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Biogeochemistry of mercury and methylmercury in two forested catchments in Bavaria, Germany

Title data

Schwesig, David:
Biogeochemistry of mercury and methylmercury in two forested catchments in Bavaria, Germany.
Bayreuth : Bayreuther Inst. für Terrestrische Ökosystemforschung , 2001 . - V, 135 S. - (Bayreuther Forum Ökologie ; 83 )
( Doctoral thesis, 2001 , Universität Bayreuth, Fakultät für Biologie, Chemie und Geowissenschaften)

Project information

Project financing: Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung
Vorhaben-Nr. PT BEO 51 - 0339476 C

Abstract in another language

Mercury (Hg) and methylmercury (MeHg) are global pollutants, but little information is available on their biogeochemistry in forested catchments of Central Europe. The objectives of this study were to investigate input and output fluxes of total Hg (Hgtotal) and MeHg in a deciduous and a coniferous catchment in Bavaria (Germany), and to estimate pools and mobility of these compounds at the catchment scale, and particularly in the forest floor. Furthermore, the role of wetlands as internal sources of MeHg, and the bioaccumulation of Hgtotal and MeHg in aquatic biota were studied.In both catchments, input and output fluxes of Hg compounds were investigated. Several soil profiles were sampled to estimate pools of Hg compounds in the catchments. In the coniferous catchment fluxes of Hgtotal and MeHg with forest floor percolates were measured. The potential of a wetland soil in the coniferous catchment to produce MeHg was investigated in a laboratory experiment under varying incubation conditions, using stable isotope addition and isotope-specific detection of MeHg. Mosses and insect larvae of a creek in the coniferous catchment were analyzed for contents of Hgtotal, MeHg, and isotope composition of carbon and nitrogen.In summary it was shown that forested catchments act as a sink for both MeHg and Hgtotal, without considerable differences in the input/output ratio between the species Hgtotal and MeHg at the annual catchment scale. Nevertheless, differences in transport and mobility of both species were important at smaller scales, e.g. the forest floor. Pools of both compounds in the soils seem to be of higher importance for the output of MeHg and Hgtotal than the current deposition. Besides the large pools, transformation processes can strongly influence the output by runoff, especially of MeHg. Slight changes in runoff concentrations of both compounds can strongly affect the aquatic biota, due to high bioconcentration factors of MeHg and Hgtotal.

Further data

Item Type: Doctoral thesis
Additional notes: BAYCEER7470
Keywords: Bayern, Nord; Biochemie; Biogeochemie; Einzugsgebiet; Methylquecksilber; Niederschlag; Quecksilberbelastung; Schadstoffbelastung; Wald
Institutions of the University: Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Soil Ecology
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Former Professors > Chair Soil Ecology - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Egbert Matzner
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
500 Science > 550 Earth sciences, geology
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2015 05:56
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2016 07:53
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/20270