Seasonal variation in accumulation of mercury in the benthic macrofauna in a temperate coastal zone (Gulf of Gdańsk)
Agnieszka Jędruch , Magdalena Bełdowska , Bożena Graca
AbstractThe main source of toxic mercury (Hg) in the human body is the consumption of fish and seafood. Therefore, it is particularly important to indicate the processes that condition Hg accumulation in marine organisms, especially those in the basal links of the food chain, which are rather poorly investigated compared to top predators. The aim of the study was to determine the seasonal variability of Hg concentrations in macrozoobenthic organisms and the factors that condition it. The research was conducted in 2012–2013 in a temperate coastal zone (Gulf of Gdańsk). The obtained results showed that both Hg concentrations within one trophic level, and their seasonal variation, may differ significantly if the organisms have different feeding habits. The research also indicated that the seasonal variability of Hg level in macrozoobenthos depended on a number of both biotic factors (primary production volume, biomass and rate of fauna metabolism) and abiotic factors (salinity and ionic composition of water, Eh). The variability of Hg concentrations in macrozoobenthos during the study period was different at the research stations, which were subjected to different land influence (e.g. surface run-off, coastal erosion), and consequently differed in the quantity and quality of organic matter. The increased load of suspended particulate matter (SPM) was also an important factor influencing the increase in Hg concentration in macrozoobenthos, regardless of their trophic status. This indicates that SPM is an important source of food for zoobenthos, even in species that prefer a different feeding strategies. The obtained results also showed the role of climate changes observed in the temperate zone - in particular, the warming of the winter season - in shaping the Hg level in macrozoobenthos. The accumulation of Hg in the bottom fauna occurred most intensively in spring immediately after a long period of icing - Hg concentrations were then much higher than those measured after a mild winter, during which the ice cover persisted for a short time. The warming of the winter season and the extension of the vegetation season contributed to an increase in macrozoobenthic biomass, and consequently to the biodilution of Hg, which could have had a negative effect on the Hg load introduced into the trophic chain.
|Journal series||Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, ISSN 0147-6513, (A 30 pkt)|
|Publication size in sheets||0.55|
|Keywords in English||mercury, macrozoobenthos, coastal food web, trophic groups, Baltic Sea|
|ASJC Classification||; ; ;|
|Score||= 30.0, 28-01-2020, ArticleFromJournal|
|Publication indicators||= 0; : 2018 = 1.524; : 2018 = 4.527 (2) - 2018=4.64 (5)|
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