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Methyl mercury production in freshwater microcosms affected by dissolved oxygen levels : Role of cobalamin and microbial community composition

  • Olof Regnell
  • Anders Tunlid
  • Göran Ewald
  • Olof Sangfors
Publishing year: 1996-01-01
Language: English
Pages: 1535-1545
Publication/Series: Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Volume: 53
Issue: 7
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: National Research Council Canada

Abstract english

Radiolabelled Hg(NO(NO3)2 was added to microcosms containing water and sediment from a lake contaminated with cellulose fibres and mercury. We found that anoxic incubation resulted in methyl 203Hg concentrations in the water at least an order of magnitude higher than the levels in oxygenated incubation. This was explained by the fact that both the production and the water solubility of methyl mercury were higher under anoxic conditions than under oxic conditions. Demethylation, however, seemed to play a minor role, if any, in regulating methyl mercury concentrations. In the sediment, the level of methyl 203Hg was strongly correlated with the level of cobalamin and the levels of the phospholipid fatty acids i15:0 and 10Mel 6:0, the latter indicating the presence of Desulfobacter, a genus of sulphate-reducing bacteria.


  • Ecology


  • ISSN: 0706-652X
Anders Tunlid
E-mail: anders [dot] tunlid [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

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