Distribution of total and methylmercury in different ecosystem compartments in the Everglades: implications for mercury bioaccumulation

Environ Pollut. 2008 May;153(2):257-65. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2007.08.030. Epub 2007 Oct 18.


We analyzed Hg species distribution patterns among ecosystem compartments in the Everglades at the landscape level in order to explore the implications of Hg distribution for Hg bioaccumulation and to investigate major biogeochemical processes that are pertinent to the observed Hg distribution patterns. At an Everglade-wide scale, THg concentrations were significantly increased in the following order: periphyton<flocculent material (floc)<soil, while relatively high MeHg concentrations were observed in floc and periphyton. Differences in the methylation potential, THg concentration, and MeHg retention capacity could explain the relatively high MeHg concentrations in floc and periphyton. The MeHg/THg ratio was higher for water than for soil, floc, or periphyton probably due to high dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations present in the Everglades. Mosquitofish THg positively correlated with periphyton MeHg and DOC-normalized water MeHg. The relative THg and MeHg distribution patterns among ecosystem compartments favor Hg bioaccumulation in the Everglades.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carbon / analysis
  • Cyprinodontiformes / metabolism
  • Ecosystem*
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods
  • Environmental Pollutants / analysis*
  • Florida
  • Food Chain
  • Fresh Water
  • Fungicides, Industrial / analysis*
  • Mercury / analysis*
  • Mercury Isotopes
  • Methylmercury Compounds / analysis*
  • Plankton
  • Soil / analysis
  • Soil Pollutants / analysis
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis


  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Fungicides, Industrial
  • Mercury Isotopes
  • Methylmercury Compounds
  • Soil
  • Soil Pollutants
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Carbon
  • Mercury