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Environments 2016, 3(1), 7; doi:10.3390/environments3010007

Mercury Accumulation, and the Mercury-PCB-Sex Interaction, in Lake Whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis)

1
U.S. Geological Survey, Great Lakes Science Center, 1451 Green Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48105, USA
2
Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority, Inter-Tribal Fisheries and Assessment Program, 179 West Three Mile Road, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783, USA
3
U.S. Geological Survey, Wisconsin Water Science Center, 8505 Research Way, Middleton, WI 53562, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Roberta Bettinetti and Yu-Pin Lin
Received: 3 November 2015 / Revised: 18 February 2016 / Accepted: 29 February 2016 / Published: 9 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecotoxicology of Freshwater Environments)
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Abstract

We determined whole-fish Hg concentrations of 26 female and 34 male adult lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) from northern Lake Huron captured during November 2010. Subsampling from these 60 fish, Hg concentration was also determined in both somatic tissue and ovaries (n = 5), while methylmercury (MeHg) concentration was determined in whole fish (n = 18). Bioenergetics modeling was used to assess the growth dilution effect on the difference in Hg concentrations between the sexes. Mean whole-fish Hg concentration in females (59.9 ng/g) was not significantly different from mean whole-fish Hg concentration in males (54.4 ng/g). MeHg accounted for 91% of the mercury found in the lake whitefish. Bioenergetics modeling results indicated that the growth dilution effect did not contribute to the difference in Hg concentrations between the sexes. We estimated that females increased in Hg concentration by 17.9%, on average, immediately after spawning due to release of eggs. Using polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) data for the same 60 lake whitefish from a previous study, we detected a significant interaction between sex and contaminant type (Hg or PCBs), which was attributable to males being significantly higher in PCB concentration than females. Males may be eliminating Hg at a faster rate than females. View Full-Text
Keywords: atmospheric deposition; bioenergetics modeling; consumption advisories; gross growth efficiency; Hg-elimination rates; tracers of food consumption atmospheric deposition; bioenergetics modeling; consumption advisories; gross growth efficiency; Hg-elimination rates; tracers of food consumption
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Madenjian, C.P.; Ebener, M.P.; Krabbenhoft, D.P. Mercury Accumulation, and the Mercury-PCB-Sex Interaction, in Lake Whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis). Environments 2016, 3, 7.

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