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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Factors affecting enhanced mercury bioaccumulation in inland lakes of Isle Royale National Park, USA.

We investigated factors causing mercury (Hg) concentrations in northern pike to exceed the consumption advisory level (>500 ng/g) in some inland lakes of Isle Royale National Park. Using Hg-clean techniques, we collected water, zooplankton, macro invertebrates, and fishes in 1998 and 1999 from one advisory lake, Sargent Lake, for analysis of total mercury (Hg(T)) and methylmercury (MeHg). For comparison, samples were also collected from a non-advisory lake, Lake Richie. Concentrations of Hg(T) in northern pike were significantly higher in Sargent Lake (P<0.01). Counter to expectations, mean concentrations of both Hg(T) and MeHg in open water samples were slightly higher in Lake Richie. However, zooplankton in Sargent Lake contained higher average concentrations of Hg(T) and MeHg than in Lake Richie. Mercury concentrations in macro invertebrates were similar between lakes, but different between taxa. The two lakes exhibited similar Hg(T) concentrations in age-1 yellow perch and adult perch but concentrations in large adult perch (>160 mm) in Sargent Lake were twice the concentrations in Lake Richie. Analysis of stable isotopes (delta(13)C and delta(15)N) in biota showed that pike from the two lakes are positioned at the same trophic level (4.2 and 4.3), but that the food web is more pelagic-based in Sargent and benthic-based in Richie. Factors causing concentrations in large pike to be higher in Sargent Lake may include higher bioavailability of methylmercury and a food web that enhances bioaccumulation.[1]


  1. Factors affecting enhanced mercury bioaccumulation in inland lakes of Isle Royale National Park, USA. Gorski, P.R., Cleckner, L.B., Hurley, J.P., Sierszen, M.E., Armstrong, D.E. Sci. Total Environ. (2003) [Pubmed]
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