|Biodiversity loss in benthic macroinfaunal communities and its consequence for organic mercury trophic availability to benthivorous predators in the lower Hudson River estuary, USA|
Goto, D.; Wallace, W.G. (2009). Biodiversity loss in benthic macroinfaunal communities and its consequence for organic mercury trophic availability to benthivorous predators in the lower Hudson River estuary, USA. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 58(12): 1909-1915
In: Marine Pollution Bulletin. Macmillan: London. ISSN 0025-326X, more
Food webs; Mercury; Predators; Salt marshes; Toxicity; Zoobenthos; ANW, USA, Hudson Estuary [Marine Regions]; Marine
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Organic mercury such as methylmercury is not only one of the most toxic substances found in coastal ecosystems but also has high trophic transfer efficiency. In this study, we examined implications of chronically altered benthic macroinfaunal assemblages for organic mercury trophic availability (based on organic mercury intracellular partitioning) to their predators in the Arthur Kill-AK (New York, USA). Despite low species diversity, both density and biomass of benthic macroinvertebrates in AK were significantly higher than those at the reference site. Disproportionately high biomass of benthic macroinvertebrates (mostly polychaetes) in the northern AK resulted in a more than twofold increase (‘ecological enrichment’) in the trophically available organic mercury pool. These results suggest that altered benthic macroinfaunal community structure in AK may play an important role in organic mercury trophic availability at the base of benthic food webs and potentially in mercury biogeochemical cycling in this severely urbanized coastal ecosystem.