Title: Recovery of aquatic insect-mediated methylmercury flux from ponds following drying disturbance.
Authors: Chumchal, Matthew M; Drenner, Ray W; Greenhill, Frank M; Kennedy, James H; Courville, Ashlyn E; Gober, Charlie A A; Lossau, Luke O
Published In Environ Toxicol Chem, (2017 08)
Abstract: Small ponds exist across a permanence gradient, and pond permanence is hypothesized to be a primary determinant of insect community structure and insect-mediated methylmercury (MeHg) flux from ponds to the surrounding terrestrial landscape. The present study describes the first experiment examining the recovery of insect-mediated MeHg flux following a drying disturbance that converted permanent ponds with insectivorous fish to semipermanent ponds without fish. Floating emergence traps were used to collect emergent insects for 10 wk in the spring and summer from 5 ponds with fish (permanent) and 5 ponds that were drained to remove fish, dried, and refilled with water (semipermanent). During the 73-d period after semipermanent ponds were refilled, total MeHg flux from semipermanent ponds was not significantly different than total MeHg flux from permanent ponds, indicating that insect-mediated MeHg flux had rapidly recovered in semipermanent ponds following the drying disturbance. Methylmercury fluxes from dragonflies (Odonata: Anisoptera) and phantom midges (Diptera: Chaoboridae) were significantly greater from newly refilled semipermanent ponds than permanent ponds, but the MeHg fluxes from the other 8 emergent insect taxa did not differ between treatments. The present study demonstrates the impact of drying disturbance and the effect of community structure on the cross-system transport of contaminants from aquatic to terrestrial ecosystems. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:1986-1990. © 2017 SETAC.
PubMed ID: 28071812
MeSH Terms: Animals; Chironomidae/metabolism; Ecosystem*; Environmental Monitoring/methods*; Fishes/metabolism; Food Chain; Insecta/metabolism*; Methylmercury Compounds/analysis*; Methylmercury Compounds/metabolism; Ponds/chemistry*; Seasons; Water Pollutants, Chemical/analysis*; Water Pollutants, Chemical/metabolism