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Article

Proximity to Riparian Wetlands Increases Mercury Burden in Fish in the Upper St. Lawrence River

1
Institute for a Sustainable Environment, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY 13699, USA
2
St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences, Cornwall, ON K6H 4Z, Canada
3
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY 13699, USA
4
Department of Biology, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY 13699, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Kevin B. Strychar
Water 2022, 14(1), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14010070
Received: 27 November 2021 / Revised: 11 December 2021 / Accepted: 28 December 2021 / Published: 1 January 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Water Levels in the Great Lakes)
Mercury deposited in the Upper St. Lawrence River watershed by atmospheric deposition accumulated in riparian wetlands and is at risk of remobilization due to water level fluctuations. To examine if riparian wetlands are a source of mercury to fish, 174 yellow perch (Perca flavescens) and 145 round gobies (Neogobius melanostomus) were collected in 2019 from eight wetland and seven non-wetland habitats throughout the Upper St. Lawrence River. Mercury levels were significantly (p < 0.01) higher in fish collected from wetlands than those collected from non-wetland habitats for both yellow perch and round goby. Perch had mercury concentrations of 74.5 ± 35.4 ng/g dry wt in wetlands compared to 59.9 ± 23.0 ng/g dry wt in non-wetlands. Goby had mercury concentrations of 55.4 ± 13.8 ng/g dry wt in wetlands and non-wetland concentrations of 41.0 ± 14.0 ng/g dry wt. Riparian wetlands are areas of elevated mercury methylation and mobilization in the Upper St. Lawrence River and consequences to predators should be considered from the perspective of both wildlife preservation as well as fish consumption advisories for public health concerns. View Full-Text
Keywords: fish; mercury (Hg); St. Lawrence River; wetland fish; mercury (Hg); St. Lawrence River; wetland
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    Description: To examine if riparian wetlands are a source of mercury to fish, 174 yellow perch (Perca flavescens) and 145 round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) were collected in 2019 from eight wetland and seven non-wetland habitats throughout the Upper St. Lawrence River to examine mercury concentration differences between habitat types. Mercury levels were significantly (p < 0.01) higher in fish collected at wetlands than those collected from non-wetland habitats for both yellow perch and round goby. Perch had mercury concentrations of 74.5 ± 35.4 ng/g dry wt in wetlands compared to 59.9 ± 23.0 ng/g dry wt in non-wetlands. Goby had mercury concentrations of 55.4 ± 13.8 ng/g dry wt in wetlands and non-wetland concentrations of 41.0 ± 14.0 ng/g dry wt.
MDPI and ACS Style

Osgood, A.; Brahmstedt, E.S.; Windle, M.J.S.; Holsen, T.M.; Twiss, M.R. Proximity to Riparian Wetlands Increases Mercury Burden in Fish in the Upper St. Lawrence River. Water 2022, 14, 70. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14010070

AMA Style

Osgood A, Brahmstedt ES, Windle MJS, Holsen TM, Twiss MR. Proximity to Riparian Wetlands Increases Mercury Burden in Fish in the Upper St. Lawrence River. Water. 2022; 14(1):70. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14010070

Chicago/Turabian Style

Osgood, Autumn, Evie S. Brahmstedt, Matthew J.S. Windle, Thomas M. Holsen, and Michael R. Twiss. 2022. "Proximity to Riparian Wetlands Increases Mercury Burden in Fish in the Upper St. Lawrence River" Water 14, no. 1: 70. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14010070

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