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Inputs of Terrestrial Dissolved Organic Matter Enhance Bacterial Production and Methylmercury Formation in Oxic Coastal Water
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Department of Microbiology, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland. (EcoChange)
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Marine Sciences Centre (UMF). Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. (EcoChange; UMFpub)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7819-9038
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry. (EcoChange; UMFpub)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9570-8738
Department of Microbiology, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.
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2022 (English)In: Frontiers in Microbiology, E-ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 13, article id 809166Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Methylmercury (MeHg) is a potent neurotoxin commonly found in aquatic environments and primarily formed by microbial methylation of inorganic divalent mercury (Hg(II)) under anoxic conditions. Recent evidence, however, points to the production of MeHg also in oxic pelagic waters, but the magnitude and the drivers for this process remain unclear. Here, we performed a controlled experiment testing the hypothesis that inputs of terrestrial dissolved organic matter (tDOM) to coastal waters enhance MeHg formation via increased bacterial activity. Natural brackish seawater from a coastal area of the Baltic Sea was exposed to environmentally relevant levels of Hg(II) and additions of tDOM according to climate change scenarios. MeHg formation was observed to be coupled to elevated bacterial production rates, which, in turn, was linked to input levels of tDOM. The increased MeHg formation was, however, not coupled to any specific change in bacterial taxonomic composition nor to an increased abundance of known Hg(II) methylation genes. Instead, we found that the abundance of genes for the overall bacterial carbon metabolism was higher under increased tDOM additions. The findings of this study may have important ecological implications in a changing global climate by pointing to the risk of increased exposure of MeHg to pelagic biota.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Frontiers Media S.A., 2022. Vol. 13, article id 809166
National Category
Environmental Sciences Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-198658DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2022.809166ISI: 000840643900001PubMedID: 35966696Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85135791588OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-198658DiVA, id: diva2:1687557
Funder
Ecosystem dynamics in the Baltic Sea in a changing climate perspective - ECOCHANGESwedish Environmental Protection Agency, GD-2021-0003Swedish Research Council FormasAvailable from: 2022-08-16 Created: 2022-08-16 Last updated: 2024-01-17Bibliographically approved

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Rodriguez Serrano, Juan JoseAndersson, AgnetaBjörn, ErikBrugel, Sonia

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Rodriguez Serrano, Juan JoseAndersson, AgnetaBjörn, ErikBrugel, Sonia
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