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Publication Detail

Title: Sediment organic carbon and temperature effects on methylmercury concentration: A mesocosm experiment.

Authors: Buckman, K L; Seelen, E A; Mason, R P; Balcom, P; Taylor, V F; Ward, J E; Chen, C Y

Published In Sci Total Environ, (2019 May 20)

Abstract: The fate and mobility of mercury, and its bioaccumulation primarily as methylmercury (MeHg), in marine ecosystems are influenced by climate related environmental factors, including increased temperature and carbon loading. To investigate the interactions between sediment organic carbon and temperature MeHg bioaccumulation, mesocosm experiments were conducted examining relationships between sediment, water column and biota (sediment-dwelling amphipod and juvenile oyster) MeHg concentration. Experimental treatments consisted of a two by two design of high and low temperature (15 & 25 °C) and high and low sediment organic carbon (4-5% and 13% LOI, pre-experiment). Sediment organic carbon had significant individual effects on MeHg concentration in water and biota, with higher carbon associated with lower MeHg. Temperature individual effects were significant for sediment, water, and only amphipod MeHg concentration, with higher temperature treatments indicating higher MeHg concentration. There were significant temperature × carbon interactions observed for sediment, dissolved, and oyster MeHg concentration. Sediment carbon reduction had greater influence than temperature on increasing MeHg concentrations in both the water column and biota. MeHg concentrations in the bulk sediment were not correlated with MeHg in the water column or in the biota, indicating that even when sediments are the only source of MeHg, bulk sediment measurements do not provide a good proxy for bioaccumulation and that the concentration in bulk sediments is not the primary determinant of MeHg entry into the food web.

PubMed ID: 30970496 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Animals; Biota; Carbon/analysis*; Environmental Monitoring*; Food Chain; Geologic Sediments/chemistry*; Invertebrates/drug effects; Invertebrates/metabolism*; Methylmercury Compounds/analysis*; Organic Chemicals/analysis; Temperature; Water Pollutants, Chemical/analysis*

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