Special Issue "Mercury and Methylmercury Contamination of Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Earth Sciences and Geography".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Stéphane Guédron
Guest Editor
ISTerre, IRD – Geochemistry group - UMR 5275 (IRD/UGA/CNRS) – Université Grenoble Alpes, BP 53, F-38041, Grenoble, France
Interests: biogeochemistry; limnology; soil science; paleoenvironmental reconstructions; mercury and metal(loid)s geochemistry
Dr. Dario Acha
Guest Editor
Unidad de Calidad Ambiental (UCA) – Instituto de Ecología - Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, Campus Universitario de Cota Cota, casilla 3161, La Paz, Bolivia
Interests: Biogeochemistry; limnology; microbiology; ecology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In 2017, 128 countries signed the Minamata Convention on Mercury (Hg) to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury. Although Hg is naturally occurring at the global scale, anthropogenic releases of Hg affect its natural biogeochemical cycle. Understanding the pathways and magnitude of Hg contamination in terrestrial and aquatic environment are key factors in understanding the risks for wildlife and humans.

Since the industrial revolution, anthropogenic pressure and Hg contamination have risen, affecting both natural ecosystems (e.g., lake eutrophication, deforestation, mining) and urban areas (wastewaters, atmospheric emissions, industrial discharges). This results in a general increase in Hg levels in all compartments of the ecosystems and particularly in Hg bioaccumulation in trophic chains, mostly as methylmercury (MeHg). However, Hg impact is dependent on a large variety of abiotic and biotic factors with complex interactions among them, which often results in locally specific responses. The identification of sources, pathways, and mechanisms of Hg and MeHg contamination is thus crucial to determine and predict future impacts of this contaminant in the environment and biota.

Papers for this Special Issue may address novel aspects on processes driving Hg sources, key transformations (i.e., methylation/demethylation) and Hg accumulation in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem compartments at various spatial and temporal scales. Contributions that link source tracking and accumulation in ecosystem compartments using Hg isotopes are greatly encouraged. Studies may focus on local, regional, or global scales and Hg contamination in both the natural (temperate and extreme) and anthropogenic (urban, agricultural, mining) areas.

Dr. Stéphane Guédron
Dr. Dario Acha
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Applied Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • mercury
  • methylation/demethylation
  • isotopes, aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems
  • source and process

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Oxidative Stress Biomarkers in Erythrocytes of Captive Pre-Juvenile Loggerhead Turtles Following Acute Exposure to Methylmercury
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(10), 3602; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10103602 - 22 May 2020
This study describes the use of erythrocytes (RBCs) of loggerhead turtles as in vitro models for evaluating their toxicity to methylmercury. Blood samples of loggerhead turtles that were born in the Colombian Caribbean were used. The LC50 of RBCs to methylmercury was [...] Read more.
This study describes the use of erythrocytes (RBCs) of loggerhead turtles as in vitro models for evaluating their toxicity to methylmercury. Blood samples of loggerhead turtles that were born in the Colombian Caribbean were used. The LC50 of RBCs to methylmercury was determined at 96 h using methylmercury concentrations of 0.5–100 mg L−1. Next, the viability of the RBCs and the activity of the enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione S-transferase (GST), and lipid peroxidation by malondialdehyde (MDA) at 6 and 12 h of exposure to acute concentrations of 0, 1, and 5 mg L−1 were evaluated. The LC50 for loggerhead turtle RBCs was 8.32 mg L−1. The cell viability bioassay of RBCs exposed for 12 h only showed 100% cell viability. Increasing in vitro MeHg concentrations caused a corresponding increase in MDA concentration as well as decreases in the activities of SOD and GST. The RBCs represent an excellent model for ecotoxicological studies and SOD, GST, and MDA are biomarkers of environmental pollution and oxidative stress in loggerhead turtles. This was the first study conducted on loggerhead turtle where the response of RBCs to MeHg-induced oxidative stress is evaluated. Full article
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