed no differences. Chaetodipus arenarius showed significant differences between sites in copper and lead content; C. spinatus did not show significant differences for manganese, copper, nickel, and iron, but it did for cadmium and lead content. Differential accumulation of metals occurs across species. These results indicate that the same species could be used for comparative purposes in pollution monitoring. The comparison of different heteromid species, despite their sharing similar feeding habits and belonging to the same family, can lead to misinterpretation due to the variability of the results. This is probably due to the requirements and tolerances regarding essential elements, such as manganese and zinc, to or tolerance to non-essential elements such as cadmium and lead, which may vary across species.

Palavras-chave : bioaccumulation; bioindicators; chemical pollution; rodents; arid soils.

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