Mercury (Hg) is a global pollutant with human health and ecological impacts. Gas exchange between terrestrial surfaces and the atmosphere is an important route for Hg to enter and exit ecosystems. Here, we used a dynamic flux chamber to measure gaseous elemental Hg (GEM) exchange over different landscapes in Mississippi, including in situ measurements for a wetland (soil and water), forest floor, pond, mowed field and grass-covered lawn, as well as mesocosm experiments for three different agricultural soils. Fluxes were measured during both the summer and winter. Mean ambient levels of GEM ranged between 0.93–1.57 ng m−3
. GEM emission fluxes varied diurnally with higher daytime fluxes, driven primarily by solar radiation, and lower and more stable nighttime fluxes, dependent mostly on temperature. GEM fluxes (ng m−2
) were seasonally dependent with net emission during the summer (mean 2.15, range 0.32 to 4.92) and net deposition during the winter (−0.12, range −0.32 to 0.12). Total Hg concentrations in the soil ranged from 17.1 ng g−1
to 127 ng g−1
but were not a good predictor of GEM emissions. GEM flux and soil temperature were correlated over the forest floor, and the corresponding activation energy for Hg emission was ~31 kcal mol−1
using the Arrhenius equation. There were significant differences in GEM fluxes between the habitats with emissions for grass > wetland soil > mowed field > pond > wetland water ≈ forest ≈ agriculture soils. Overall, we demonstrate that these diverse landscapes serve as both sources and sinks for airborne Hg depending on the season and meteorological factors.
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