Publication
Title
Bioaccumulation and trophic transfer of total mercury in the subtropical Olifants River Basin, South Africa
Author
Abstract
The present study describes total mercury (THg) levels in surface water, sediment and biota from the Olifants River Basin (ORB) (South Africa) and investigates the trophic transfer of THg by means of trophic magnification factors (TMFs) in the subtropical ORB food web. Although levels in surface water, sediment and invertebrates were low, elevated levels of THg were measured in fish species of higher trophic levels (0.106.1 μg/g dw). This finding supports the biomagnificative character of mercury. THg concentrations in fish from the present study were find to be higher than most values reported in fish from other African aquatic ecosystems and comparable or lower compared to more industrialized regions. Fish length, trophic level, sediment THg levels and TOC in sediment were determining factors for THg levels in fish tissue. Concentrations were found to be higher in larger (and older) fish. Mercury has a high affinity for organic matter and will bind with the TOC in sediment, thus reducing the bioavailability of THg for aquatic biota which is reflected in the significant negative correlation between THg and TOC in sediment. A significant positive relationship between relative trophic level and THg concentrations was observed and also TMFs indicate biomagnification in the ORB food web. However, the trend of lower TMFs in tropical areas compared to temperate and arctic regions was not supported by the results. The consumption of fish from higher trophic levels at the average South African consumption rate is expected to pose a significant health risk.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Chemosphere. - Oxford, 1972, currens
Publication
Oxford : 2019
ISSN
0045-6535 [print]
1879-1298 [online]
Volume/pages
216 (2019) , p. 832-843
ISI
000451494600090
Pubmed ID
30404075
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
Full text (publisher's version - intranet only)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Project info
Effect of climate on the fate and trophic transfer of POPs and mercury. A comparison of accumulation between organisms of the same trophic level in a temperate, subtropical and tropical region.
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 05.11.2018
Last edited 16.09.2021
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