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Coupling of methyl and total mercury in a minerotrophic peat bog in southeastern Sweden

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Abstract:

During most of an annual cycle, we studied the temporal variation of total mercury (HgT) and methyl mercury (MeHg) in unfiltered and filtered (0.45 µ) peat water from a minerotrophic peat bog in southeastern Sweden. MeHg in bulk water ([MeHgT]) and total Hg in filtered water in discharge water from the peat bog ([HgD]) were an order of magnitude higher than in upland runoff water entering the peat bog. At the discharge end, peat-water [HgD] and [MeHgD] ranged from 8 to 54 pmol·L–1 and from 1 to 32 pmol·L–1, respectively. Whereas the variation of [MeHgT] was explained by changes in [MeHgD], the variation of inorganic HgT [IHgT] = [HgT] – [MeHgT] was explained by changes in particle-bound IHg [IHgP] = [IHgT] – [IHgD]. Filterable organic matter and sulfide in the water both correlated poorly with [HgD]. Neither did the amount of HgT in precipitation and upland runoff water correlate well with the estimated discharge of HgD from the peat bog. However, there was a strong correlation between [HgD] and [MeHgT] in the peat water (r = 0.96). Furthermore, a significant fraction of HgD was MeHg (mean 28%; range 8–60%). These results suggest that methylation increased the mobility of Hg.

Nous avons suivi, sur presque tout un cycle annuel, la variation temporelle du mercure (HgT) total et du méthyl-mercure dans l'eau de tourbière filtrée (0,45 µ) et non filtrée, prélevée dans une tourbière minérotrophe du sud-est de la Suède. Les concentrations de méthyl-mercure dans l'eau brute ([MeHgT]) et de mercure total dan l'eau filtrée ([HgD]) sont de l'ordre de 10 fois plus élevées dans l'eau de drainage de la tourbière que dans l'eau de ruissellement qui coule vers la tourbière en amont. Au point de drainage, [HgD] et [MeHgD] de l'eau de la tourbière varient respectivement de 8–54 pmol·L–1 et de 1–32 pmol·L–1. Alors que la variation de [MeHgT] s'explique par les changements de [MeHgD], la variation de [IHgT] = [HgT] – [MeHgT] s'explique par les changements de [IHgP] = [IHgT] – [IHgD]. Il y a peu de corrélation entre la matière organique filtrable et le sulfite dans l'eau, d'une part, et [HgD], d'autre part. Il n'y a pas non plus de bonne corrélation entre la quantité de HgT dans les précipitations et dans l'eau de ruissellement d'amont, d'une part, et l'exportation estimée de HgD de la tourbière, d'autre part. Il y a cependant une forte corrélation (r = 0,96) entre [HgD] et [MeHgT] dans l'eau de la tourbière. De plus, une fraction significative de HgD est en fait MeHg (moyenne, 28 %; étendue, 8–60 %). Ces résultats indiquent que la méthylation augmente la mobilité de Hg.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2004

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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