Trace elements in Antarctic fish species and the influence of foraging habitats and dietary habits on mercury levels

Abstract : This study aims at describing and interpreting concentration profiles of trace elements in seven Antarctic fish species (N = 132 specimens) off Adélie Land. Ichthyofauna plays a key role in the Antarctic ecosystem, as they occupy various ecological niches, including cryopelagic (ice-associated), pelagic, and benthic habitats. Firstly, trace element levels in the studied specimens were similar to those previously observed in fish from the Southern Ocean. Apart from manganese and zinc, concentrations of arsenic, cadmium, copper, iron, mercury (Hg), nickel, selenium and silver differed among fish species. Muscle δ13C and δ15N values were determined to investigate whether the fish foraging habitats and dietary habits could explain Hg levels. Species and foraging habitat (δ13C) were strong predictors for variations of Hg concentrations in muscle tissues. The highest Hg contamination was found in shallow benthic fish compared to cryopelagic and pelagic fish. This pattern was likely due to the methylation of Hg in the coastal sediment and the photodemethylation by ultraviolet radiation in surface waters.
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Science of the Total Environment, Elsevier, 2015, pp.743-749. 〈10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.08.103〉
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Aurélie Goutte, Yves Cherel, Carine Churlaud, Jean-Pierre Ponthus, Guillaume Massé, et al.. Trace elements in Antarctic fish species and the influence of foraging habitats and dietary habits on mercury levels. Science of the Total Environment, Elsevier, 2015, pp.743-749. 〈10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.08.103〉. 〈hal-01222917〉

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