Spatial patterns of mercury in biota of Adirondack, New York lakes

Xue Yu, Charles T Driscoll, Mario Montesdeoca, David Evers, Melissa Duron, Kate Williams, Nina Schoch, Neil C. Kamman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We studied the spatial distribution patterns of mercury (Hg) in lake water, littoral sediments, zooplankton, crayfish, fish, and common loons in 44 lakes of the Adirondacks of New York State, USA, a region that has been characterized as a "biological Hg hotspot". Our study confirmed this pattern, finding that a substantial fraction of the lakes studied had fish and loon samples exceeding established criteria for human and wildlife health. Factors accounting for the spatial variability of Hg in lake water and biota were lake chemistry (pH, acid neutralizing capacity (ANC), percent carbon in sediments), biology (taxa presence, trophic status) and landscape characteristics (land cover class, lake elevation). Hg concentrations in zooplankton, fish and common loons were negatively associated with the lake water acid-base status (pH, ANC). Bioaccumulation factors (BAF) for methyl Hg (MeHg) increased from crayfish (mean log 10 BAF = 5.7), to zooplankton (5.9), to prey fish (6.2), to larger fish (6.3), to common loons (7.2). MeHg BAF values in zooplankton, crayfish, and fish (yellow perch equivalent) all increased with increasing lake elevation. Our findings support the hypothesis that bioaccumulation of MeHg at the base of the food chain is an important controller of Hg concentrations in taxa at higher trophic levels. The characteristics of Adirondack lake-watersheds (sensitivity to acidic deposition; significant forest and wetland land cover; and low nutrient inputs) contribute to elevated Hg concentrations in aquatic biota.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1543-1554
Number of pages12
JournalEcotoxicology
Volume20
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2011

Fingerprint

Biota
Lakes
Mercury
biota
Fish
Zooplankton
bioaccumulation
Bioaccumulation
zooplankton
lake
Fishes
crayfish
fish
lake water
Astacoidea
acid
land cover
Acids
Water
trophic status

Keywords

  • Acid neutralizing capacity
  • Aquatic biota
  • Bioaccumulation
  • Methylmercury
  • pH
  • Spatial distribution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Toxicology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Cite this

Yu, X., Driscoll, C. T., Montesdeoca, M., Evers, D., Duron, M., Williams, K., ... Kamman, N. C. (2011). Spatial patterns of mercury in biota of Adirondack, New York lakes. Ecotoxicology, 20(7), 1543-1554. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10646-011-0717-y

Spatial patterns of mercury in biota of Adirondack, New York lakes. / Yu, Xue; Driscoll, Charles T; Montesdeoca, Mario; Evers, David; Duron, Melissa; Williams, Kate; Schoch, Nina; Kamman, Neil C.

In: Ecotoxicology, Vol. 20, No. 7, 10.2011, p. 1543-1554.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Yu, X, Driscoll, CT, Montesdeoca, M, Evers, D, Duron, M, Williams, K, Schoch, N & Kamman, NC 2011, 'Spatial patterns of mercury in biota of Adirondack, New York lakes', Ecotoxicology, vol. 20, no. 7, pp. 1543-1554. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10646-011-0717-y
Yu, Xue ; Driscoll, Charles T ; Montesdeoca, Mario ; Evers, David ; Duron, Melissa ; Williams, Kate ; Schoch, Nina ; Kamman, Neil C. / Spatial patterns of mercury in biota of Adirondack, New York lakes. In: Ecotoxicology. 2011 ; Vol. 20, No. 7. pp. 1543-1554.
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