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Total mercury and methylmercury in sediments and in the polychaete Nereis diversicolor at Groot Buitenschoor (Scheldt estuary, Belgium)
Muhaya, B.B.M.; Leermakers, M.; Baeyens, W.F.J. (1997). Total mercury and methylmercury in sediments and in the polychaete Nereis diversicolor at Groot Buitenschoor (Scheldt estuary, Belgium). Water Air Soil Pollut. 94(1-2): 109-123
In: Water, Air, and Soil Pollution. Springer: Dordrecht. ISSN 0049-6979, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 280860 [ OMA ]

Keywords
    Nereis diversicolor Müller, 1776 [WoRMS]; Polychaeta [WoRMS]; Marine; Brackish water
Author keywords
    mercury; methylmercury; sediment; polychaete; Nereis diversicolor ; methylation; bioaccumulation; Scheldt estuary

Authors  Top 
  • Muhaya, B.B.M.
  • Leermakers, M., more
  • Baeyens, W.F.J., more

Abstract
    Total mercury (Hg) and methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations were determined in sediments and in the polychaete worm Nereis diversicolor at 13 stations of a brackish water intertidal mudflat of the Scheldt estuary. Hg and MeHg concentrations in sediments ranged from 144 to 1192 ng g(-1) dw and from 0.8 to 6 ng g(-1) dw, respectively. Both Hg and MeHg concentrations increased with an increase of organic matter (OM) content and fine grain fraction. In contrast, Hg accumulation by N. diversicolor was significantly (p < 0.05) higher at stations with sandy sediments (mean value: 125 ng g(-1) dw) than at stations with muddy sediments (mean value, 80 ng g(-1)), probably because Hg availability for bioaccumulation at muddy stations was reduced by high OM content of the muddy sediments. MeHg accounted for an average of 0.7% of the total Hg in sediments and 18% of the total Hg in N. diversicolor. Seasonal variations significantly affected Hg concentrations in sediments and MeHg in N. diversicolor. Total Hg concentrations in sediments were significantly (p < 0.05) higher in autumn and winter than in spring and summer whereas MeHg concentrations were lowest in winter compared to the other seasons. On the other hand, total Hg concentrations in the worms were lowest in spring whereas MeHg concentrations were significantly (p < 0.01) higher in spring and summer than in autumn and winter.

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