The forms and partitioning of aqueous mercury species in the canals and marshes of the Northern Florida Everglades exhibit strong spatial and temporal variability. In canals feeding Water Conservation Area (WCA) 2A, unfiltered total Hg (HgT(U)) is less than 3 ng L-1 and relatively constant. In contrast, methyl mercury (MeHg) exhibited a strong seasonal pattern, with highest levels entering WCA-2A marshes during July. Stagnation and reduced flows also lead to particle enrichment of MeHg. In the marshes of WCA-2A, 2B and 3A, HgT(U) is usually <5 ng L-1 with no consistent north-south patterns. However, for individual dates, aqueous unfiltered MeHg (MeHg(U)) levels increase from north to south with generally lowest levels in the eutrophied regions of northern WCA-2A. A strong relationship between filtered Hg species and dissolved organic carbon (DOC), evident for rivers draining wetlands in Wisconsin, was not apparent in the Everglades, suggesting either differences in the binding sites of DOC between the two regions, or non-organic Hg complexation in the Everglades.
Additional publication details
System controls on the aqueous distribution of mercury in the northern Florida Everglades