John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Influence of a chlor‐alkali Superfund site on mercury bioaccumulation in periphyton and Low‐trophic level fauna

0
In Berlin, NH, the Androscoggin River flows adjacent to a former chlor‐alkali facility that is a US EPA Superfund site and source of mercury (Hg) to the river. A study was conducted to determine the fate and bioaccumulation of methylmercury (MeHg) to lower trophic‐level taxa in the river. Surface sediment directly adjacent to the source showed significantly elevated MeHg (10–40x increase, mean±sd: 20.1±24.8 ng g‐1 DW) and total mercury (THg, 10–30x increase, mean±sd: 2045±2669 ng g‐1 DW) compared to all other reaches, with sediment THg and MeHg from downstream reaches elevated (3–7x on average) relative to the reference (THg mean±sd: 33.5±9.33 ng g‐1 DW; MeHg mean±sd: 0.52±0.21 ng g‐1 DW). Water column THg concentrations adjacent to the point source for both particulate (0.23 ng L‐1) and dissolved (0.76 ng L‐1) fractions were 5‐fold higher than at the reference sites, and 2–5‐fold higher than downstream. Methylmercury production potential (MPP) of periphyton material was highest (2–9 ng g‐1 d‐1 DW) adjacent to the Superfund site; other reaches were close to or below reporting limits (0. 1 ng g‐1 d‐1 DW). Total Hg and MeHg bioaccumulation in fauna was variable across sites and taxa, with no clear spatial patterns downstream of the contamination source. Crayfish, mayflies and shiners showed a weak positive relationship with porewater MeHg concentration. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

Customer comments

No comments were found for Influence of a chlor‐alkali Superfund site on mercury bioaccumulation in periphyton and Low‐trophic level fauna. Be the first to comment!