Response of mercury in an Adirondack (NY, USA) forest stream to watershed lime application

Geoffrey D. Millard, Charles T Driscoll, Douglas A. Burns, Mario R. Montesdeoca, Karen Riva-Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Surface waters in Europe and North America previously impacted by acid deposition are recovering in conjunction with declining precursor emissions since the 1980s. Lime has been applied to some impacted watersheds to accelerate recovery. The response to liming can be considered a proxy for future recovery from acid deposition. Increases in dissolved organic carbon concentrations have been observed in surface waters in response to increased pH associated with recovery from acid deposition. Although not previously described, recovery-related increases in dissolved organic carbon could drive increases in mercury concentrations and loads because of the affinity of mercury for dissolved organic matter. We used a before-after impact-response approach to describe the response of stream mercury cycling to the application of lime to the watershed of a small stream in the Adirondack Mountains of New York, USA. Dissolved organic carbon, total mercury and methylmercury concentrations increased significantly in streamwater within two weeks of treatment, to previously unobserved concentrations. After six months, post-treatment before-after impact-control (BACI) tests indicate that mean dissolved organic carbon concentrations and total mercury to dissolved organic carbon ratios remained significantly higher and limed site fluxes of methylmercury were lower than those at the reference stream. This pattern suggests total mercury is leaching at elevated levels from the limed watershed, but limitations in production and transport to the stream channel likely resulted in increases in methylmercury concentration that were of limited duration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)607-620
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Science: Processes and Impacts
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018

Fingerprint

Watersheds
Mercury
lime
Organic carbon
dissolved organic carbon
watershed
Carbon
acid deposition
methylmercury
Recovery
Surface waters
Acids
surface water
streamwater
Water
stream channel
liming
Proxy
North America
dissolved organic matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Cite this

Response of mercury in an Adirondack (NY, USA) forest stream to watershed lime application. / Millard, Geoffrey D.; Driscoll, Charles T; Burns, Douglas A.; Montesdeoca, Mario R.; Riva-Murray, Karen.

In: Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts, Vol. 20, No. 4, 01.04.2018, p. 607-620.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Millard, Geoffrey D. ; Driscoll, Charles T ; Burns, Douglas A. ; Montesdeoca, Mario R. ; Riva-Murray, Karen. / Response of mercury in an Adirondack (NY, USA) forest stream to watershed lime application. In: Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts. 2018 ; Vol. 20, No. 4. pp. 607-620.
@article{a836942ce20648c48bbff02ea6367e9f,
title = "Response of mercury in an Adirondack (NY, USA) forest stream to watershed lime application",
abstract = "Surface waters in Europe and North America previously impacted by acid deposition are recovering in conjunction with declining precursor emissions since the 1980s. Lime has been applied to some impacted watersheds to accelerate recovery. The response to liming can be considered a proxy for future recovery from acid deposition. Increases in dissolved organic carbon concentrations have been observed in surface waters in response to increased pH associated with recovery from acid deposition. Although not previously described, recovery-related increases in dissolved organic carbon could drive increases in mercury concentrations and loads because of the affinity of mercury for dissolved organic matter. We used a before-after impact-response approach to describe the response of stream mercury cycling to the application of lime to the watershed of a small stream in the Adirondack Mountains of New York, USA. Dissolved organic carbon, total mercury and methylmercury concentrations increased significantly in streamwater within two weeks of treatment, to previously unobserved concentrations. After six months, post-treatment before-after impact-control (BACI) tests indicate that mean dissolved organic carbon concentrations and total mercury to dissolved organic carbon ratios remained significantly higher and limed site fluxes of methylmercury were lower than those at the reference stream. This pattern suggests total mercury is leaching at elevated levels from the limed watershed, but limitations in production and transport to the stream channel likely resulted in increases in methylmercury concentration that were of limited duration.",
author = "Millard, {Geoffrey D.} and Driscoll, {Charles T} and Burns, {Douglas A.} and Montesdeoca, {Mario R.} and Karen Riva-Murray",
year = "2018",
month = "4",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1039/c7em00520b",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "20",
pages = "607--620",
journal = "Environmental Sciences: Processes and Impacts",
issn = "2050-7887",
publisher = "Royal Society of Chemistry",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Response of mercury in an Adirondack (NY, USA) forest stream to watershed lime application

AU - Millard, Geoffrey D.

AU - Driscoll, Charles T

AU - Burns, Douglas A.

AU - Montesdeoca, Mario R.

AU - Riva-Murray, Karen

PY - 2018/4/1

Y1 - 2018/4/1

N2 - Surface waters in Europe and North America previously impacted by acid deposition are recovering in conjunction with declining precursor emissions since the 1980s. Lime has been applied to some impacted watersheds to accelerate recovery. The response to liming can be considered a proxy for future recovery from acid deposition. Increases in dissolved organic carbon concentrations have been observed in surface waters in response to increased pH associated with recovery from acid deposition. Although not previously described, recovery-related increases in dissolved organic carbon could drive increases in mercury concentrations and loads because of the affinity of mercury for dissolved organic matter. We used a before-after impact-response approach to describe the response of stream mercury cycling to the application of lime to the watershed of a small stream in the Adirondack Mountains of New York, USA. Dissolved organic carbon, total mercury and methylmercury concentrations increased significantly in streamwater within two weeks of treatment, to previously unobserved concentrations. After six months, post-treatment before-after impact-control (BACI) tests indicate that mean dissolved organic carbon concentrations and total mercury to dissolved organic carbon ratios remained significantly higher and limed site fluxes of methylmercury were lower than those at the reference stream. This pattern suggests total mercury is leaching at elevated levels from the limed watershed, but limitations in production and transport to the stream channel likely resulted in increases in methylmercury concentration that were of limited duration.

AB - Surface waters in Europe and North America previously impacted by acid deposition are recovering in conjunction with declining precursor emissions since the 1980s. Lime has been applied to some impacted watersheds to accelerate recovery. The response to liming can be considered a proxy for future recovery from acid deposition. Increases in dissolved organic carbon concentrations have been observed in surface waters in response to increased pH associated with recovery from acid deposition. Although not previously described, recovery-related increases in dissolved organic carbon could drive increases in mercury concentrations and loads because of the affinity of mercury for dissolved organic matter. We used a before-after impact-response approach to describe the response of stream mercury cycling to the application of lime to the watershed of a small stream in the Adirondack Mountains of New York, USA. Dissolved organic carbon, total mercury and methylmercury concentrations increased significantly in streamwater within two weeks of treatment, to previously unobserved concentrations. After six months, post-treatment before-after impact-control (BACI) tests indicate that mean dissolved organic carbon concentrations and total mercury to dissolved organic carbon ratios remained significantly higher and limed site fluxes of methylmercury were lower than those at the reference stream. This pattern suggests total mercury is leaching at elevated levels from the limed watershed, but limitations in production and transport to the stream channel likely resulted in increases in methylmercury concentration that were of limited duration.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85045882684&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85045882684&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1039/c7em00520b

DO - 10.1039/c7em00520b

M3 - Article

C2 - 29376155

AN - SCOPUS:85045882684

VL - 20

SP - 607

EP - 620

JO - Environmental Sciences: Processes and Impacts

JF - Environmental Sciences: Processes and Impacts

SN - 2050-7887

IS - 4

ER -