Author(s): Kck G, Hofer R
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Abstract As a consequence of atmospheric deposition, effects of pollutants such as acidification and metal contamination are evident even in remote aquatic ecosystems of mountain and polar regions. Due to similar environmental characteristics (e.g., oligotrophy, low buffering capacity, long ice-cover, high precipitation rates), clearwater high altitude and high latitude lakes represent very sensitive ecosystems, which are extremely susceptible to even slight changes of the environment. Thus, the environmental relevance of Cd and Pb for both types of lakes is discussed in relation to their extraordinary sensitivity to environmental changes. The impact of Cd and Pb on fish from high altitude and high latitude lakes is reviewed and biotic and abiotic factors controlling bioavailability and toxicity of metals to fish are summarized. Apart from direct toxic effects of low pH, acidification increases the bioavailability of metals for fish. Furthermore, low concentrations of dissolved organic carbon and suspended particles take influence on the uptake and toxicity of metals in fish from clear high altitude and high latitude lakes. Since even very low concentrations of Cd and Pb may result in high metal concentrations in fish, evaluation of critical metal loads for clear high altitude and high latitude lakes is of major importance.
This article was published in EXS
and referenced in Journal of Oceanography and Marine Research