Mercury Cycling and Bioaccumulation in the Upper Hudson River Basin--Fishing Brook

Science Center Objects

BackgroundDetailed investigations of mercury cycling and bioaccumulation have been done in the Upper Hudson River basin (upstream of the Hudson River near Newcomb, in New York's Adirondack Mountains, with a focus on the Fishing Brook sub-basin, part of the western headwaters of the Hudson River. This study is part of a National mercury study that includes a concurrent study of McTier Creek, a h...

Background

Detailed investigations of mercury cycling and bioaccumulation have been done in the Upper Hudson River basin (upstream of the Hudson River near Newcomb, in New York's Adirondack Mountains, with a focus on the Fishing Brook sub-basin, part of the western headwaters of the Hudson River. This study is part of a National mercury study that includes a concurrent study of McTier Creek, a headwater sub-basin of the Edisto River, located in South Carolina's Coastal Plain.

These two study areas provide contrasting and complementary settings for the study of mercury cycling and bioaccumulation in headwater streams with close connectivity to out-of-channel wetlands. Atmospheric deposition is the dominant source of mercury in both of these mostly-forested watersheds.

The Upper Hudson Basin study is focused in Fishing Brook, a small headwater stream that drains about 25 square miles and contains about 89% forest, 8% wetlands, and 3% open water. The dominant biogeochemical processes and hydrologic connectivity of wetlands favor the conversion of inorganic mercury to bioavailable methylmercury. A wide variety of hydro-ecological classes of wetlands occur throughout the Fishing Brook watershed, including alder and evergreen dominated wetlands, deciduous shrub wetlands, emergent marshes, and some scattered open peatlands.

 

The Fishing Brook site is located upstream of the Huntington Wildlife Forest, a 6,000 ha field station in the central Adirondack Mountains. Samples collected within the Fishing Brook watershed are routinely processed at the Adirondack Ecological Center. Mercury cycling has been studied in detail in a nearby watershed as part of the Mercury Biocomplexity Study, a multi-university research effort. Additional links: USGS New York Water Science Center:Watersheds Research Section | Streamflow Hudson River at Newcomb, NY | Hudson Basin fact sheet | Hudson NAWQA Study

 

Products and Related Publications:

 

  • Scudder Eikenberry, B.C., Riva-Murray, K., Knightes, C.D., Journey, C.A., Chasar, L.C., Brigham, M.E., and Bradley, P.M., 2015, Optimizing fish sampling for fish-mercury bioaccumulation factors: Chemosphere,   doi:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2014.12.068 Available Online
  • Burns, D.A., Nystrom, E.A., Wolock, D.M., Bradley, P.M., and Riva-Murray, K., 2014, An Empirical Approach to Modeling Methylmercury Concentrations in an Adirondack Stream Watershed: Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences: J. Geophys. Res. Biogeosci., 119,   doi:10.1002/2013JG002481 Available Online
  • Bradley, P.M., Journey, C.A., Brigham, M.E., Burns, D.A., Button, D.T., and Riva-Murray, K., 2013, Intra- and inter-basin mercury comparisons: Importance of basin scale and time-weighted methylmercury estimates: Environmental Pollution, vol. 172, January 2013, (published online, 17 September 2012), p. 42-52.  DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2012.08.008 Available Online
  • Riva-Murray, K., Bradley, P.M., Scudder Eikenberry, B.C., Knightes, C.D., Journey, C.A., Brigham, M.E., and Button, D.T., 2013, Optimizing stream water mercury sampling for calculation of fish bioaccumulation factors: Environmental Science & Technology, v. 47, no. 11, p. 5904-5912.  doi: 10.1021/es303758e Available Online
  • Beaulieu, K.M., Button, D.T., Scudder Eikenberry, B.C., Riva-Murray, K., Chasar, L.C., Bradley, P.M., and Burns, D.A., 2012, Mercury bioaccumulation studies in the National Water-Quality Assessment Program--Biological data from New York and South Carolina, 2005-2009: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 705, 13 p.  Available Online
  • Bradley, P.M., Lowery, M.A., Brigham, M.E., Burns, D.A., Button, D., Chapelle, F.H., Lutz, M.A., DiPasquale, M.C., Riva-Murray, K., Journey, C.A. , 2012, Shallow groundwater methylmercury transport in a Coastal Plain Stream: Environmental Science and Technology, vol. 46, no. 14, p. 7503-7511.  doi: 10.1021/es301540g Available Online
  • Burns, D.A., Riva-Murray K., Bradley, P.M., Aiken,G.R., and Brigham, M.E., 2012, Landscape controls on total and methyl Hg in the upper Hudson River basin, New York, USA: Journal of Geophysical Research, vol. 117, G01034, 15 p.  10.1029/2011JG001812 Available Online
  • Journey, C.A., Burns, D.A., Riva-Murray, K., Brigham, M.E., Button, D.T., Feaster, T.D., Petkewich, M.D., and Bradley, P.M., 2012, Fluvial transport of mercury, organic carbon, suspended sediment, and selected major ions in contrasting stream basins in South Carolina and New York, October 2004-September 2009: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2012-5173, 125 p.  Available Online
  • Riva-Murray, K., Bradley, P.M., Chasar, L.C., Button, D.T., Brigham, M.E., Scudder Eikenberry, B.C., Journey, C.A., and Lutz, M.A., 2012, Influence of dietary carbon source on mercury bioaccumulation in small streams of the Adirondack Mountains and the Coastal Plain of South Carolina: Ecotoxicology, published in Online First section of Ecotoxicology on 26 October 2012, 12 p.  doi: 10.1007/s10646-012-1003-3 Available Online
  • Scudder Eikenberry, B.C., Riva-Murray, Karen, Smith, M.J., Bradley, P.M., Button, D.T., Clark, J.M., Burns, D.A., and Journey, C.A., 2012, Environmental settings of selected streams sampled for mercury in New York and South Carolina, 2005-09: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2011-1318, 36 p.  Available Online
  • Bradley, Paul M., Burns, Douglas A., Riva-Murray, Karen, Brigham, Mark E., Button, Daniel T., Chasar, Lia C., Marvin-DiPasquale, Mark, Lowery, Mark A., and Journey, Celeste A., 2011, Spatial and seasonal variability of dissolved methylmercury in two stream basins in the eastern United States: Environmental Science and Technology, vol. 46, no. 6, p. 2048-2055.  doi: 10.1021/es103923j Available Online
  • Riva-Murray, K., Chasar, L.C., Bradley, P.M., Burns, D.A., Brigham, M.E., Smith, M.J., Abrahamsen, T.A., 2011, Spatial patterns of mercury in macroinvertebrates and fishes from streams of two contrasting forested landscapes in the eastern United States: Ecotoxicology, 15 p., online in advance of print.  doi: 10.1007/s10646-011-0719-9 Available Online

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