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Concentrations of Heavy Metals in Common Lizards (Lacerta vivipara) and their Food and Environment

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Specimens of the common lizard Lacerta vivipara were captured from beside a busy road, a little used country road, and the spoil heaps of a disused lead mine. Concentrations oflead, zinc and copper in lizards from beside the busy road were no higher than in those from the little used road, although levels in soils, vegetation and some invertebrates were greater. Levels of lead were higher, however, in lizards from the site contaminated by mining. Concentrations of metals in lizards from all three sites were lower than those in soils and most invertebrates, demonstrating that L. vivipara do not accumulate heavy metals to an extent that their position in the food chain might suggest.

Affiliations: 1: Departments of Botany and Zoology, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 IUG, U.K.


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