The use of principal component analysis to identify factors affecting mercury concentrations in Apodemus flavicollis and Apodemus sylvaticus
This study deals with the extent to which a spring and autumn moult and the type of seasonally preferred food can affect mercury concentrations in the body of mice. Samples of 5 types of tissues (blood, hair, liver, brain, kidney) were obtained from 102 dead mice of the genus Apodemus. Data on the concentration of total Hg in the sample were obtained by a DMA-80 analyzer. PCA revealed 5 factors involved in influencing concentration of Hg in tissues. The origin of these factors and potential explanations for phenomena that are paradoxical are discussed. Comparing the seasonality and effect of the factor that impacts the concentration of Hg in the blood revealed an increase in mercury contamination level in a season where animals experience lower food intake. Exogenous deposition from the environment likely enriches inert hair tissue with mercury following both the spring and autumn moult.
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