A number of recent studies have documented subtle, yet potentially important effects of mercury on behavior, neurochemistry, and endocrine function in fish and wildlife at currently realistic levels of environmental exposure. Current levels of environmental methylmercury exposure are sufficient to cause significant biological impairment, both in individuals and in whole populations, in some ecosystems. Future toxicological studies on fish and wildlife will focus on linking biomarkers of methylmercury exposure and associated oxidative stress to effects on reproduction and population change; determining the genetic basis for mercury-related neurotoxic and other biological changes; determining the genetic basis for species differences in sensitivity to methylmercury; and linking toxic effects of methylmercury in individual animals to population-level changes.
Additional publication details
Ecotoxicology of mercury in fish and wildlife: Recent advances