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The interplay between total mercury, methylmercury and dissolved organic matter in fluvial systems: A latitudinal study across Europe

A.G. Bravo 1 D.N. Kothawala 2 K. Attermeyer 2 Emmanuel Tessier 3 P. Bodmer 4, 5 J.L.J. Ledesma 6 J. Audet 6 J.P. Casas Ruiz 7 N. Catalan 7 S. Cauvy Fraunie 8 M. Colls 7 A. Deininger 9 V.V. Evtimova 10 J.A. Fonvielle 11 T. Fub 12, 13 P. Gilbert 14 S. Herrero Ortega 11 Lianqiu Liu 4 C. Mendoza Lera 8 J. Monteiro 15 J.R. Mor 7, 16 M. Nagler 17 G.H. Niedrist 18 A.C. Nydahl 2 Amandine Valérie Pastor 7 J. Pegg 19, 20 C.G. Roberts 19 F. Pilotto 9 A.P. Portela 15 C. Romero Gonzalez Quijano 12 F Romero 7 M. Rulik 21 David Amouroux 3, 22
Abstract : Large-scale studies are needed to identify the drivers of total mercury (THg) and monomethyl-mercury (MeHg) concentrations in aquatic ecosystems. Studies attempting to link dissolved organic matter (DOM) to levels of THg or MeHg are few and geographically constrained. Additionally, stream and river systems have been understudied as compared to lakes. Hence, the aim of this study was to examine the influence of DOM concentration and composition, morphological descriptors, land uses and water chemistry on THg and MeHg concentrations and the percentage of THg as MeHg (%MeHg) in 29 streams across Europe spanning from 41°N to 64°N. THg concentrations (0.06e2.78 ng L-1) were highest in streams characterized by DOM with a high terrestrial soil signature and low nutrient content. MeHg concentrations (7.8 e159 pg L-1) varied non-systematically across systems. Relationships between DOM bulk characteristics and THg and MeHg suggest that while soil derived DOM inputs control THg concentrations, autochthonous DOM (aquatically produced) and the availability of electron acceptors for Hg methylatingmicroorganisms (e.g. sulfate) drive %MeHg and potentially MeHg concentration. Overall, these results highlight the large spatial variability in THg and MeHg concentrations at the European scale, and underscore the importance of DOM composition on mercury cycling in fluvial systems.
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Submitted on : Saturday, May 16, 2020 - 3:55:19 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, April 20, 2021 - 10:30:02 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-02608345, version 1
  • IRSTEA : PUB00059604



A.G. Bravo, D.N. Kothawala, K. Attermeyer, Emmanuel Tessier, P. Bodmer, et al.. The interplay between total mercury, methylmercury and dissolved organic matter in fluvial systems: A latitudinal study across Europe. Water Research, IWA Publishing, 2018, 144, pp.172-182. ⟨hal-02608345⟩



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