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Publication Information

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Title: Mercury concentrations in lentic fish populations related to ecosystem and watershed characteristics

Author: Rypel, Andrew L.;

Date: 2010

Source: Ambio 39: 14-19.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Predicting mercury (Hg) concentrations of fishes at large spatial scales is a fundamental environmental challenge with the potential to improve human health. In this study, mercury concentrations were examined for five species across 161 lakes and ecosystem, and watershed parameters were investigated as explanatory variables in statistical models. For all species, Hg concentrations were significantly, positively related to wetland coverage. For three species (largemouth bass, pike, and walleye), Hg concentrations were significantly, negatively related to lake trophic state index (TSI), suggestive of growth biodilution. There were no significant relationships between ecosystem size and mercury concentrations. However, Hg concentrations were strongly, positively related to ecosystem size across species. Scores of small or remote lakes that have never been tested could be prioritized for testing using models akin to those presented in this article. Such an approach could also be useful for exploring how Hg concentrations of fishes might respond to natural or anthropogenic changes to ecosystems over time.

Keywords: Contaminant, Ecology, Fish tissue, Food chain, GIS, Methylation, Wisconsin

Publication Notes:

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Rypel, Andrew L. 2010. Mercury concentrations in lentic fish populations related to ecosystem and watershed characteristics. Ambio 39:14-19.


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