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Publication Detail

Title: Pathways of CH3Hg and Hg ingestion in benthic organisms: an enriched isotope approach.

Authors: Taylor, Vivien F; Bugge, Deenie; Jackson, Brian P; Chen, Celia Y

Published In Environ Sci Technol, (2014 May 6)

Abstract: Mercury is a widespread contaminant in marine food webs, and identifying uptake pathways of mercury species, CH3Hg(+) and Hg(2+), into low trophic level organisms is important to understanding its entry into marine food webs. Enriched stable isotope tracers were used to study benthic vs. pelagic pathways of CH3Hg(+) and Hg(2+) uptake via food to the infaunal estuarine amphipod, Leptocheirus plumulosus. Algal cells differentially labeled with isotopically enriched CH3Hg(+) or Hg(2+) were added simultaneously to the sediment and water column of microcosms, and Hg species were monitored in amphipods and in sediment and water compartments. Methylation of Hg(2+) occurred during the course of the experiment, enhancing the uptake of Hg(2+) spikes. Trophic transfer of Hg from algae added to the water column was determined to be the major uptake route for amphipods, suggesting inputs of contaminated organic matter from the pelagic zone are important to mercury bioaccumulation even in organisms living in sediments.

PubMed ID: 24678910 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Amphipoda/metabolism*; Animals; Food Chain*; Geologic Sediments/chemistry; Isotopes; Mercury/analysis; Mercury/metabolism*; Methylation; Methylmercury Compounds/analysis; Methylmercury Compounds/metabolism*; Microalgae/metabolism*; Phytoplankton/metabolism*; Water Pollutants, Chemical/analysis; Water Pollutants, Chemical/metabolism*

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