Chemosphere ( IF 5.778 ) Pub Date : 2020-07-27 , DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.127800 Silvia Gabriela Nunes da Silva Yang; Iago José Santos da Silva; Dênisson da Silva e Souza; Cristina Farias da Fonseca; Ana Cláudia da Silva Santiago; Pierre Castro Soares; Jaqueline Bianque de Oliveira
This study aimed to determine the mineral profile of hair samples of free-ranging capybaras (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) in remnants of the Atlantic Forest located in the Northeast of Brazil, and to evaluate the effects of origin, gender and age of the animals on their mineral accumulation in hair. Twenty hair samples from animals of different areas, genders and ages were prepared using microwave-assisted digestion, employing 5 mL of HNO3 and 2.5 mL of H2SO4 for 100 mg of sample. Digestion efficiency was assessed by residual carbon content. The digested samples were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP OES). Principal component analysis (PCA) was performed considering the composition data of 11 elements (Al, Ca, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, K, Mn, Mo, and Na). The digestion method applied was efficient and the most abundant elements with their respective concentration ranges in mg kg−1 were Al (396–2746), Ca (36–3420), Fe (476–51180), K (115–4843), and Na (72–473). ANOVA and PCA differentiated among the capybaras regarding age (adults) and origin (A3), both associated with higher concentrations of Al, Cd, Fe, and K. Although a higher metal bioaccumulation was observed in adult animals, it is important to highlight that this result could have been affected by diet and physiological parameters. The results suggest that A3 was the most anthropized remnant area due to agricultural and urban influences. Multi-elemental determination in hair can be used as a non-invasive method to assess heavy metal contamination in capybaras.