[Keyword='Big Cypress National Preserve']
Mercury Cycling and BioaccumulationEntry ID: USGS_SOFIA_dk_merc_cycl_bio
Abstract: This proposal identifies work elements that are logical extensions, and which build off, our previous work. Our overall scientific objective is to provide a complete understanding of the external factors (such as atmospheric mercury and sulfate runoff loads) and internal factors (such as hydroperiod maintenance and water chemistry) that result in the formation and bioaccumulation of MeHg in south ... Florida ecosystems, and to conduct this research is such a way that it will be directly useable by land and water resource managers. More specifically, we will seek to achieve the following subobjectives (1) Extend our mesocosms studies to provide a more omprehensive examination of the newly discovered 'new versus old' mercury effect by conducting studies under differing hydrologic conditions and sub-ecosystem settings so that our experimental results will be more generally applicable to the greater south Florida ecosystem including the STAs that have been recently constructed and are yielding very high levels of methylmercury but the cause is currently unknown; (2) Seek to further identify the mechanisms that result in extremely high levels of MeHg after natural drying and rewetting cycles in the Everglades and which have major implications for the Restoration Plan; (3) Further our studies on the production of methylmercury in south Florida estuaries and tidal marshes by conducting mass-balance studies of tidal marshes; (4) Begin to partner with wildlife toxicologists funded by the State of Florida to unravel the complexities surrounding methylmercury exposure and effects to higher order wildlife in south Florida; and , (5) Continue to participate with mercury ecosystem modelers who are funded by the State of Florida and the USEPA to evaluate the overall ecological effects of reducing mercury emissions and the risks associated with methylmercury exposure.
Although ecological impacts from phosphorous contamination have become synonymous with water quality in south Florida, especially for Everglades restoration, there are several other contaminants presently entering the Everglades that may be of equal or greater impact, including: pesticides, herbicides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and trace metals. This project focuses on mercury, a sparingly soluble trace metal that is principally derived from atmospheric sources and affects the entire south Florida ecosystem. Mercury interacts with another south Florida contaminant, sulfur, that is derived from agricultural runoff, and results in a problem with potentially serious toxicological impacts for all the aquatic food webs (marine and freshwater) in the south Florida ecosystem. The scientific focus of this project is to examine the complex interactions of these contaminants (synergistic and antagonistic), ecosystem responses to variations in contaminant loading (time and space dimensions), and how imminent ecosystem restoration steps may affect existing contaminant pools. The Everglades restoration program is prescribing ecosystem-wide changes to some of the physical, hydrological and chemical components of this ecosystem. However, it remains uncertain what overall effects will occur as these components react to the perturbations (especially the biological and chemical components) and toward what type of 'new ecosystem' the Everglades will evolve. The approaches used by this study have been purposefully chosen to yield results that should be directly useable by land management and restoration decision makers. Presently, we are addressing several major questions surrounding the mercury research field, and the Everglades Restoration program: (l) What, if any, ecological benefit to the Everglades would be realized if mercury emissions reductions would be enacted, and over what time scales (years or tens of years) would improvements be realized? (2) What is the role of old mercury (previously deposited and residing in soils and sediment) versus new mercury (recent deposition) in fueling the mercury problem? (3) In the present condition, is controlling sulfur or mercury inputs more important for reducing the mercury problem in the Everglades? (4) Does sulfur loading have any additional ecological impacts that have not been realized previously (e.g., toxicity to plant and animals) that may be contributing to an overall decreased ecological health? (5) Commercial fisheries in the Florida Bay are contaminated with mercury, is this mercury derived from Everglades runoff or atmospheric runoff? (6) What is the precise role of carbon (the third member of the 'methylmercury axis of evil', along with sulfur and mercury), and do we have to be concerned with high levels of natural carbon mobilization from agricultural runoff as well? (7) Hundreds of millions of dollars are being, or have been spent, on STA construction to reduce phosphorus loading to the Everglades, however, recently constructed STAs have yielded the highest known concentration of toxic methylmercury; can STA operations be altered to reduce methylmercury production and maintain a high level of phosphorus retention over extended periods of time? The centerpiece of our research continues to be the use of environmental chambers (enclosures or mesocosms), inside which we conduct dosing experiments using sulfate, dissolved organic carbon and mercury isotopic tracers. The goal of the mesocosm experiments is to quantify the in situ ecological response to our chemical dosing, and to also determine the ecosystem recovery time to the doses.
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Data Set Citation
Dataset Originator/Creator: David P. Krabbenhoft William H. Orem, George R. Aiken, Cindy Gilmour (Academy of Natural Sciences)
Dataset Title: Mercury Cycling and Bioaccumulation
Dataset Release Date: Unpublished MaterialOnline Resource: http://sofia.usgs.gov/projects/int_geochem/
Start Date: 2000-10-01Stop Date: 2006-12-31
BIOSPHERE > TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEMS > WETLANDS
HUMAN DIMENSIONS > ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS > CONTAMINANT LEVELS/SPILLS
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE > WATER QUALITY/WATER CHEMISTRY > CONTAMINANTS
BIOSPHERE > AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS > WETLANDS
BIOSPHERE > ECOLOGICAL DYNAMICS > ECOTOXICOLOGY > SPECIES BIOACCUMULATION
Access Constraints None
Use Constraints These data are subject to change and are not citeable until reviewed and approved for official publication.
Data Set Progress
Role: TECHNICAL CONTACT
Email: dpkrabbe at usgs.gov
U.S. Geological Survey 8505 Research Way
Province or State: WI
Postal Code: 53562
Role: DIF AUTHOR
Email: alicia.m.aleman at nasa.gov
Goddard Space Flight Center Code 610.2
Province or State: MD
Postal Code: 20771
Haitzer, M., Aiken, G. R., Ryan, J. N., 2002, Binding of Mercury (II) to Dissolved Organic Matter: The Role of the Mercury-to-DOM Concentration Ration, Environmental Science and Technology, v. 36, Washington, DC, American Chemical Society, The entire paper is available from the Environmental Science and Technology Journal web site; however, a journal subscription is required.
Bates, A. L., Orem, W. H., Harvey, J.. W., Spiker, E. C., 2001, Geochemistry of Sulfur in the Florida Everglades: 1994 through 1999, USGS Open-File Report, OFR 01-007, Tallahassee, FL, U.S. Geological Survey.
Orem, William H., Lerch, Harry E., Rawlik, Peter, 1997, Geochemistry of Surface and Pore Water at USGS Coring Sites in Wetlands of South Florida: 1994 and 1995, USGS Open-File Report, OFR 97-454, St. Petersburg, FL, U.S. Geological Survey.
Bates, Anne L, Orem, William H., Harvey. Judson W., Spiker, Elliot C., 2002, Tracing sources of sulfur in the Florida Everglades, Journal of Environmental Quality, v. 31 no. 1, Madison, WI, American Society of Agronomy, The journal is published jointly by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America.
Simon, N. S., Cox, T., Spencer, R., 1998, Data for Periphyton and Water Samples Collected from the South Florida Ecosystem, 1995 and 1996, USGS Open-File Report, 98-76, Reston VA, U.S. Geological Survey.
Gough, L. P., Kotra, R. K., Holmes, C. W., Orem, W. H., Hageman, P. L., Briggs, P. H., Meier, A. L., Brown, Z. A., 2000, Regional Geochemistry of Metals in Organic-Rich Sediments, Sawgrass, and Surface Water from Taylor Slough, Florida, USGS Open-File Report, OFR 00-327, Reston, VA, U.S. Geological Survey.
Krabbenhoft, D. P, Hurley, J. P., Olson, M. L., Cleckner, L. B., 1998, Diel variability of mercury phase and species distributions in the Florida Everglades, Biogeochemistry, v. 40 no. 2/3, Dordrecht, Netherlands, Kluwer Academic Press.
Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2006-10-27
Last DIF Revision Date: 2009-06-02