Mercury in organisms from the Northwestern Mediterranean slope: Importance of food sources

Type Article
Date 2014-11
Language English
Author(s) Cresson PierreORCID1, Fabri Marie-ClaireORCID1, Bouchoucha Marc1, Brach-Papa Christophe2, Chavanon Fabienne1, Jadaud Angelique3, Knoery JoelORCID2, Marco-Miralles FrancoiseORCID1, Cossa D.4
Affiliation(s) 1 : IFREMER, Ctr Mediterranee, F-83507 La Seyne Sur Mer, France.
2 : IFREMER, Ctr Atlant, F-44311 Nantes 03, France.
3 : IFREMER, Ctr Mediterranee, F-34203 Sete, France.
4 : Univ Grenoble 1, IS Terre, F-38041 Grenoble, France.
Source Science Of The Total Environment (0048-9697) (Elsevier Science Bv), 2014-11 , Vol. 497 , P. 229-238
DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.07.069
WOS© Times Cited 36
Keyword(s) Continental slope, Trophic webs, Depth, Teleosts, Sharks, Stable isotopes
Abstract Mercury (Hg) is a global threat for marine ecosystems, especially within the Mediterranean Sea. The concern is higher for deep-sea organisms, as the Hg concentration in their tissues is commonly high. To assess the influence of food supply at two trophic levels, total Hg concentrations and carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios were determined in 7 species (4 teleosts, 2 sharks, and 1 crustacean) sampled on the upper part of the continental slope of the Gulf of Lions (Northwestern Mediterranean Sea), at depths between 284 and 816 m. Mean Hg concentrations ranged from 1.30 ± 0.61 to 7.13 ± 7.09 μg g− 1 dry mass, with maximum values observed for small-spotted catshark Scyliorhinus canicula. For all species except blue whiting Micromesistius poutassou, Hg concentrations were above the health safety limits for human consumption defined by the European Commission, with a variable proportion of the individuals exceeding limits (from 23% for the Norway lobster Nephrops norvegicus to 82% for the blackbelly rosefish Helicolenus dactylopterus). Measured concentrations increased with increasing trophic levels. Carbon isotopic ratios measured for these organisms demonstrated that settling phytoplanktonic organic matter is not only the main source fueling trophic webs but also the carrier of Hg to this habitat. Inter- and intraspecific variations of Hg concentrations revealed the importance of feeding patterns in Hg bioaccumulation. In addition, biological parameters, such as growth rate or bathymetric range explain the observed contamination trends.
Full Text
File Pages Size Access
10 1 MB Access on demand
Author's final draft 29 991 KB Open access
Top of the page

How to cite 

Cresson Pierre, Fabri Marie-Claire, Bouchoucha Marc, Brach-Papa Christophe, Chavanon Fabienne, Jadaud Angelique, Knoery Joel, Marco-Miralles Francoise, Cossa D. (2014). Mercury in organisms from the Northwestern Mediterranean slope: Importance of food sources. Science Of The Total Environment, 497, 229-238. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :