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Environments 2015, 2(4), 546-564;

Mercury Concentrations of Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) Vary by Sex

Geological Survey, Great Lakes Science Center, 1451 Green Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48105, USA
Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Waterford Fisheries Station, 7806 Gale Road, Waterford, MI 48327, USA
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, 525 West Allegan Street, P. O. Box 30473, Lansing, MI 48909, USA
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of Laboratories, 3350 North Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Lansing, MI 48906, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Roberta Bettinetti and Yu-Pin Lin
Received: 31 August 2015 / Accepted: 2 November 2015 / Published: 11 November 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecotoxicology of Freshwater Environments)
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Patterns in relative differences in contaminant concentrations between the sexes across many species of fish may reveal clues for important behavioral and physiological differences between the sexes, and may also be useful in developing fish consumption advisories and efficient designs for programs meant to monitor contaminant levels in fish. We determined skin-off fillet and whole-fish total mercury (Hg) concentrations of 28 adult female and 26 adult male bluegills (Lepomis macrochirus) from Squaw Lake, Oakland County, Michigan (MI), USA. Bioenergetics modeling was used to quantify the effect of growth dilution on the difference in Hg concentrations between the sexes. On average, skin-off fillet and whole-fish Hg concentrations were 25.4% higher and 26.6% higher, respectively, in females compared with males. Thus, the relative difference in Hg concentrations between the sexes for skin-off fillets was nearly identical to that for whole fish. However, mean skin-off fillet Hg concentration (363 ng/g) was 2.3 times greater than mean whole-fish Hg concentration (155 ng/g). Males grew substantially faster than females, and bioenergetics modeling results indicated that the growth dilution effect could account for females having 14.4% higher Hg concentrations than males. Our findings should be useful in revising fish consumption advisories. View Full-Text
Keywords: bioenergetics modeling; consumption advisories; excretion; gross growth efficiency; Hg elimination rates; sex differences; tracers of food consumption bioenergetics modeling; consumption advisories; excretion; gross growth efficiency; Hg elimination rates; sex differences; tracers of food consumption

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MDPI and ACS Style

Madenjian, C.P.; Francis, J.T.; Braunscheidel, J.J.; Bohr, J.R.; Geiger, M.J.; Knottnerus, G.M. Mercury Concentrations of Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) Vary by Sex. Environments 2015, 2, 546-564.

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