Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Potential of invasive alien top predator as a biomonitor of nickel deposition - the case of American mink in Iceland.

Abstract

American mink Neovison vison is one of the most harmful non-indigenous species in Iceland and has been proven to be a useful indirect bioindicator and biomonitor for numerous environmental pollutants. Therefore, the main objective of the study was to determine the total nickel concentration in the spleen of 35 females and 30 males obtained from Brokey archipelago and the south coast of Hvammsfjörður (Dalabyggð, Iceland) using graphite furnace atomic absorption spectroscopy. We also assessed the correlation between nickel concentration and selected anatomical and morphological parameters, hypothesising that invasive alien N. vison is a promising candidate species for biomonitoring the deposition of this trace element. The results indicated a substantial variation in nickel concentration in the spleen tissue of examined animals. For males, the maximum concentration exceeded the average level by more than 16 times, and for females by more than 7 times. The correlation coefficient between morphometric features and the level of nickel concentration in the spleen did not show a significant relationship in any of the tested combinations, for all tested animals or for each sex separately. In conclusion, American mink in Iceland can be considered a promising species for qualitative and quantitative assessment of ecosystems in terms of nickel pollution.