Importance of vegetation type for mercury sequestration in the northern Swedish mire, Rödmossamyran:
2010 (English)In: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, ISSN 0016-7037, E-ISSN 1872-9533, Vol. 74, no 24, 7116-7126 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Even if mires have proven to be relatively reliable archives over the temporal trends in atmospheric mercury deposition, there are large discrepancies between sites regarding the magnitude of the anthropogenic contribution to the global mercury cycle. A number of studies have also revealed significant differences in mercury accumulation within the same mire area. This raises the question of which factors, other than mercury deposition, affect the sequestration of this element in peat. One such factor could be vegetation type, which has the potential to affect both interception and retention of mercury. In order to assess how small-scale differences in vegetation type can affect mercury sequestration we sampled peat and living plants along three transects on a northern Swedish mire. The mire has two distinctly different vegetation types, the central part consists of an open area dominated by Sphagnum whereas the surrounding fen, in addition to Sphagnum mosses, has an understory of ericaceous shrubs and a sparse pine cover. A few main patterns can be observed in our data; (1) Both peat and Sphagnum-mosses have higher mercury content (both concentration and inventory) in the pine-covered fen compared to the open Sphagnum area (100% and 71% higher for peat and plants, respectively). These differences clearly exceed the 33% difference observed for lead-210, which is considered as a good analogue for atmospheric mercury deposition. (2) The differences in mercury concentration between peat profiles within a single vegetation type can largely be attributed to differences in peat decomposition. (3) When growing side by side in the open Sphagnum area, the moss species Sphagnum subsecundum has significantly higher mercury concentrations compared to S. centrale (24 ± 3 and 18 ± 2 ng Hg g−1, respectively). Based on these observations we suggest that species composition, vegetation type and decomposition can affect the mercury sequestration in a peat record, and that any changes in these properties over time, or space, have the potential to modify the mercury deposition signal recorded in the peat.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier Ltd , 2010. Vol. 74, no 24, 7116-7126 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-38044DOI: 10.1016/j.gca.2010.09.026ISI: 000285076600012OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-38044DiVA: diva2:371934