Tracking Metal Pollution in Lake Chapala: Concentrations in Water, Sediments, and Fish

  • Zaria TorresEmail author
  • Miguel A. Mora
  • Robert J. Taylor
  • Dioselina Alvarez-Bernal


We measured concentrations of selected metals (Al, Ba, Cu, Mn, Hg, Sr, V, and Zn) in water, sediments, and fish from Lake Chapala and a reference site to evaluate potential negative effects on wildlife, particularly fish-eating birds. Fish metal concentrations ranged from 0.05 µg/g wet weight (ww) for Al and Cu to 64.70 µg/g ww for Sr. There was a positive and significant correlation between fish length and metals particularly for Ba, Cu, Mn, and Zn in Lake Chapala (p < 0.05). However, there were no significant correlations between metal concentrations and δ15N values in fish indicating no biomagnification through the food web. Overall, metal concentrations in water, sediments, and fish were similar to and in some cases below those reported for Lake Chapala over the last 20 years. Also, metal concentrations were below those that could be of concern for negative effects on fish and wildlife of Lake Chapala.


Metals Water Sediment Fish Lake Chapala 



Support for this funding was provided by a grant from Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT), Texas A&M University, and a fellowship from the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation-Bridge to the Doctorate (LSAMP-BTD), National Science Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Wildlife and Fisheries SciencesTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  2. 2.Department of Veterinary Integrative BiosciencesTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  3. 3.Centro Interdisciplinario para el Desarrollo Integral y RegionalInstituto Politecnico NacionalJiquilpanMexico

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