Insights into low fish mercury bioaccumulation in a mercury-contaminated reservoir, Guizhou, China

Bian Liu, Haiyu Yan, Cuiping Wang, Qiuhua Li, Stéphane Guédron, Jorge E. Spangenberg, Xinbin Feng, Janusz Dominik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examined Hg biogeochemistry in Baihua Reservoir, a system affected by industrial wastewater containing mercury (Hg). As expected, we found high levels of total Hg (THg, 664-7421 ng g -1) and monomethylmercury (MMHg, 3-21 ng g -1) in the surface sediments (0-10 cm). In the water column, both THg and MMHg showed strong vertical variations with higher concentrations in the anoxic layer (>4m) than in the oxic layer (0-4 m), which was most pronounced for the dissolved MMHg (p < 0.001). However, mercury levels in biota samples (mostly cyprinid fish) were one order of magnitude lower than common regulatory values (i.e. 0.3-0.5 mg kg -1) for human consumption. We identified three main reasons to explain the low fish Hg bioaccumulation: disconnection of the aquatic food web from the high MMHg zone, simple food web structures, and biodilution effect at the base of the food chain in this eutrophic reservoir.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-117
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Volume160
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bioaccumulation
  • Fish
  • Mercury
  • Monomethylmercury
  • Reservoir

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