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Eutrophication Increases Phytoplankton Methylmercury Concentrations in a Coastal Sea-A Baltic Sea Case Study
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm University Baltic Sea Centre, Baltic Nest Institute.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4215-9322
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm University Baltic Sea Centre, Baltic Nest Institute.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1048-8452
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Number of Authors: 62016 (English)In: Environmental Science and Technology, ISSN 0013-936X, E-ISSN 1520-5851, Vol. 50, no 21, p. 11787-11796Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Eutrophication is expanding worldwide, but its implication for production and bioaccumulation of neurotoxic monomethylmercury (MeHg) is unknown. We developed a mercury (Hg) biogeochemical model for the Baltic Sea and used it to investigate the impact of eutrophication on phytoplankton MeHg concentrations. For model evaluation, we measured total methylated Hg (MeHgT) in the Baltic Sea and found low concentrations (39 +/- 16 fM) above the halocline and high concentrations in anoxic waters (1249 +/- 369 fM). To close the Baltic Sea MeHgT budget, we inferred an average normoxic water column HgII methylation rate constant of 2 x 10-4 d-1. We used the model to compare Baltic Seas present-day (2005-2014) eutrophic state to an oligo/mesotrophic scenario. Eutrophication increases primary production and export of organic matter and associated Hg to the sediment effectively removing Hg from the active biogeochemical cycle; this results in a 27% lower present-day water column Hg reservoir. However, increase in organic matter production and remineralization stimulates microbial Hg methylation resulting in a seasonal increase in both water and phytoplankton MeHg reservoirs above the halocline. Previous studies of systems dominated by external MeHg sources or benthic production found eutrophication to decrease MeHg levels in plankton. This Baltic Sea study shows that in systems with MeHg production in the normoxic water column eutrophication can increase phytoplankton MeHg content.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 50, no 21, p. 11787-11796
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Environmental Engineering Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-137744DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.6b02717ISI: 000386991100041PubMedID: 27704806OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-137744DiVA, id: diva2:1064901
Available from: 2017-01-13 Created: 2017-01-10 Last updated: 2018-01-24Bibliographically approved

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Sörensen, Anne. L.Gustafsson, ErikGustafsson, Bo G.Undeman, Emma
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