umu.sePublications
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Climate driven release of carbon and mercury from permafrost mires increases mercury loading to sub-arctic lakes
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. (Arcum)
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. (Arcum)
2010 (English)In: Science of the Total Environment, ISSN 0048-9697, E-ISSN 1879-1026, Vol. 408, no 20, 4778-4783 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In sub-arctic and arctic regions mercury is an element of concern for both wildlife and humans. Over thousands of years large amounts of atmospherically deposited mercury, both from natural and anthropogenic sources, have been sequestered together with carbon in northern peatlands. Many of these peatlands are currently underlain by permafrost, which controls mire stability and hydrology. With the ongoing climate change there is concern that permafrost thawing will turn large areas of these northern peatlands from carbon/mercury-sinks into much wetter carbon/mercury-sources. Here we can show that such a change in mire structure in the sub-arctic Stordalen mire in northern Sweden actually is responsible for an increased export of mercury to the adjacent lake Inre Harrsjön. We also show that sediment mercury accumulation rates during a warm period in the pre-industrial past were higher than in the 1970s when atmospheric input peaked, indicating that in areas with permafrost, climate can have an effect on mercury loading to lakes as large as anthropogenic emissions. Thawing of permafrost and the subsequent export of carbon is a widespread phenomenon, and the projection is that it will increase even more in the near future. Together with our observations from Stordalen, this makes northern peatlands into a substantial source of mercury, at risk of being released into sensitive arctic freshwater and marine systems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 408, no 20, 4778-4783 p.
Keyword [en]
mercury, permafrost dynamics, sediment, peat; NIRS
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-35574DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2010.06.056ISI: 000281931500058PubMedID: 20674959OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-35574DiVA: diva2:345193
Available from: 2010-08-24 Created: 2010-08-24 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Studies of an elusive element: processes that influence the net retention of mercury in lake sediments and peatlands
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Studies of an elusive element: processes that influence the net retention of mercury in lake sediments and peatlands
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Because of its toxic nature mercury is a threat to both wildlife and human health, and thus, it is an element of concern in the environment. Currently much of the mercury emitted to the atmosphere is derived from anthropogenic sources – both direct emissions and re-emission of already deposited anthropogenic mercury. Following deposition mercury is affected by a long array of processes, and this thesis has focused on trying to increase our knowledge on the net retention of mercury in lake sediments and peatlands. This information is vital in order to understand how mercury behaves in the environment and where mercury is at risk of becoming a problem. Knowledge about the retention of mercury is also important when using lake sediments and peat records as environmental archives over past mercury deposition.

By using varved, annually laminated, sediments I have determined that lake sediments are reliable archives for inorganic mercury, but not for methylmercury. A study of the spatial distribution of mercury in a whole-lake basin shows that inorganic- and methylmercury are controlled by different sediment properties. Inorganic mercury is controlled by combination of fine-grained mineral matter and organic matter concentrations, whereas methylmercury is controlled by water depth and sulfur concentration. This study also shows that especially methylmercury have a very heterogeneous spatial distribution across the lake basin, something that might be of large importance when using lake sediments to calculate whole-lake burdens of mercury. In a study regarding the effects of vegetation on the net retention of mercury in a peatland I showed that there are considerable differences in both plant- and peat-mercury concentrations depending on vegetation type. This might have implications for the use of peat records as archives over atmospheric mercury deposition. Finally I have used a combination of a peat and a lake sediment record to study how past and recent climatic changes affects the stability of a peatland currently underlain by permafrost. Here we are able to show that destabilization of peatlands, as a result of permafrost melt, can cause a significant release of organically bound mercury from the mire to the surrounding aquatic environment. Considering the currently warming climate there is a risk of sub-arctic peatlands turning into mercury sources, which might be important to recognize when assessing current mercury pollution pathways.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, Institutionen för ekologi, miljö och geovetenskap, 2010. 20 p.
Keyword
Mercury, retention, lake sediments, peatlands, environmental archives, sedimentation, diagenesis, vegetation, permafrost
Research subject
biology, Environmental Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-38424 (URN)978-91-7459-113-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-01-14, KBC-huset, KB3A9 (lilla hörsalen), Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2010-12-21 Created: 2010-12-14 Last updated: 2010-12-21Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full textPubMed

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Rydberg, JohanKlaminder, JonatanRosén, PeterBindler, Richard
By organisation
Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences
In the same journal
Science of the Total Environment

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

doi
pubmed
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

doi
pubmed
urn-nbn
Total: 180 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf