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Methylmercury production and transfer to benthic food webs in nearshore and wetland environments of southern Lake Superior

The goal of this project is to assess the importance of   methylmercury production in coastal areas of southern Lake Superior.     Objectives:  1) quantify the processes of methylation and demethylation (M/D) in   nearshore sediments,   2) describe relations between M/D and sediment characteristics, and   3) describe the relation of sedimentary methylmercury production to   bioaccumulation in resident benthic invertebrates and fishes.    The importance of coastal areas as sources of methylmercury will be  assessed in the Fish Creek-Chequamegon Bay system by simultaneous   measurement of M/D in relation to sediment characteristics and   geographic position. Sediments and resident biota will be sampled   along an environmental gradient extending from the Fish Creek   wetlands, lake-ward to shallow areas within the bay. The   investigators will also examine a reference area that is not notably   influenced by tributary or wetland sources of methylmercury (e.g.,   along Madeline Island, WI) to assess the influence of sediment-  derived methylmercury. Stable isotopes of Hg will be used as tracers   of simultaneous M/D rates in sediment cores via analyses by ICPMS at   the USGS in Middleton, WI (Dr. David Krabbenhoft). Selected,   resident biota will be analyzed for methylmercury. Either Hyalella   or Gammarus, both abundant in the study area, will be used as a   model benthic invertebrate, and transfer from invertebrates to   benthivorous fish will be assessed by analyses of small yellow perch   (Perca flavescens) and ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernuus), a   nonindigenous species.    (Lake Superior); (methylmercury); (mercury); (toxic metal); (toxic   metals); (chemical of concern); (chemicals of concern);   (demethylation); (sediment); (sediments); (AIS); (aquatic invasive   species); (ANS); (aquatic nuisance species); (yellow perch); (Perca   flavescens); (ruffe); (European ruffe); (Gymnocephalus cernuus);   (nearshore); (benthos); (human health); (fish consumption); (fish   consumption advisories); (restrictions on fish consumption)

Status
In progress
Type
Project
Start Date
End Date
Researchers
Roger J. HaroResearcher
Associated with 1 projects
James G. WienerPrincipal Investigator
Associated with 1 projects
Kristofer R. RolfhusResearcher
Associated with 1 projects
Agencies
Wisconsin Sea Grant $ 0.00USDEstimates

Funding 3 projects for a total of $395,352.00
Scope of Study
Field Investigation
Laboratory Investigation
Scale of Phenomena
Biochemical
Ecosystem
Organism
Physical/Chemical
Impact of Pollutants
Toxic Metals
Land Use and Habitat
Shoreline
Wetlands
Resource Management
Fisheries
Lake Basin Connecting Channels
Lake Superior
Region Being Monitored
Benthos
Coastal Wetlands
Near and OpenShore Waters
Nearshore Terrestrial
Resource Being Monitored
Bottom Sediment
Fisheries
Habitat
Human Health
Beneficial Use Impairment Assessments
Degradation of Benthos
Restrictions of Fish and Wildlife Consumption
Tainting of Fish and Wildlife Populations
General
Monitoring

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