Fish mercury development in relation to abiotic characteristics and carbon sources in a six-year-old, Brazilian reservoir
2008 (English)In: Science of the Total Environment, ISSN 0048-9697, Vol. 390, no 1, 177-187 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Time series on fish mercury (Hg) development are rare for hydroelectric reservoirs in the tropics. In the central-western part of Brazil, a hydroelectric reservoir, called Lago Manso, was completed in 1999 after that background levels of fish Hg concentrations had been determined. The development for the first 3 years was studied in 2002. The objective of the present study was to determine development of fish Hg concentrations for a second threeyear period after flooding. The bioaccumulation factor and certain abiotic and biotic factors, possibly affecting the availability and accumulation of Hg, were also examined. The results show that Hg levels in fish from Lago Manso have increased more than five times compared to the background levels observed before construction of the reservoir. At the same time, dissolved organic carbon has increased while dissolved oxygen has decreased indicating enhanced bioavailability of Hg. In the reservoir, Salminus brasiliensis had in average a Hg content of 1.1 μg g−1 f.w., Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum 1.2, Serrasalmus marginatus/spilopleura 0.9, and Brycon hilarii 0.6 μg g−1 f.w. The average fish Hg contents were higher downstream, except for B. hilarii. In the reservoir, the average Hg content of each species was in 2005 always over the consumption limit (0.55 μg total Hg g−1 f.w.) recommended by WHO. Therefore, the people living around Lago Manso should be informed of the health effects of Hg, and fish consumption recommendations should be carried out. The accumulation of Hg varies widely between species as shown by the bioaccumulation factor which ranges between 5.08 and 5.59 log units. The observed variation is explained by differences in diet and trophic position with piscivorous fish exhibiting the highest mean Hg concentration, followed by carnivorous and omnivorous species. Carbon isotope analyses imply that trophic position is not the only cause of the observed differences in Hg levels between omnivorous B. hilarii, having a diet partly based on C4 plants, and carnivorous S. marginatus as well as piscivorous S. brasiliensis, whose carbon sources are depleted in 13C. The fact that the species have different carbon sources indicates that they belong to different food chains.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 390, no 1, 177-187 p.
Fish mercury, Bioaccumulation factor, Stable carbon isotope ratio, Dissolved organic carbon, Hydroelectric reservoir
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-13935DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2007.09.030ISI: 000252696500018OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-13935DiVA: diva2:41705