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The role of ground vegetation in the uptake of mercury and methylmercury in a forest ecosystem

Title data

Schwesig, David ; Krebs, Ortrun:
The role of ground vegetation in the uptake of mercury and methylmercury in a forest ecosystem.
In: Plant and Soil. Vol. 253 (2003) Issue 2 . - pp. 445-455.
ISSN 1573-5036
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1024891014028

Abstract in another language

Litterfall fromtrees has been identified as an important pathway for deposition of mercury (Hg) and methylmercury (MeHg) in forested catchments, but very little is known about the role of ground vegetation in deposition andcycling of Hg compounds. This study was conducted to identify the origin of Hg compounds in the groundvegetation, and to estimate the role of its litterfall with respect to pools and fluxes of Hg in a coniferous forestin the German Fichtelgebirge mountains. Above and below ground biomass of the dominant ground vegetation(Vaccinium myrtillus, Deschampsia flexuosa and Calamagrostis villosa) were sampled at several plots successively during the growing season. The fluxes to the soil via litterfall of the ground vegetation were calculated using contents of Hg and MeHg in the annual fractions of aboveground biomass. With fluxes of 0.4 – 7.8 mg Hgtotal ha−1 a−1 and 0.01 – 0.04 mg MeHg ha−1 a−1 (depending on the plant species) this pathway contributes only a few percent to the total deposition of both compounds in the catchment. To identify the uptake pathways of Hg compounds, the same plant species were grown in a pot experiment with addition of isotope labelled Hg compounds(202Hg2+, Me198Hg) to a clean sand substrate. Only small proportions of 202Hg and Me198Hg in the substrate weretaken up by the plants, but in all cases the proportion translocated into aboveground biomass after uptake wasgreater in case of Me198Hg. Thus, internal recycling in the plant-soil system is a source especially forMeHg in theground vegetation. However, as compared to the input of Hg compounds by tree litterfall and storage in the forestfloor, Hgtotal and MeHg in ground vegetation are of minor importance. High volatilization of added Hg isotopesraises the question of a re-emission of Hg compounds by the transpiration flux of the ground vegetation.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER9548
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Soil Ecology
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2015 05:56
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2015 05:56
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/20252