Effect of landscape tree cover, sex and season on the bioaccumulation of persistent organochlorine pesticides in fruit bats of riparian corridors in eastern Mexico.

PMID 28236707


Riparian forests are recognized as important ecosystems for biodiversity conservation in transformed landscapes. Many animal species that use this type of vegetation facilitate its recovery through pollination and seed dispersal. In landscapes dominated by agrosystems and cattle ranching, persistent organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) in the riparian system may have an effect on the physiology and fitness of animals. In this study, we measured bioaccumulation of OCPs in the most abundant frugivorous bat, Sturnira hondurensis, from the upper part of La Antigua basin, Veracruz, Mexico and, from these data, estimated accumulation by the frugivorous bat community of riparian forests in contrasting, transformed (TL) and forested (FL) landscapes. Concentration of ΣDDT, Σdrines, Σclordano, ΣHCH, Σheptachlor and Σendosulfan was measured by gas-chromatography in 23 female and 33 male adult Sturnira captured during the dry and rainy seasons. Using censored data statistics, we found that the sex of the individual was significant for ΣHCH, and that interactions of landscape type (TL vs. FL) and season (dry vs. wet), and sex and season were significant for Σendosulfan and Σdrines, respectively. Mean ΣDDT (6.86xa0μg/g) and ΣHCH (28.22xa0μg/g) concentrations were lower than those reported for frugivorous bats in India but concentrations of Σdrines (13.86xa0μg/g) were higher than those reported in insectivorous bats. In our study sites, frugivorous bats are bioaccumulating higher amounts of OCPs in TL than in FL. We discuss the potential of this species as a bio-indicator of OCPs contamination in river basins.

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Endosulfan, PESTANAL®, analytical standard