Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Main drivers of mercury levels in Southern Ocean lantern fish Myctophidae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access Status

  • Embargoed (until 3/05/21)

Author(s)

José Seco, José C. Xavier, Paco Bustamante, João P. Coelho, Ryan A. Saunders, Nicole Ferreira, Sophie Fielding, Miguel A. Pardal, Gabriele Stowasser, Thainara Viana, Geraint A. Tarling, Eduarda Pereira, Andrew S. Brierley

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Myctophids are the most abundant fish group in the Southern Ocean pelagic ecosystem and are an important link in the Antarctic marine food web. Due to their major ecological role, evaluating the level of mercury (Hg) contamination in myctophids is important as a step towards understanding the trophic pathway of this contaminant. The concentrations of total Hg were determined in muscle, gill, heart and liver tissue of 9 myctophid species to quantify tissue partitioning variability between species. Organic Hg concentration and proportion in muscle was also determined. Hg concentrations were higher in the liver and heart than in muscle and gills, but the proportion of organic Hg was almost 100% in muscle, indicating that the main uptake route for Hg is through the diet. Most of the species analysed have similar vertical and horizontal distributions, and similar feeding modes and prey. Geographical and temporal variability of Hg concentrations was examined using samples from 3 different years (2007/08, 2015/16 and 2016/17) and 2 locations (South Georgia and South Orkneys Islands). Our results appear to indicate a decreasing trend in Hg contamination over the last decade, particularly gill tissue, which is in agreement with a previous study on squid from the same region. There was no significant variability in Hg concentration between the different sampling locations. Hg levels were consistent with values reported previously for myctophids around the world, indicating low global-scale geographic variability. A positive relationship between fish size and Hg concentration was found for most species, with the exception of Electrona antarctica females, which may be explained through Hg elimination by egg laying. We estimate that myctophids collectively comprise a Southern Ocean mercury ‘reserve’ of ≈1.82 metric tonnes.
Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number114711
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Volume264
Early online date3 May 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 May 2020

    Research areas

  • Trace element, Metal, Bioaccumulation, Mesopelagic fish, Antarctic

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Molecular identification of potential aquaculture pathogens adherent to cnidarian zooplankton

    Clinton, M., Kintner, A. H., Delannoy, C., Brierley, A. S. & Ferrier, D. E. K., 15 Mar 2020, In : Aquaculture. 518, 8 p., 734801.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Microplastic study reveals the presence of natural and synthetic fibres in the diet of King Penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) foraging from South Georgia

    Le Guen, C., Suaria, G., Sherley, R. B., Ryan, P. G., Aliani, S., Boehme, L. & Brierley, A. S., Jan 2020, In : Environment International . 134, 9 p., 105303.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Mercury levels in Southern Ocean squid: variability over the last decade

    Seco, J., Xavier, J. C., Brierley, A. S., Bustamante, P., Coelho, J. P., Gregory, S., Fielding, S., Pardal, M. A., Pereira, B., Stowasser, G., Tarling, G. A. & Pereira, E., Jan 2020, In : Chemosphere. 239, 124785.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. From siphonophores to deep scattering layers: uncertainty ranges for the estimation of global mesopelagic fish biomass

    Proud, R., Handegard, N. O., Kloser, R., Cox, M. & Brierley, A. S., May 2019, In : ICES Journal of Marine Science. 76, 3, p. 718-733

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Spatial variability in total and organic mercury levels in Antarctic krill Euphausia superba across the Scotia Sea

    Seco, J., Xavier, J. C., Coelho, J. P., Pereira, B., Tarling, G., Pardal, M. A., Bustamante, P., Stowasser, G., Brierley, A. S. & Pereira, M. E., Apr 2019, In : Environmental Pollution. 247, p. 332-339 8 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Spatial variability in total and organic mercury levels in Antarctic krill Euphausia superba across the Scotia Sea

    Seco, J., Xavier, J. C., Coelho, J. P., Pereira, B., Tarling, G., Pardal, M. A., Bustamante, P., Stowasser, G., Brierley, A. S. & Pereira, M. E., Apr 2019, In : Environmental Pollution. 247, p. 332-339 8 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Predicting the effects of polychlorinated biphenyls on cetacean populations through impacts on immunity and calf survival

    Hall, A. J., McConnell, B. J., Schwacke, L. H., Ylitalo, G. M., Williams, R. & Rowles, T. K., Feb 2018, In : Environmental Pollution. 233, p. 407-418

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Relationships between vitamin A and PCBs in grey seal mothers and pups during lactation

    Vanden Berghe, M., Mat, A., Arriola, A., Polain, S., Stekke, V., Thome, J-P., Gaspart, F., Pomeroy, P., Larondelle, Y. & Debier, C., May 2010, In : Environmental Pollution. 158, 5, p. 1570-1575 6 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Bioaccumulation of persistent organic pollutants in female common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) and harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) from western European seas: consequences for reproduction, geographical trends and effects of age, maturation and diet

    Pierce, G. J., Santos, M. B., Murphy, S. N., Learmonth, J. A., Zuur, A. F., Rogan, E., Bustamante, P., Caurant, F., Lahaye, V., Ridoux, V., Zegers, B. N., Mets, A., Addink, M., Smeenk, C., Jauniaux, T., Law, R. J., Dabin, W., López, A., Alonso Farré, J. M., González, A. F. & 6 others, Guerra, A., García-Hartmann, M., Reid, R. J., Moffat, C. F., Lockyer, C. & Boon, J. P., May 2008, In : Environmental Pollution. 153, p. 401-415 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 267799180

Top