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Atmospheric Deposition, Transport, Transformations and Bioavailability of Mercury across a Northern Forest Landscape

Widespread contamination of mercury in remote aquatic environments   due to atmospheric deposition and consequent high concentrations in   aquatic biota, suggest that there is an acute need to improve   understanding of the mechanisms of mercury transport and   transformations in lake/watershed ecosystems. Atmospheric deposition   of mercury to forest ecosystems is enhanced by processes within the   canopy. Mercury entering the forest floor largely via throughfall   and litterfall may be a factor of two or more greater than wet   deposition. Following deposition, mercury undergoes a series of   complex pathways and transformations, which interconnect with other   element cycles, and ultimately control the supply of methylmercury   to aquatic biota. Important, but poorly understood mechanisms of Hg   transport and transformations include: mineralization of litter   mercury inputs, binding of mercury and methyl mercury in forest   soils, wetlands and sediments, conversion of ionic mercury to methyl   mercury and/or volatile elemental mercury, and the bioavailability   of methyl mercury to aquatic biota.    This study is conducted in the Adirondack region of New York (east   of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River), an acid-sensitive   forested area with high concentrations of mercury in fish relative   to other lake districts in eastern North America. The process-  oriented Mercury in Adirondack Wetlands Lakes and Terrestrial   Systems model will be a critical tool in this Biocomplexity project.   Results from the field plot study and the laboratory studies will be   used to improve formulations of important processes affecting   mercury deposition, fate, transport, transformations and   bioavailability in northern forest ecosystems.       (mercury); (methyl mercury); (methylmercury); (toxic metal); (toxic   metals); (chemicals of concern); (chemical of concern); (Hg)

In progress
Start Date
End Date
Charles T. DriscollPrincipal Investigator
Associated with 5 projects
Michael TwissResearcher
Associated with 1 projects
Tamar BarkayResearcher
Associated with 1 projects
Thomas HolsenResearcher
Associated with 2 projects
Stephen GrimbergResearcher
Associated with 1 projects
Mark HinesResearcher
Associated with 1 projects
National Science Foundation $ 1,799,950.00USDActual

Funding 6 projects for a total of $5,285,249.00
Scope of Study
Field Investigation
Scale of Phenomena
Impact of Pollutants
Toxic Metals
Natural Ecological Processes
Land Use and Habitat
Resource Management
Lake Basin Connecting Channels
Out of Basin
State Province
New York
Purpose of Project
Special Survey
Resource Being Monitored
Beneficial Use Impairment Assessments
Compliance with Environmental Quality Objectives
Annex Numbers
Airborne Toxic Substances
Persistent Toxic Substances
Research & Development
Specific Objectives for toxic substances and effluents
  • Annex Numbers
    Annex Numbers
    Airborne Toxic Substances
    Persistent Toxic Substances
    Research & Development
    Specific Objectives for toxic substances and effluents
  • Annex 17

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Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Region.