Author(s): Yang H, Rose NL, Battarbee RW, Yang H, Rose NL, Battarbee RW
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Abstract Anthropogenic trace metals enter the entire ecosystem of Lochnagar solely through atmospheric deposition. Trace metals, including Hg, have been monitored in atmospheric deposition and lake water, and measured in catchment vegetation, aquatic plants and zooplankton, revealing contamination levels in the ecosystem. Furthermore, 17 sediment cores were taken from different areas of the lake. Hg, Pb, Cd, Zn and Cu were analysed in all the cores, which show that the sediments have been heavily contaminated by these trace metals since the 1860s. The distribution of trace metals in the lake sediments was found to be heterogeneous, with concentrations in the surface sediments varying significantly: 110-250 ng/g, 100-360 microg/g, 39-180 microg/g, 0.3-1.9 microg/g and 8-25 microg/g for Hg, Pb, Zn, Cd and Cu, respectively. Trends in the concentration profiles for different trace metals in the same core are different, as are the trends of the profiles for the same metal in different cores. Hence, a single sediment core cannot represent the pollution history of the whole lake. As the soils and sediments contain a high proportion of plant debris and the debris has a high affinity for Hg, resulting in Hg enrichment. Hg was measured in plant debris (> 63 microm) separated from catchment soils and lake sediments. Plant debris may play an important role in storing and transferring Hg in this ecosystem.
This article was published in Sci Total Environ
and referenced in Journal of Bioprocessing & Biotechniques