Navigation Links
International team shows mercury concentrations in fish respond quickly to increased deposition

A joint Canadian-American research team have, for the first time, demonstrated that mercury concentrations in fish respond directly to changes in atmospheric deposition of the chemical. The international teams research began in 2001 at the Experimental Lakes in Northern Ontario and is featured in this weeks Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Up to now a direct link has been difficult to establish because of all the other factors that affect mercury levels in fish and large pools of mercury already in the environment, said lead author Reed Harris of Tetra Tech. By adding stable mercury isotopes to an entire ecosystem for several years, our team was able to zero in on the effects of changing atmospheric mercury deposition.

The results were very dramatic, said co-author Dr. Andrew Heyes of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Chesapeake Biological Laboratory. Using the stable isotope approach has revealed a great deal about the cycling of mercury in watersheds. We look forward to continuing our study to provide guidance in mitigating the legacy left by the years of high mercury deposition.

To directly test the response of fish contamination to changing mercury deposition, researchers conducted a whole-ecosystem experiment, increasing the mercury load to a lake and its watershed by the addition of enriched stable mercury isotopes. The isotopes allowed the team to distinguish between experimentally applied mercury and mercury already present in the ecosystem and to examine bioaccumulation of mercury deposited to different parts of the watershed. Fish methylmercury concentrations responded rapidly to changes in mercury deposition over the first three years of study.

This is good news. It means that a reduction in new mercury loads to many lakes should result in lower mercury in fish within a few years, added Cynthia Gilmour of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center and University of Maryland MEES participating faculty. Harris went on to say The study shows the clear benefits of regulating mercury emissions, and the near-term effectiveness of emission reductions.

Mercury levels in the environment have increased several-fold on a global scale since pre-industrial times due to emissions from coal-fired power plants, metal smelting, and other sources. Mercury is persistent in the environment, and toxic to humans and wildlife. There are currently thousands of advisories against eating fish from lakes in both Canada and the United States.


Contact: Christopher Conner
University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

Related biology news :

1. International trial of two microbicides begins
2. International HapMap consortium expands mapping effort
3. Solutions that reduce death of marine life reeled in by International Smart Gear Competition
4. Canadian youth 4th highest in international obesity study
5. International Team Determines Geographic Origin of Leprosy
6. Team of international scientists departs today to discover the unknown in Chinas Himalayan region
7. Tropical dry forests receive international recognition
8. Open Source Biotechnology alliance for international agriculture
9. International HIV/AIDS trial finds continuous antiretroviral therapy superior to episodic therapy
10. Five surprising facts about starvation that could change the international agenda
11. CHAVI announces international search for genes affecting HIV response
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/19/2015)... , Nov. 19, 2015  Although some 350 ... is dominated by a few companies, according to Kalorama ... own 51% of the market share of the 6.1 ... The World Market for Molecular Diagnostic s . ... "The market is still controlled by one company and ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... 2015  Vigilant Solutions announces today that Mr. ... Directors. --> --> ... the partnership at TPG Capital, one of the largest ... Billion in revenue.  He founded and led TPG,s Operating ... companies, from 1997 to 2013.  In his first role, ...
(Date:11/12/2015)...   Growing need for low-cost, easy to ... paving the way for use of biochemical sensors ... in clinical, agricultural, environmental, food and defense applications. ... medical applications, however, their adoption is increasing in ... emphasis on improving product quality and growing need ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... -- Cepheid (NASDAQ: CPHD ) today announced that ... and invited investors to participate via webcast. ... 1, 2015 at 11.00 a.m. Eastern Time --> ... 1, 2015 at 11.00 a.m. Eastern Time --> ... NY      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 11.00 ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ:  AEZS) (TSX: AEZ) (the ... the Toronto Stock Exchange, confirms that as of the ... developments that would cause the recent movements in the ... --> About Aeterna Zentaris Inc. ... Aeterna Zentaris is a specialty biopharmaceutical company engaged in ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015 SHPG ) announced today that ... Piper Jaffray 27 th Annual Healthcare Conference in ... at 8:30 a.m. EST (1:30 p.m. GMT). --> SHPG ... will participate in the Piper Jaffray 27 th Annual Healthcare ... Tuesday, December 1, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. EST (1:30 p.m. GMT). ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... In harsh industrial ... points for in-line sensors can represent a weak spot where leaking process media ... of retractable sensor housings , which are designed to tolerate extreme process conditions. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: