Nuclear reprocessing-related radiocarbon (14C) uptake in UK marine mammals

KM Tierney, GKP Muir, GT Cook, JJ Heymans, G MacKinnon, JA Howe, S Xu, A Brownlow, NJ Davison, M ten Doeschate, R Deaville

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To evaluate the transfer of Sellafield-derived radiocarbon (14C) to top predators in the UK marine environment, 14C activities were examined in stranded marine mammals. All samples of harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) obtained from the Irish Sea showed 14C enrichment above background. Mammal samples obtained from the West of Scotland, including harbour porpoise, grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) and harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) showed 14C enrichment but to a lesser extent. This study demonstrates, for the first time, enriched 14C is transferred through the marine food web to apex predators as a consequence of ongoing nuclear reprocessing activities at Sellafield. Total Sellafield 14C discharge activity 24 months prior to stranding and, in particular, distance of animal stranding site from Sellafield are significant variables affecting individual 14C activity. 14C activities of West of Scotland harbour porpoises suggest they did not forage in the Irish Sea prior to stranding, indicating a high foraging fidelity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43 - 50
Number of pages8
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume124
Early online date8 Jul 2017
DOIs
Publication statusFirst published - 8 Jul 2017

Fingerprint

marine mammal
stranding
porpoise
harbor
predator
food web
forage
marine environment
mammal
reprocessing
animal
sea

Bibliographical note

20102518

Keywords

  • Marine mammals
  • Nuclear reprocessing
  • Radiocarbon (14C)
  • Sellafield

Cite this

Tierney, KM., Muir, GKP., Cook, GT., Heymans, JJ., MacKinnon, G., Howe, JA., ... Deaville, R. (2017). Nuclear reprocessing-related radiocarbon (14C) uptake in UK marine mammals. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 124, 43 - 50. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.07.002
Tierney, KM ; Muir, GKP ; Cook, GT ; Heymans, JJ ; MacKinnon, G ; Howe, JA ; Xu, S ; Brownlow, A ; Davison, NJ ; ten Doeschate, M ; Deaville, R. / Nuclear reprocessing-related radiocarbon (14C) uptake in UK marine mammals. In: Marine Pollution Bulletin. 2017 ; Vol. 124. pp. 43 - 50.
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abstract = "To evaluate the transfer of Sellafield-derived radiocarbon (14C) to top predators in the UK marine environment, 14C activities were examined in stranded marine mammals. All samples of harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) obtained from the Irish Sea showed 14C enrichment above background. Mammal samples obtained from the West of Scotland, including harbour porpoise, grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) and harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) showed 14C enrichment but to a lesser extent. This study demonstrates, for the first time, enriched 14C is transferred through the marine food web to apex predators as a consequence of ongoing nuclear reprocessing activities at Sellafield. Total Sellafield 14C discharge activity 24 months prior to stranding and, in particular, distance of animal stranding site from Sellafield are significant variables affecting individual 14C activity. 14C activities of West of Scotland harbour porpoises suggest they did not forage in the Irish Sea prior to stranding, indicating a high foraging fidelity.",
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Tierney, KM, Muir, GKP, Cook, GT, Heymans, JJ, MacKinnon, G, Howe, JA, Xu, S, Brownlow, A, Davison, NJ, ten Doeschate, M & Deaville, R 2017, 'Nuclear reprocessing-related radiocarbon (14C) uptake in UK marine mammals', Marine Pollution Bulletin, vol. 124, pp. 43 - 50. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.07.002

Nuclear reprocessing-related radiocarbon (14C) uptake in UK marine mammals. / Tierney, KM; Muir, GKP; Cook, GT; Heymans, JJ; MacKinnon, G; Howe, JA; Xu, S; Brownlow, A; Davison, NJ; ten Doeschate, M; Deaville, R.

In: Marine Pollution Bulletin, Vol. 124, 08.07.2017, p. 43 - 50.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Nuclear reprocessing-related radiocarbon (14C) uptake in UK marine mammals

AU - Tierney, KM

AU - Muir, GKP

AU - Cook, GT

AU - Heymans, JJ

AU - MacKinnon, G

AU - Howe, JA

AU - Xu, S

AU - Brownlow, A

AU - Davison, NJ

AU - ten Doeschate, M

AU - Deaville, R

N1 - 20102518

PY - 2017/7/8

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N2 - To evaluate the transfer of Sellafield-derived radiocarbon (14C) to top predators in the UK marine environment, 14C activities were examined in stranded marine mammals. All samples of harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) obtained from the Irish Sea showed 14C enrichment above background. Mammal samples obtained from the West of Scotland, including harbour porpoise, grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) and harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) showed 14C enrichment but to a lesser extent. This study demonstrates, for the first time, enriched 14C is transferred through the marine food web to apex predators as a consequence of ongoing nuclear reprocessing activities at Sellafield. Total Sellafield 14C discharge activity 24 months prior to stranding and, in particular, distance of animal stranding site from Sellafield are significant variables affecting individual 14C activity. 14C activities of West of Scotland harbour porpoises suggest they did not forage in the Irish Sea prior to stranding, indicating a high foraging fidelity.

AB - To evaluate the transfer of Sellafield-derived radiocarbon (14C) to top predators in the UK marine environment, 14C activities were examined in stranded marine mammals. All samples of harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) obtained from the Irish Sea showed 14C enrichment above background. Mammal samples obtained from the West of Scotland, including harbour porpoise, grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) and harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) showed 14C enrichment but to a lesser extent. This study demonstrates, for the first time, enriched 14C is transferred through the marine food web to apex predators as a consequence of ongoing nuclear reprocessing activities at Sellafield. Total Sellafield 14C discharge activity 24 months prior to stranding and, in particular, distance of animal stranding site from Sellafield are significant variables affecting individual 14C activity. 14C activities of West of Scotland harbour porpoises suggest they did not forage in the Irish Sea prior to stranding, indicating a high foraging fidelity.

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KW - Nuclear reprocessing

KW - Radiocarbon (14C)

KW - Sellafield

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DO - 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.07.002

M3 - Article

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JF - Marine Pollution Bulletin

SN - 0025-326X

ER -

Tierney KM, Muir GKP, Cook GT, Heymans JJ, MacKinnon G, Howe JA et al. Nuclear reprocessing-related radiocarbon (14C) uptake in UK marine mammals. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 2017 Jul 8;124:43 - 50. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.07.002