Association of a Specific Algal Group with Methylmercury Accumulation in Periphyton of a Tropical High-Altitude Andean Lake

William G. Lanza, Darío Achá, David Point, Jeremy Masbou, Lucia Alanoca, David Amouroux, Xavier Lazzaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Periphyton relevance for methylmercury (MeHg) production and accumulation are now well known in aquatic ecosystems. Sulfate-reducing bacteria and other microbial groups were identified as the main MeHg producers, but the effect of periphyton algae on the accumulation and transfer of MeHg to the food web remains little studied. Here we investigated the role of specific groups of algae on MeHg accumulation in the periphyton of Schoenoplectus californicus ssp. (Totora) and Myriophyllum sp. in Uru Uru, a tropical high-altitude Bolivian lake with substantial fishing and mining activities accruing around it. MeHg concentrations were most strongly related to the cell abundance of the Chlorophyte genus Oedogonium (r2 = 0.783, p = 0.0126) and to no other specific genus despite the presence of other 34 genera identified. MeHg was also related to total chlorophyll-a (total algae) (r2 = 0.675, p = 0.0459), but relations were more significant with chlorophyte cell numbers, chlorophyll-b (chlorophytes), and chlorophyll-c (diatoms and dinoflagellates) (r2 = 0.72, p = 0.028, r2 = 0.744, p = 0.0214, and r2 = 0.766, p = 0.0161 respectively). However, Oedogonium explains most variability of chlorophytes and chlorophyll-c (r2 = 0.856, p = < 0.001 and r2 = 0.619, p = 0.002, respectively), suggesting it is the most influential group for MeHg accumulation and periphyton algae composition at this particular location and given time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalArchives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
Volume72
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was part of the COMIBOL project funded by the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS, INSU) EC2CO program and the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement. The study was also supported by "LaPachamama" ANR CESA project. We thank the Laboratorio de Calidad Ambiental and Unidad de Liminología at Universidad Mayor de San Andrés for their assistance with biological and chemical analysis. We must also thank Jaime Chincheros, Carlos I. Molina, Lincy Ugarte, Pamela Alcoreza, and Claudio Rosales for their laboratory and field technical assistance, which made this work possible.

Funding Information:
This study was part of the COMIBOL project funded by the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS, INSU) EC2CO program and the Institut de Recherche pour le D?veloppement. The study was also supported by "LaPachamama" ANR CESA project. We thank the Laboratorio de Calidad Ambiental and Unidad de Liminolog?a at Universidad Mayor de San Andr?s for their assistance with biological and chemical analysis. We must also thank Jaime Chincheros, Carlos I. Molina, Lincy Ugarte, Pamela Alcoreza, and Claudio Rosales for their laboratory and field technical assistance, which made this work possible.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

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