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Mercury flow through an Asian rice-based food web
Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Geochem, State Key Lab Environm Geochem, Guiyang 550081, Guizhou, Peoples R China.;Chinese Acad Sci, Key Lab Trop Forest Ecol, Xishuangbanna Trop Bot Garden, Mengla 666303, Yunnan, Peoples R China.;Guangxi Univ, Coll Forestry, Guangxi Key Lab Forest Ecol & Conservat, 100 Daxue Rd,Coll Forestry Off 519, Nanning 530005, Guangxi, Peoples R China.;Chinese Acad Sci, Grad Sch, Beijing 100049, Peoples R China..
Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Geochem, State Key Lab Environm Geochem, Guiyang 550081, Guizhou, Peoples R China..
Guangxi Univ, Coll Forestry, Guangxi Key Lab Forest Ecol & Conservat, 100 Daxue Rd,Coll Forestry Off 519, Nanning 530005, Guangxi, Peoples R China..ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3403-2847
Massey Univ, Inst Agr & Environm, Soil & Earth Sci, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand..
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2017 (English)In: Environmental Pollution, ISSN 0269-7491, E-ISSN 1873-6424, Vol. 229, 219-228 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Mercury (Hg) is a globally-distributed pollutant, toxic to humans and animals. Emissions are particularly high in Asia, and the source of exposure for humans there may also be different from other regions, including rice as well as fish consumption, particularly in contaminated areas. Yet the threats Asian wildlife face in rice-based ecosystems are as yet unclear. We sought to understand how Hg flows through rice-based food webs in historic mining and non-mining regions of Guizhou, China. We measured total Hg (THg) and methylmercury (MeHg) in soil, rice, 38 animal species (27 for MeHg) spanning multiple trophic levels, and examined the relationship between stable isotopes and Hg concentrations. Our results confirm biomagnification of THg/MeHg, with a high trophic magnification slope. Invertivorous songbirds had concentrations of THg in their feathers that were 15x and 3x the concentration reported to significantly impair reproduction, at mining and non-mining sites, respectively. High concentrations in specialist rice consumers and in granivorous birds, the later as high as in piscivorous birds,, suggest rice is a primary source of exposure. Spiders had the highest THg concentrations among invertebrates and may represent a vector through which Hg is passed to vertebrates, especially songbirds. Our findings suggest there could be significant population level health effects and consequent biodiversity loss in sensitive ecosystems, like agricultural wetlands, across Asia, and invertivorous songbirds would be good subjects for further studies investigating this possibility.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ELSEVIER SCI LTD , 2017. Vol. 229, 219-228 p.
Keyword [en]
Agricultural ecosystems, Biomonitoring, Contamination, Ecotoxicology, Food webs, Heavy metals
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-334741DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2017.05.067ISI: 000410010200023PubMedID: 28599206OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-334741DiVA: diva2:1161071
Available from: 2017-11-29 Created: 2017-11-29 Last updated: 2017-11-29Bibliographically approved

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