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Element concentrations, histology and serum biochemistry of arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) and shorthorn sculpins (Myoxocephalus scorpius) in northwest Greenland

New publication by Rasmus Dyrmose Nørregaard, Lis Bach, Ole Geertz-Hansen, Jacob Nabe-Nielsen et al.


The increasing exploratory efforts in the Greenland mineral industry, and in particular, the proposed rare earth element (REE) mining projects, requires an urgent need to generate data on baseline REE concentrations and their potential environmental impacts. Herein, we have investigated REE concentrations in anadromous Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) and shorthorn sculpins (Myoxocephalus scorpius) from uncontaminated sites in Northwest Greenland, along with the relationships between the element concentrations in gills and liver, and gill histology and serum biochemical parameters. Concentrations of arsenic, silver, cadmium, cerium, chromium, copper, dysprosium, mercury, lanthanum, neodymium, lead, selenium, yttrium, and zinc in gills, liver and muscle are presented. No significant statistical correlations were observed between element concentrations in different organs and gill histology or serum biochemical parameters. However, we observed positive relationships between age and histopathology, emphasizing the importance of including age as a co-variable in histological studies of fish. Despite no element-induced effects were observed, this study is considered an important baseline study, which can be used as a reference for the assessment of impacts of potential future REE mine sites in Greenland.