Comparison of metal burden in different muscle tissues of Great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2022 Jan;29(2):2375-2384. doi: 10.1007/s11356-021-15600-z. Epub 2021 Aug 9.


Concentrations of 12 metals (As, Ba, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Hg, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb and Zn) were examined in the pectoral and thigh muscle of great cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo). The samples were collected from Central Tisza-Jászság Nature Conservation Area in Hungary. The tissue samples were analysed by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES). The aim of the study was to examine the impacts of heavy metal pollution on the water birds, determine the concentrations of the abovementioned metals in the different muscle tissues of these wetland birds, and provide the basic materials for monitoring the environmental pollution. Among the investigated elements/metals, the detected concentrations of As, Ba, Cd, Co, Cr, Mo and Ni were below the detection limit. Higher concentration of Cu, Hg, Mn and Pb was measured in the pectoral muscle compared to the thigh muscle, but only in the case of Cu and Mn were found significant differences between the tissues. In the case of the Zn concentration, the higher value was detected in the thigh muscle. There were no statistical differences between males and females in either metal concentrations.

Keywords: Great cormorant; Heavy metals; Metal pollution; Metals; Pectoral muscle; Thigh muscle; Wetland.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Birds
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Mercury*
  • Metals, Heavy* / analysis
  • Muscles / chemistry


  • Metals, Heavy
  • Mercury