Mercury mass budget estimates and cycling seasonality in the Florida Everglades

Environ Sci Technol. 2008 Mar 15;42(6):1954-60. doi: 10.1021/es7022994.


We estimated the mass budget for mercury (Hg) seasonally deposited into the Florida Everglades and investigated seasonality of Hg cycling by analyzing data obtained for water, soil, flocculent detrital material (floc), periphyton, and mosquitofish collected throughout the Everglades freshwater marshes in the 2005 dry and wet seasons. Higher wet season total Hg (THg) in soil, floc, and periphyton agreed with greater Hg amounts entering these compartments during the wet season, probably owing to substantially greater Hg deposition in the wet season than in the dry season. Seasonal differences were absent for THg in surface water. Methylmercury (MeHg) showed mixed seasonal patterns, with higher water and soil MeHg and lower periphyton MeHg in the dry season but no seasonality for floc MeHg. Seasonal variations in Hg deposition, MeHg production and transport, and mass of ecosystem compartments could be responsible for the seasonality of MeHg cycling. Higher mosquitofish THg, higher bioaccumulation factors, and higher biomagnification factors from periphyton to mosquitofish were observed in the wet season than in the dry season, indicating that the wet season is more favorable for Hg bioaccumulation. The mass budget estimation agreed with this result.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cyprinodontiformes / metabolism*
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Florida
  • Mercury / analysis*
  • Mercury / metabolism
  • Methylmercury Compounds / analysis*
  • Methylmercury Compounds / metabolism
  • Seasons
  • Soil Pollutants / analysis*
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis*
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / metabolism
  • Wetlands


  • Methylmercury Compounds
  • Soil Pollutants
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Mercury