Variations in mercury concentrations in the muscles of fish in biotopes within the water body and in different water bodies of Russia
Keywords:mercury, fish, muscles, rivers, lakes
In recent decades, researchers from Papanin Institute for Biology of Inland Waters Russian Academy of Sciences have been studying mercury concentrations in the muscles of fish from water bodies situated in different natural and climatic zones. Overall, more than 5000 fish samples from 102 lakes and 35 rivers in Russia were analysed. In the absence of local sources of mercury entering the water body, its concentrations in the fish muscles varied in wide ranges, exceeding two orders of magnitude. Minimum concentration (<0.03 mg/kg wet weight) was recorded in the muscles of omul, rotan (Chinese sleeper), minnow, and bleak (Lake Baikal, Transbaikalia and European Russia). Maximum mercury concentration (2-3 mg/kg wet weight) was recorded in the muscles of perches from lakes in the northwest of Russia (Vologda and Novgorod regions, Karelia). Most of the measurement results ranged from 0.05 to 0.30 mg/kg wet weight. Differences in mercury concentrations in the muscles of fish of the same species, similar in size and from one water body, as a rule, did not exceed ranges of one order of magnitude. In the absence of local mercury sources, mercury concentrations in fish muscles from closely spaced water bodies could have more than tenfold differences.
This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.