Accumulation and hazard assessment of mercury to waterbirds at Lake Chapala, Mexico

Zaria Torres, Miguel A. Mora, Robert J. Taylor, Dioselina Alvarez-Bernal, Hector R. Buelna, Ayumi Hyodo

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Abstract

Lake Chapala is the largest tropical lake in Mexico. The objectives of this study were to determine bioaccumulation of Hg in fish and to evaluate the potential impacts of Hg in the diet of aquatic birds, particularly the American white pelican (AWPE), in Lake Chapala. Hg concentrations in three fish species ranged from 0.021 to 0.568 μg/g wet weight. Mercury in fish was positively and significantly correlated with total fish length (R 2 = 0.44, P < 0.05). The δ 15 N values in fish were significantly correlated with Hg concentrations in Chapala and the San Antonio Reservoir (R 2 = 0.69, P < 0.001 and R 2 = 0.40, P < 0.001, respectively). However, Hg concentrations in bird feathers were not significantly different between years, among locations, or among species. Hg concentrations in fish from Lake Chapala were within values reported in many parts of the world. The Hg (mean range of 2.75 to 4.54 μg/g dw) and δD (mean range of -62‰ to -11‰) values in bird feathers suggested a wide pattern of exposure for highly migratory AWPE and egrets, although birds with lower δD values in feathers appeared to have greater concentrations of Hg than those with higher δD values. Contaminant exposure in aquatic birds in Chapala during the breeding season should be monitored next to better determine the potential effects of Hg on resident aquatic birds. © 2014 American Chemical Society.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)6359-6365
Number of pages5722
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
DOIs
StatePublished - 3 Jun 2014

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Birds
hazard assessment
Mercury
Fish
Lakes
Hazards
bird
lake
feather
fish
Bioaccumulation
Nutrition
breeding season
bioaccumulation
mercury
Impurities
diet
pollutant

Cite this

Torres, Zaria ; Mora, Miguel A. ; Taylor, Robert J. ; Alvarez-Bernal, Dioselina ; Buelna, Hector R. ; Hyodo, Ayumi. / Accumulation and hazard assessment of mercury to waterbirds at Lake Chapala, Mexico. In: Environmental Science and Technology. 2014 ; pp. 6359-6365.
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Accumulation and hazard assessment of mercury to waterbirds at Lake Chapala, Mexico. / Torres, Zaria; Mora, Miguel A.; Taylor, Robert J.; Alvarez-Bernal, Dioselina; Buelna, Hector R.; Hyodo, Ayumi.

In: Environmental Science and Technology, 03.06.2014, p. 6359-6365.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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