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Concept: Hudson Bay


Distribution and levels of C. botulinum type E was determined on field sites used by Inuit hunters for butchering seals along the coast of Nunavik. The incidence of C. botulinum type E in shoreline soil along the coast was 0, 50, and 87.5% of samples tested for the Hudson Strait, Hudson Bay, and Ungava Bay regions, respectively. Spores were detected in seawater or coastal rock surfaces from 17.6% of butchering sites, almost all located in southern Ungava Bay. Concentrations of C. botulinum type E along the Ungava Bay coast were significantly higher than the coasts of Hudson Strait and Hudson Bay, with the highest concentrations (270 to 1,800/kg) found near butchering sites located along the mouths of large rivers. The Koksoak River contained high levels of C. botulinum type E, with the highest median concentration (270/kg) found in sediments of the marine portion of the river. C. botulinum type E was found in the intestinal contents (4.4%) and skins (1.4%) of seals. A high genetic biodiversity of C. botulinum type E isolates was observed among the 21 butchering sites and their surroundings along the Nunavik coastline, with 83% of isolates (44/53) yielding distinct PFGE genotypes. Multiple sources of C. botulinum type E may be involved in the contamination of seal meat during butchering, but the risk of contamination appears to be much higher from environmental sources along the shoreline of southern Ungava Bay and the sediments of the Koksoak River.

Concepts: Coast, Inuit, Beach, Quebec, Clostridium botulinum, Nunavut, Nunavik, Hudson Bay


The last ice age was characterized by rapid and hemispherically asynchronous climate oscillations, whose origin remains unresolved. Variations in oceanic meridional heat transport may contribute to these repeated climate changes, which were most pronounced during marine isotope stage 3 (MIS3), the glacial interval twenty-five to sixty thousand years ago. We examined climate and ocean circulation proxies throughout this interval at high resolution in a deep North Atlantic sediment core, combining the kinematic tracer Pa/Th with the deep water-mass tracer, δ(13)CBF These indicators suggest reduced Atlantic overturning circulation during every cool northern stadial, with the greatest reductions during episodic Hudson Strait iceberg discharges, while sharp northern warming followed reinvigorated overturning. These results provide direct evidence for the ocean’s persistent, central role in abrupt glacial climate change.

Concepts: Earth, Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic Ocean, Ocean, Antarctica, Marine debris, Thermohaline circulation, Hudson Bay


Aquatic environments are sinks for anthropogenic contamination, whether chemical or solid pollutants. Microfibers shed from clothing and other textiles contribute to this problem. These can be plastic or non-plastic origin. Our aim was to investigate the presence and distribution of both types of anthropogenic microfibers along the length of the Hudson River, USA. Surface grab samples were collected and filtered through a 0.45μm filter paper. Abundance of fibers was determined after subtraction of potential contamination. 233 microfibers were recorded in 142 samples, averaging 0.98microfibersL(-1). Subsequent micro-FTIR showed half of the fibers were plastic while the other half were non-plastic, but of anthropogenic origin. There was no relationship between fiber abundance, wastewater treatment plant location or population density. Extrapolating from this data, and using available hydrographic data, 34.4% of the Hudson River’s watershed drainage area contributes an average 300 million anthropogenic microfibers into the Atlantic Ocean per day.

Concepts: Water, United States, Water pollution, Atlantic Ocean, Sewage treatment, Paper, New York City, Hudson Bay


The objective of this study was to investigate the occurrence of glyphosate residues (glyphosate and its metabolite AMPA) in shallow groundwater in a catchment dominated by agriculture, and to examine the potential for this groundwater to store and transmit these compounds to surface waters.

Concepts: Water, Hydroelectricity, Hudson Bay, Nottawasaga River, Rupert's Land


While policies to decrease lead in the environment have been implemented to reduce human exposure to various lead sources, the use of lead ammunition to harvest wild game may continue to contribute significantly to human blood lead levels (BLLs). As part of a multi-community environment-and-health study, BLLs representing all age groups were evaluated in the nine Cree Nations located in the James and Hudson Bay regions of Quebec, Canada. Personal, market food, traditional food and 24-h recall questionnaires were administered. Predictor variables were assessed for various exposure sources, including diet and hunting practices. Elevated BLLs were observed in association with increased hunting status, use of firearms and leaded ammunition, and consumption of traditional foods. Significant differences were observed between all communities, age groups and sexes. Recommendations include educational campaigns that promote switching to non-lead ammunition and, if lead ammunition continues to be used, careful removal from tissues of pellets, bullet fragments and ammunition paths.

Concepts: Canada, Ontario, Quebec, Bullet, Hudson Bay, Lead poisoning, James Bay, Cree


this article constitutes a report on the comprehensive Nituuchischaayihtitaau Aschii multi-community environment-and-health study conducted among the Cree peoples (Eeyouch) of northern Quebec, Canada.

Concepts: Ontario, Quebec, Nunavut, Hudson Bay, James Bay, Cree, Grand Council of the Crees, Hudson's Bay Company


Indigenous peoples have traditionally relied on foods hunted and gathered from their immediate environment. The Eastern James Bay Cree people consume wild game and birds, and these are believed to provide health as well as cultural benefits.

Concepts: Nutrition, Fatty acid, Quebec, Indigenous peoples, First Nations, Hudson Bay, Fort Albany, Ontario, Moose Factory, Ontario


The hydrology of shallow lakes (and ponds) located in the western Hudson Bay Lowlands (HBL) is sensitive to climate warming and associated permafrost thaw. However, their biological characteristics are poorly known, which hampers effective aquatic ecosystem monitoring. Located in northern Manitoba along the southwestern coast of Hudson Bay, Wapusk National Park (WNP) encompasses numerous shallow lakes representative of the subarctic zone. We analyzed the distribution and diversity of diatom (microscopic algae; class Bacillariophyceae) assemblages in surficial sediments of 33 lakes located in three different ecozones spanning a vegetation gradient, from NE to SW: the Coastal Fen (CF), the Interior Peat Plateau (IPP), and the Boreal Spruce Forest (BSF). We found significant differences (P < 0.05) in diatom community composition between CF and IPP lakes, and CF and BSF lakes, but not between IPP and BSF lakes. These results are consistent with water chemistry measurements, which indicated distinct limnological conditions for CF lakes. Diatom communities in CF lakes were generally dominated by alkaliphilous taxa typical of waters with medium to high conductivity, such as Nitzschia denticula. In contrast, several IPP and BSF lakes were dominated by acidophilous and circumneutral diatom taxa with preference for low conductivity (e.g., Tabellaria flocculosa, Eunotia mucophila, E. necompacta var. vixcompacta). This exploratory survey provides a first detailed inventory of the diatom assemblages in the WNP region needed for monitoring programs to detect changes in shallow lake ecosystems and ecozonal shifts in response to climate variations.

Concepts: Lake, Ecosystem, Hudson Bay, Hudson Bay Lowlands, James Bay, Churchill, Manitoba, Wapusk National Park, Maternity den


Concentrations of total mercury (THg) and total cadmium (TCd) were determined in muscle and liver of ringed seals (Pusa hispida) from up to 14 locations across the Canadian Arctic. Location, trophic position (TP) and relative carbon source best predicted the THg and TCd concentrations in ringed seals. THg concentrations in ringed seals were highest in the western Canadian Arctic (Beaufort Sea), whereas TCd was highest in the eastern Canadian Arctic (Hudson Bay and Labrador). A positive relationship between THg and TP and a negative relationship between THg and relative carbon source contributed to the geographical patterns observed and elevated THg levels at certain sites. In contrast, a negative relationship between TCd and TP was found, indicating that high TCd concentrations are related to seals feeding more on invertebrates than fish. Feeding ecology appears to play an important role in THg and TCd levels in ringed seals, with biomagnification driving elevated THg levels and a dependence on low-trophic position prey resulting in high TCd concentrations. The present study shows that both natural geological differences and diet variability among regions explain the spatial patterns for THg and TCd concentrations in ringed seals.

Concepts: Mercury, Canada, Inuit, Arctic Ocean, Pinniped, Northwest Territories, Polar bear, Hudson Bay


The anthropometric thresholds signaling type 2 diabetes risk have not been well defined for Aboriginal communities. This study examined current thresholds in terms of ability to capture diabetes risk in the Cree of Eeyou Istchee in northern Quebec, Canada.

Concepts: Diabetes mellitus type 2, Ontario, Quebec, Nunavik, Hudson Bay, James Bay, Grand Council of the Crees, James Bay Project