Legacy Contamination in Estuarine Dolphin Species From the South American Coast Book Chapter

Siciliano, S, Moura, JF, Tavares, DC et al. (2018). Legacy Contamination in Estuarine Dolphin Species From the South American Coast . 95-116. 10.1016/B978-0-12-812144-3.00004-8

cited authors

  • Siciliano, S; Moura, JF; Tavares, DC; Kehrig, HA; Hauser-Davis, RA; Moreira, I; Lavandier, R; Lemos, LS; Emin-Lima, R; Quinete, NS


  • As top predators, cetaceans occupy important ecologic niches in marine ecosystems, although this also makes them highly vulnerable to the biomagnification of persistent chemicals throughout their life stages. Coastal dolphins, in particular, are highly exposed to harmful chemicals in the marine environment, due to their proximity to anthropogenic activities. In this context, both Guiana (Sotalia guianensis) and Franciscana dolphins (Pontoporia blainvillei) have been used as valuable model species regarding the assessment of marine pollution along the South American coast. As these species are confined to a narrow coastal distribution and exhibit a small home range, they may be chronically exposed to chemical contaminants. In this chapter, an extensive compilation of relevant information on important chemical pollutants in both dolphin species is discussed, namely metals and certain persistent organic pollutants, such as polychlorinated biphenyls and polybrominated diphenyl ethers. Moreover, the application of biomarkers of response is discussed, providing an enhanced comprehension on the use of this approach in investigating the effects of xenobiotics in both coastal species.

publication date

  • January 1, 2018

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 95

end page

  • 116