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Influences of bioavailability, trophic position, and growth on methylmercury in Hakes (Merluccius merluccius) from Northwestern Mediterranean and Northeastern Atlantic
Cossa, D.; Harmelin-Vivien, M.; Mellon-Duval, C.; Loizeau, V.; Averty, B.; Crochet, S.; Chou, L.; Cadiou, J.F. (2012). Influences of bioavailability, trophic position, and growth on methylmercury in Hakes (Merluccius merluccius) from Northwestern Mediterranean and Northeastern Atlantic. Environ. Sci. Technol. 46(9): 4885-4893. dx.doi.org/10.1021/es204269w
In: Environmental Science and Technology. American Chemical Society: Easton. ISSN 0013-936X, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 279167 [ OMA ]

Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Cossa, D.
  • Harmelin-Vivien, M.
  • Mellon-Duval, C.
  • Loizeau, V.
  • Averty, B.
  • Crochet, S.
  • Chou, L., more
  • Cadiou, J.F.

Abstract
    Methylmercury (MeHg) determinations in hake, its food-chain, and the surrounding waters and sediments allowed us to show that the higher length or age normalized mercury concentrations of Northwestern Mediterranean (Gulf of Lions: GoL) muscle hakes compared to its Northeastern Atlantic (Bay of Biscay: BoB) counterpart are due to both biotic and abiotic differences between their ecosystems. Bioenergetic modeling reveals that the slower growth rate of Mediterranean hake favors the MeHg bioaccumulation in the fish muscle and explains most of the difference between GOL and BoB hake populations. In addition, the waters of the Mediterranean hake habitat favor a higher MeHg exposition, due to the upper position of the thermohalocline, where MeHg is formed. Furthermore, we show that, within the Mediterranean hake population, a major increase in the biomagnification power (the slope of the relationships between logMeHg and delta15N), from 0.36 up to 1.12, occurs when individuals enter adulthood, resulting from the combined effects of lowering growth rate and change in feeding habits. Finally, delta15N normalized Hg concentrations indicate that the highest Hg concentrations are for hake from the shelf edge and the lowest are for hake from the Rhone prodelta area, suggesting a lower Hg bioavailability in inshore environments, consistent with MeHg distributions in water, sediment, and preys.

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