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Mercury bioaccumulation in estuarine wetland fishes: evaluating habitats and risk to coastal wildlife

Environmental Pollution

By:
and
DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2014.06.015

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Abstract

Estuaries are globally important areas for methylmercury bioaccumulation because of high methylmercury production rates and use by fish and wildlife. We measured total mercury (THg) concentrations in ten fish species from 32 wetland and open bay sites in San Francisco Bay Estuary (2005–2008). Fish THg concentrations (μg/g dry weight ± standard error) differed by up to 7.4× among estuary habitats. Concentrations were lowest in open bay (0.17 ± 0.02) and tidal wetlands (0.42 ± 0.02), and highest in managed seasonal saline wetlands (1.27 ± 0.05) and decommissioned high salinity salt ponds (1.14 ± 0.07). Mercury also differed among fishes, with Mississippi silversides (0.87 ± 0.03) having the highest and longjaw mudsuckers (0.37 ± 0.01) the lowest concentrations. Overall, 26% and 12% of fish exceeded toxicity benchmarks for fish (0.20 μg/g wet weight) and piscivorous bird (0.30 μg/g wet weight) health, respectively. Our results suggest that despite managed wetlands' limited abundance within estuaries, they may be disproportionately important habitats of Hg risk to coastal wildlife.

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Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Mercury bioaccumulation in estuarine wetland fishes: evaluating habitats and risk to coastal wildlife
Series title:
Environmental Pollution
DOI:
10.1016/j.envpol.2014.06.015
Volume
193
Year Published:
2014
Language:
English
Publisher:
Elsevier
Contributing office(s):
Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center
Description:
9 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Environmental Pollution
First page:
147
Last page:
155
Number of Pages:
9
Country:
United States
State:
California
Other Geospatial:
San Francisco Bay Estuary