Potentiation of ecological factors on the disruption of thyroid hormones by organo-halogenated contaminants in female polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from the Barents Sea

We examined seasonal variations in body condition and circulating

Sophie Bourgeon; Astrid Kolind Riemer; Sabrina Tartu; Jon Aars; Anuschka Polder; Bjørn Munro Jenssen; Heli Routti


Scholarcy highlights

  • As Arctic top predators, polar bears show among the highest concentrations of organo-halogenated contaminants
  • Body mass was influenced by the status of females with females with cubs of the year being 26 kg lighter than solitary females during spring while females with YRLs were only 14 kg lighter compared to the latter group
  • Females sampled in the North West of Svalbard showed poorer body condition
  • Body condition index was lower in females with COYs compared to solitary females while it did not differ between the two other groups
  • We reported variations in body condition and thyroid hormones of female polar bears in relation to ecological factors
  • The partial mismatch between fluctuations in body condition and THs between groups does not suggest any direct relationship between both traits
  • The combined effects of natural and anthropogenic stressors on the homeostasis of thyroid hormones remain to be documented as it might impair the ability of individuals to adapt to ongoing climate changes

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