Mercury bioacumulation in four tissues of Podocnemis erythrocephala (Podocnemididae: Testudines) as a function of water parameters

Larissa Schneider Guilhon, L Belger, Joanna Burger, Richard Vogt

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    22 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    A number of environmental factors influence the dynamics of Hg in aquatic ecosystems, yet few studies have examined these factors for turtles, especially from South America. Redheaded river turtle (Podocnemis erythrocephala) is easy to capture in the black waters of Rio Negro, making it the turtle species that is consumed most often by people of the region. In this study, environmental factors and turtle size were investigated to determine their influence on the Hg concentration in blood, muscle, liver and carapace of the red-headed river turtle. Factors investigated included turtle length, pH, dissolved organic carbon and availability of potential methylation sites (floodplain forests and hydromorphic soils). The study was conducted in the Rio Negro basin, where we collected water and turtle blood, muscle, liver and carapace samples from 12 tributaries for chemical analysis. Through radar imagery and existing soil maps with GIS, the percentage of alluvial floodplains and hydromorphic soils (potential methylation sites) was estimated for each drainage basin at sampling points. The mean Hg concentration in blood of P. erythrocephala was 1.64 ng g -1 (SD=1.36), muscle 33 ng g -1 (SD=11), liver 470 ng g -1 (SD=313) and carapace 68 ng g -1 (SD=32). Sex or length did not influence the Hg concentration in P. erythrocephala blood, muscle and liver, but Hg increased in carapace tissue when length size increased (ANCOVA p=0.007). In the multiple regression analysis, none of the environmental factors studied had a significant relation with blood, muscle, liver and carapace. P. erythrocephala moves among habitats and in the open and interconnected aquatic systems of the Amazon basin, characterized by high levels of limnological variability, a good bioindicator of Hg concentration needs to be relatively sedentary to represent a specific habitat. However, the levels of Hg in liver were sufficient to pose a potential risk to humans that consume them, suggesting the usefulness of P. erythrocephala as a bioindicator.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1048-1054
    Number of pages7
    JournalScience of the Total Environment
    Volume407
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

    Fingerprint

    Mercury
    turtle
    Liver
    Muscle
    Tissue
    Blood
    Water
    muscle
    blood
    Methylation
    Biomarkers
    environmental factor
    Soils
    water
    methylation
    bioindicator
    Rivers
    Aquatic ecosystems
    floodplain forest
    Organic carbon

    Cite this

    Schneider Guilhon, Larissa ; Belger, L ; Burger, Joanna ; Vogt, Richard. / Mercury bioacumulation in four tissues of Podocnemis erythrocephala (Podocnemididae: Testudines) as a function of water parameters. In: Science of the Total Environment. 2009 ; Vol. 407. pp. 1048-1054.
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    abstract = "A number of environmental factors influence the dynamics of Hg in aquatic ecosystems, yet few studies have examined these factors for turtles, especially from South America. Redheaded river turtle (Podocnemis erythrocephala) is easy to capture in the black waters of Rio Negro, making it the turtle species that is consumed most often by people of the region. In this study, environmental factors and turtle size were investigated to determine their influence on the Hg concentration in blood, muscle, liver and carapace of the red-headed river turtle. Factors investigated included turtle length, pH, dissolved organic carbon and availability of potential methylation sites (floodplain forests and hydromorphic soils). The study was conducted in the Rio Negro basin, where we collected water and turtle blood, muscle, liver and carapace samples from 12 tributaries for chemical analysis. Through radar imagery and existing soil maps with GIS, the percentage of alluvial floodplains and hydromorphic soils (potential methylation sites) was estimated for each drainage basin at sampling points. The mean Hg concentration in blood of P. erythrocephala was 1.64 ng g -1 (SD=1.36), muscle 33 ng g -1 (SD=11), liver 470 ng g -1 (SD=313) and carapace 68 ng g -1 (SD=32). Sex or length did not influence the Hg concentration in P. erythrocephala blood, muscle and liver, but Hg increased in carapace tissue when length size increased (ANCOVA p=0.007). In the multiple regression analysis, none of the environmental factors studied had a significant relation with blood, muscle, liver and carapace. P. erythrocephala moves among habitats and in the open and interconnected aquatic systems of the Amazon basin, characterized by high levels of limnological variability, a good bioindicator of Hg concentration needs to be relatively sedentary to represent a specific habitat. However, the levels of Hg in liver were sufficient to pose a potential risk to humans that consume them, suggesting the usefulness of P. erythrocephala as a bioindicator.",
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    Mercury bioacumulation in four tissues of Podocnemis erythrocephala (Podocnemididae: Testudines) as a function of water parameters. / Schneider Guilhon, Larissa; Belger, L; Burger, Joanna; Vogt, Richard.

    In: Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 407, 2009, p. 1048-1054.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Mercury bioacumulation in four tissues of Podocnemis erythrocephala (Podocnemididae: Testudines) as a function of water parameters

    AU - Schneider Guilhon, Larissa

    AU - Belger, L

    AU - Burger, Joanna

    AU - Vogt, Richard

    PY - 2009

    Y1 - 2009

    N2 - A number of environmental factors influence the dynamics of Hg in aquatic ecosystems, yet few studies have examined these factors for turtles, especially from South America. Redheaded river turtle (Podocnemis erythrocephala) is easy to capture in the black waters of Rio Negro, making it the turtle species that is consumed most often by people of the region. In this study, environmental factors and turtle size were investigated to determine their influence on the Hg concentration in blood, muscle, liver and carapace of the red-headed river turtle. Factors investigated included turtle length, pH, dissolved organic carbon and availability of potential methylation sites (floodplain forests and hydromorphic soils). The study was conducted in the Rio Negro basin, where we collected water and turtle blood, muscle, liver and carapace samples from 12 tributaries for chemical analysis. Through radar imagery and existing soil maps with GIS, the percentage of alluvial floodplains and hydromorphic soils (potential methylation sites) was estimated for each drainage basin at sampling points. The mean Hg concentration in blood of P. erythrocephala was 1.64 ng g -1 (SD=1.36), muscle 33 ng g -1 (SD=11), liver 470 ng g -1 (SD=313) and carapace 68 ng g -1 (SD=32). Sex or length did not influence the Hg concentration in P. erythrocephala blood, muscle and liver, but Hg increased in carapace tissue when length size increased (ANCOVA p=0.007). In the multiple regression analysis, none of the environmental factors studied had a significant relation with blood, muscle, liver and carapace. P. erythrocephala moves among habitats and in the open and interconnected aquatic systems of the Amazon basin, characterized by high levels of limnological variability, a good bioindicator of Hg concentration needs to be relatively sedentary to represent a specific habitat. However, the levels of Hg in liver were sufficient to pose a potential risk to humans that consume them, suggesting the usefulness of P. erythrocephala as a bioindicator.

    AB - A number of environmental factors influence the dynamics of Hg in aquatic ecosystems, yet few studies have examined these factors for turtles, especially from South America. Redheaded river turtle (Podocnemis erythrocephala) is easy to capture in the black waters of Rio Negro, making it the turtle species that is consumed most often by people of the region. In this study, environmental factors and turtle size were investigated to determine their influence on the Hg concentration in blood, muscle, liver and carapace of the red-headed river turtle. Factors investigated included turtle length, pH, dissolved organic carbon and availability of potential methylation sites (floodplain forests and hydromorphic soils). The study was conducted in the Rio Negro basin, where we collected water and turtle blood, muscle, liver and carapace samples from 12 tributaries for chemical analysis. Through radar imagery and existing soil maps with GIS, the percentage of alluvial floodplains and hydromorphic soils (potential methylation sites) was estimated for each drainage basin at sampling points. The mean Hg concentration in blood of P. erythrocephala was 1.64 ng g -1 (SD=1.36), muscle 33 ng g -1 (SD=11), liver 470 ng g -1 (SD=313) and carapace 68 ng g -1 (SD=32). Sex or length did not influence the Hg concentration in P. erythrocephala blood, muscle and liver, but Hg increased in carapace tissue when length size increased (ANCOVA p=0.007). In the multiple regression analysis, none of the environmental factors studied had a significant relation with blood, muscle, liver and carapace. P. erythrocephala moves among habitats and in the open and interconnected aquatic systems of the Amazon basin, characterized by high levels of limnological variability, a good bioindicator of Hg concentration needs to be relatively sedentary to represent a specific habitat. However, the levels of Hg in liver were sufficient to pose a potential risk to humans that consume them, suggesting the usefulness of P. erythrocephala as a bioindicator.

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    KW - Mercury

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    KW - Bioaccumulation

    KW - Rio Negro

    KW - Ph

    KW - Physical factors

    KW - Size

    KW - Turtles.

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