Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Aquatic cycling of mercury

December 1, 2019

This chapter examines crucial processes in the aquatic cycling of mercury (Hg) that may lead to microbial production of neurotoxic and bioaccumulative methylmercury (MeHg), and highlights environmental conditions in the Everglades that make it ideal for MeHg production and bioaccumulation. The role of complexation of Hg2+ in surface water, especially by dissolved organic matter (DOM), in the transport of mercury to sites of microbial methylation are discussed. Photochemical reactions important in Hg cycling in surface water are also discussed. A principal focus of the chapter is on the environmental conditions that promote MeHg production, especially the role of sulfide and DOM in transport of inorganic Hg into bacteria for methylation, and the types of bacteria that have the ability to methylate Hg. Finally, perturbations to the ecosystem (e.g., fire and drought) that have important effects on Hg cycling are discussed.

Publication Year 2019
Title Aquatic cycling of mercury
DOI 10.1007/978-3-030-32057-7_1
Authors William H. Orem, David P. Krabbenhoft, Brett Poulin, George A Aiken
Publication Type Book Chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Index ID 70203103
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Eastern Energy Resources Science Center