Although ecotoxicological data on heavy metals are abundant, information on other potentially toxic elements with attributed deficiency and/or toxic disturbances is scarce. Here we quantify zinc, copper, iron, manganese, chromium, molybdenum, strontium, barium, and boron in bones of greater white-toothed shrews, Crocidura russula, inhabiting two protected Mediterranean coastal sites: the Ebro Delta, a wetland impacted by human activities, and the Medas Islands, a reference site. Natural and anthropogenic inputs significantly increase Fe, Mn, Mo, Sr, Ba, and B in specimens from the Ebro Delta, whereas Cu and Cr were higher in Medas' shrews. Principal component analysis allowed complete separation between sites along the first two axes in particular due to B, Sr, and Cu. This study provides metal reference values in bones of insectivores, explores their variability and bioaccumulation patterns in depth, and assesses the potential environmental risk and toxicity for biota exposed to the above elements. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- Crocidura russula
- Ebro Delta
- Protected Mediterranean sites