Mercury levels in Southern Ocean squid : variability over the last decade
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The concentrations of total and proportions of organic mercury were measured in tissues of 355 individuals of 8 species of Southern Ocean squid (Alluroteuthis antarcticus, Bathyteuthis abyssicola, Filippovia knipovitchi, Galiteuthis glacialis, Gonatus antarcticus, Kondakovia longimana, Psychroteuthis glacialis and Slosarczykovia circumantarctica). Squid were caught around South Georgia (Scotia Sea) during 5 cruises, between the austral summers of 2006/07 to 2016/17 to evaluate temporal changes in bioaccumulation and tissue partitioning. Total mercury concentrations varied between 4 ng g−1 and 804 ng g−1 among all tissues. Net accumulation of mercury in muscle with size was observed in A. antarcticus, B. abyssicola and P. glacialis, but no relationship was found for S. circumantarctica and lower concentrations were observed in larger individuals of G. glacialis. Muscle tissues had the highest mercury concentrations in the majority of species, except for F. knipovitchi for which the digestive gland contained highest concentrations. In terms of the percentage of organic mercury in the tissues, muscle always contained the highest values (67%–97%), followed by the digestive gland (22%–38%). Lowest organic mercury percentages were found consistently in the gills (9%–19%), suggesting only low levels of incorporation through the dissolved pathway and/or a limited redistribution of dietary organic mercury towards this tissue. Overall, results are indicative of a decreasing trend of mercury concentrations in the majority of analysed species over the last decade. As cephalopods are an important Southern Ocean trophic link between primary consumers and top predators, these changes suggest decreasing mercury levels in lower trophic levels and an alleviation of the mercury burden on higher predators that consume squid.
Seco , J , Xavier , J C , Brierley , A S , Bustamante , P , Coelho , J P , Gregory , S , Fielding , S , Pardal , M A , Pereira , B , Stowasser , G , Tarling , G A & Pereira , E 2020 , ' Mercury levels in Southern Ocean squid : variability over the last decade ' , Chemosphere , vol. 239 , 124785 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2019.124785
Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. This work has been made available online in accordance with publisher policies or with permission. Permission for further reuse of this content should be sought from the publisher or the rights holder. This is the author created accepted manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2019.124785
DescriptionAuthors acknowledge the Portuguese Foundation for the Science and Technology (FCT) through a PhD grant to José Seco (SRFH/PD/BD/113487). Acknowledgments are due also to the Integrated Program of SR&TD ‘Smart Valorization of Endogenous Marine Biological Resources Under a Changing Climate’ (reference Centro-01-0145-FEDER-000018), co-funded by Centro (2020) program, Portugal 2020, European Union, through the European Regional Development Fund, for personal funding to J.P.Coelho. The IUF (Institut Universitaire de France) is acknowledged for its support to P. Bustamante as a Senior Member. This research was also within José Xavier strategic program of MARE (MARE - UID/MAR/04292/2013). GAT, GS and SF were supported by the Ecosystems programme at the British Antarctic Survey.
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