A latitudinal investigation of ecosystem sensitivity to methylmercury bioaccumulation in fresh waters of the eastern Arctic

Over three years (2012 to 2015), we are comparing MeHg bioaccumulation in three study areas that cover a latitudinal gradient in ecosystem types in the Canadian Arctic, specifically Kuujjuaraapik (sub-Arctic taiga), Iqaluit (tundra) and Resolute Bay (polar desert). In water bodies from each of these study areas, we will investigate two key aspects of MeHg bioaccumulation, specifically MeHg bioavailability to benthic food webs and organism growth rates. Using a cross-ecosystem comparison to test these hypotheses, we will conduct the following in lakes and ponds from each study area: (1) Characterize the watersheds of study sites (geomorphology and physiography) through satellite image classification and digital terrain analysis in order to examine watershed influences on measured lake physico-chemistry, particularly levels of organic carbon and Hg in sediment and water; (2) Estimate bioavailable MeHg in sediment pore water using a novel technique (Diffusive Gradient in Thin films, or DGT); (3) Measure MeHg concentrations in benthic food webs (algae, invertebrates and fish); and (4) Estimate short-term growth rates in invertebrates and fish using tissue DNA and RNA content. Project results will provide a conceptual model of climate-related environmental processes that affect the exposure of Arctic freshwater fish to MeHg. This information is critical to understand how climate change is affecting temporal and geographic trends of Hg bioaccumulation in Arctic fish monitored by the NCP.

Source https://www.polardata.ca/pdcsearch/PDCSearchDOI.jsp?doi_id=11536
Metadata Access http://www.polardata.ca/oai/provider?verb=GetRecord&metadataPrefix=fgdc&identifier=11536_fgdc
Creator Marc Amyot;Holger Hintelmann;Alexandre Poulain;John Chetelat;Murray Richardson;Doug Crump
Publisher Canadian Cryospheric Information Network
Contributor Environment Canada
Publication Year 2013
Rights Public
Contact john.chetelat@ec.gc.ca
Language English
Discipline Environmental Research
Spatial Coverage (55N-75N,95W-68W)
Temporal Coverage Begin 2012-05-01T11:59:59Z
Temporal Coverage End 2015-03-31T11:59:59Z