Temporal variation of mercury in vegetation
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Temporal changes in the Hg content of balsam fir needles (Abies balsamea) and white spruce needles (Picea glauca) were monitored at a control site over two growing seasons. Results indicated a significant increase in the Hg content of needles of both species over the course of a growing season and from one year to the next. The Hg content of new foliage more than doubled within each growing season, and was 5–10 ng g−1 higher in the 1990 growing season than in the previous year. These results indicate that temporal variation is a potential source of error when mapping the spatial variation of Hg concentrations in vegetation. To minimize this source of error, field surveys should be completed as quickly as possible (i.e., within two or three weeks).
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