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Oct
2012

The sources of methylmercury (MeHg; the toxic form of mercury that is biomagnified through foodwebs) to Arctic freshwater organisms have not been clearly identified. We used a mass balance approach to quantify MeHg production in two wetland ponds in the Lake Hazen region of northern Ellesmere Island, NU, in the Canadian High Arctic and to evaluate the importance of these systems as sources of MeHg to Arctic foodwebs. We show that internal production (1.
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Oct
2012

Methylmercury (MeHg) is a potent neurotoxin that has been demonstrated to biomagnify in Arctic freshwater foodwebs to levels that may be of concern to Inuit peoples subsisting on freshwater fish, for example. The key process initiating the bioaccumulation and biomagnification of MeHg in foodwebs is the methylation of inorganic Hg(II) to form MeHg, and ultimately how much MeHg enters foodwebs is controlled by the production and availability of MeHg in a particular water body. We used isotopically enriched Hg stable isotope tracers in sediment core incubations to measure potential rates of Hg(II) methylation and investigate the controls on MeHg production in High Arctic wetland ponds in the Lake Hazen region of northern Ellesmere Island (Nunavut, Canada).

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Jun
2004

Mercury in humans and other top predators living in the Arctic is present at elevated levels. Since only methylmercury (MeHg) bioaccumulates in food chains, sources of MeHg need to be identified. Recently, wetlands in the High Arctic were found to produce MeHg, and this was confirmed in laboratory soil incubations.

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Jul
2015

Permafrost thaw ponds are ubiquitous in the eastern Canadian Arctic, yet little information exists on their potential as sources of methylmercury (MeHg) to freshwaters. They are microbially active and conducive to methylation of inorganic mercury, and are also affected by Arctic warming. This multiyear study investigated thaw ponds in a discontinuous permafrost region in the Subarctic taiga (Kuujjuarapik-Whapmagoostui, QC) and a continuous permafrost region in the Arctic tundra (Bylot Island, NU).

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Jul
2005

Several lines of evidence suggest that wetlands may be a major source of methylmercury (MeHg) to receiving waters, perhaps explaining the strong correlation between concentrations of waterborne MeHg and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in regions such as northern Wisconsin. We evaluated the relative importance of wetland export in the MeHg budget of a wetland-dominated lake in northern Wisconsin using mass balance. Channelized runoff from a large headwater wetland was the major source of water and total mercury (HgT) to the lake during the study period.

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