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Data from: Atmospheric deposition exposes Qinling pandas to toxic pollutants


Chen, Yi-ping et al. (2016), Data from: Atmospheric deposition exposes Qinling pandas to toxic pollutants, Dryad, Dataset,


The giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) is one of the most endangered animals in the world, and it is recognized worldwide as a symbol for conservation. A previous study showed that wild and captive pandas, especially those of the Qinling subspecies, were exposed to toxicants in their diet of bamboo; the ultimate origin of these toxicants is unknown. Here we show that atmospheric deposition is the most likely origin of heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the diets of captive and wild Qinling pandas. Average atmospheric deposition was 199, 115 and 49 g∙m−2∙yr−1 in the center of Xi'an city, at China's Shaanxi Wild Animal Research Center (SWARC), and at Foping National Nature Reserve (FNNR), respectively. Atmospheric deposition of heavy metals (As, Cd, Cr, Pb, Hg, Co, Cu, Zn, Mn and Ni) and POPs was highest at Xi'an city, intermediate at SWARC, and lowest at FNNR. Soil concentrations of the aforementioned heavy metals other than As and Zn also were significantly higher at SWARC than at FNNR. Efforts to conserve Qinling pandas may be compromised by air pollution attendant to China's economic development. Improvement of air quality and reductions of toxic emissions are urgently required to protect China's iconic species.

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