Advertisement

Water, Air, and Soil Pollution

, Volume 190, Issue 1–4, pp 115–127 | Cite as

Mercury and Arsenic Bioaccumulation and Eutrophication in Baiyangdian Lake, China

  • C. Y. Chen
  • P. C. Pickhardt
  • M. Q. Xu
  • C. L. Folt
Article

Abstract

Hg and As are widespread contaminants globally and particularly in Asia. We conducted a field study in Baiyangdian Lake, the largest lake in the North China Plain, to investigate bioaccumulation and trophic transfer of potentially toxic metals (total mercury and arsenic) in sites differing in proximity from the major point sources of nutrients and metals. Hg concentrations in fish and As concentrations in water are above critical threshold levels (US Environmental Protection Agency based) considered to pose some risk to humans and wildlife. Hg concentrations in biota are within the range of concentrations in lakes in the Northeast US despite the high levels of Hg emission and deposition in China whereas As concentrations are much higher. Dissolved concentrations of both Hg and As decrease with increasing chlorophyll concentrations suggesting that there is significant uptake of metal from water by algae. These results provide evidence for algal blooms controlling dissolved metal concentrations and potentially mitigating the trophic transfer of Hg to fish. This study also underscores the need for further investigation into this contaminated ecosystem and others like it in China that are an important source of fish and drinking water for consumption by local human populations.

Keywords

Mercury Arsenic Bioaccumulation Lake Eutrophication China 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We are grateful to Shenggui Chen and Meixun Zhao for their assistance in making logistical arrangements and participating in field sampling. We thank Brandon Mayes for his help in processing samples for metal analysis, and Stefan Sturup for the metal analyses of plankton and fish samples. We also thank Karen Baumgartner for taxonomic identification and quantification of phytoplankton samples and Mike Poage for the analysis of carbon stable isotope in biotic samples. This research was supported by the National Science Foundation International Programs Office, the NIH Grant Number P42 ESO7373 (to C.L.F. and C.Y.C.) from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and logistical support from the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Zoology.

References

  1. Aurillo, A. C., et al. (1994). Speciation and fate of arsenic in 3 lakes of the Aberjona watershed. Environmental Science & Technology, 28(4), 577–585.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aurilio, A. C., et al. (1995). Sources and distribution of arsenic in the Aberjona watershed, eastern Massachusetts. Water Air and Soil Pollution, 81(3–4), 265–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bodaly, R. A., et al. (1984). Increases in fish mercury levels in lakes flooded by the Churchill River Diversion, Northern Manitoba. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 41(4), 682–691.Google Scholar
  4. Burgess, N. M., & Hobson, K. A. (2006). Bioaccumulation of mercury in yellow perch (Perca flavescens) and common loons (Gavia immer) in relation to lake chemistry in Atlantic Canada. Hydrobiologia, 567, 275–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cabana, G., et al. (1994). Pelagic food-chain structure in Ontario lakes – a determinant of mercury levels in lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 51(2), 381–389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Carpenter, S. R., et al. (1998). Nonpoint pollution of surface waters with phosphorus and nitrogen. Ecological Applications, 8(3), 559–568.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chen, C. Y., & Folt, C. L. (2000). Bioaccumulation and diminution of arsenic and lead in a freshwater food web. Environmental Science & Technology, 34(18), 3878–3884.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chen, C. Y., & Folt, C. L. (2005). High plankton densities reduce mercury biomagnification. Environmental Science & Technology, 39(1), 115–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chen, C. Y., et al. (2000). Accumulation of heavy metals in food web components across a gradient of lakes. Limnology and Oceanography, 45(7), 1525–1536.Google Scholar
  10. Cheng, S. P. (2003). Heavy metal pollution in China: Origin, pattern and control. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 10(3), 192–198.Google Scholar
  11. Dou, W., & Zhao, Z. (1998). Contamination of DDT and BHC in water, sediments, and fish (Carassius auratus) muscle from Baiyangdian Lake. Acta Scientiae Circumstantiae, 18, 208–312.Google Scholar
  12. Driscoll, C. T., et al. (1994). The mercury cycle and fish in the Adirondack lakes. Environmental Science & Technology, 28(3), A136–A143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Essington, T. E., & Houser, J. N. (2003). The effect of whole-lake nutrient enrichment on mercury concentration in age-1 yellow perch. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, 132(1), 57–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Finkelman, R. B., et al. (1999). Health impacts of domestic coal use in China. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 96(7), 3427–3431.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. France, R. L. (1995). C-13 Enrichment in benthic compared to planktonic algae: Foodweb implications. Marine Ecology-Progress Series, 124(1–3), 307–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gorski, P. R., et al. (2003). Factors affecting enhanced mercury bioaccumulation in inland lakes of Isle Royale National Park, USA. The Science of The Total Environment, 304(1–3), 327–348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Jackson, T. A. (1991). Biological and environmental-control of mercury accumulation by fish in lakes and reservoirs of northern Manitoba, Canada. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 48(12), 2449–2470.Google Scholar
  18. Jiang, G. B., et al. (2006). Mercury pollution in China: An overview of the past and current sources of the toxic metal. Environmental Science and Technology, 40(12), 3672–3678.Google Scholar
  19. Jin, L. J., et al. (1999). Predictive model for mercury accumulation in carp (Cyprinus carpio) of reservoirs in China. Water Air and Soil Pollution, 115(1–4), 363–370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kamman, N. C., & Engstrom, D. R. (2002). Historical and present fluxes of mercury to Vermont and New Hampshire lakes inferred from Pb-210 dated sediment cores. Atmospheric Environment, 36(10), 1599–1609.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kamman, N. C., et al. (2004). Assessment of mercury in waters, sediments, and biota of New Hampshire and Vermont lakes, USA, sampled using a geographically randomized design. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 23(5), 1172–1186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Karimi, R. et al. (2007). Stoichiometric controls of mercury dilution by growth. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104, 7477–7482.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kidd, K. A., et al. (1999). Effects of northern pike (Esox lucius) additions on pollutant accumulation and food web structure, as determined by delta C- 13 and delta N-15, in a eutrophic and an oligotrophic lake. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 56(11), 2193–2202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Klaue, B., & Blum, J. D. (1999). Trace analyses of arsenic in drinking water by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry: high resolution versus hydride generation. Analytical Chemistry, 71(7), 1408–1414.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kuroiwa, T., et al. (1994). Biomethylation and biotransformation of arsenic in a fresh-water food-chain – Green-alga (Chlorella-Vulgaris)-shrimp (Neocaridina-Denticulata)-killifish (Oryzias-Latipes). Applied Organometallic Chemistry, 8(4), 325–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lange, T. R., et al. (1994). Mercury accumulation in largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) in a Florida lake. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 27(4), 466–471.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lathrop, R. C., et al. (1991). Mercury concentrations in walleyes from Wisconsin (USA) lakes. Water Air and Soil Pollution, 56, 295–307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Li, Z. B., et al. (2006). Exposure of the urban population to mercury in Changchun city, Northeast China. Environmental Geochemistry and Health, 28(1–2), 61–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Liu, J. G., & Diamond, J. (2005). China’s environment in a globalizing world. Nature, 435(7046), 1179–1186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Liu, R. H., et al. (2003). Distribution and speciation of mercury in the peat bog of Xiaoxing’an Mountain, northeastern China. Environmental Pollution, 124(1), 39–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Luoma, S. N., et al. (1998). Metal uptake by phytoplankton during a bloom in South San Francisco Bay: implications for metal cycling in estuaries. Limnology and Oceanography, 43(5), 1007–1016.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Maeda, S. (1994). Biotransformation of arsenic in the freshwater environment. In J. O. Nriagu (Ed.) Arsenic in the environment, part I: cycling and characterization (pp. 155–187). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  33. Maeda, S., et al. (1992). Bioaccumulation of arsenic and its fate in a freshwater food chain. Applied Organometallic Chemistry, 6(2), 213–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Marker, A. F. H., et al. (1980). Methanol and acetone as solvents for estimating chlorophyll a and phaeopigments by spectrophotometry. Archiv fuer Hydrobiologie Beihefte Ergeb-nisse der Limnologie, 14, 52–69.Google Scholar
  35. McQueen, D. J., et al. (1992). Trophic level relationships in pelagic food webs: Comparisons derived from long-term data sets for Oneida Lake, New-York (USA), and Lake St. George, Ontario (Canada). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 49(8), 1588–1596.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Munthe, J., et al. (2007). Recovery of mercury-contaminated fisheries. Ambio, 36(1), 33–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Neff, J. M. (1997). Ecotoxicology of arsenic in the marine environment. Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry, 16(5), 917–927.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Nriagu, J. O. (1996). A history of global metal pollution. Science, 272(5259), 223–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Pacyna, E. G., et al. (2006). Global anthropogenic mercury emission inventory for 2000. Atmospheric Environment, 40(22), 4048–4063.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Patterson, C. C., & Settle, D. M. (1976). Accuracy in trace analysis: Sampling, sample handling, and analysis, 321–351 pp. NBS Special Publication.Google Scholar
  41. Peterson, S. A., et al. (2007). Mercury concentration in fish from streams and rivers throughout the Western United States. Environmental Science and Technology, 41(1), 58–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Pi, J. B., et al. (2002). Evidence for induction of oxidative stress caused by chronic exposure of chinese residents to arsenic contained in drinking water. Environmental Health Perspectives, 110(4), 331–336.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Pickhardt, P. C., et al. (2002). Algal blooms reduce the uptake of toxic methylmercury in freshwater food webs. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 99(7), 4419–4423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Power, M., et al. (2002). Mercury accumulation in the fish community of a sub-Arctic lake in relation to trophic position and carbon sources. Journal of Applied Ecology, 39(5), 819–830.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Shaw, J. R., et al. (2007). Acute toxicity of arsenic to Daphnia pulex: Influence of organic functional groups and 20 oxidation state. Environmental Toxicology, 26(7), 1532–1537.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Smedley, P. L., & Kinniburgh, D. G. (2002). A review of the source, behaviour and distribution of arsenic in natural waters. Applied Geochemistry, 17(5), 517–568.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Smith, V. H., et al. (1999). Eutrophication: impacts of excess nutrient inputs on freshwater, marine, and terrestrial ecosystems. Environmental Pollution, 100(1–3), 179–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Stemberger, R. S., & Chen, C. Y. (1998). Fish tissue metals and zooplankton assemblages of northeastern US lakes. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 55(2), 339–352.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Stemberger, R. S., & Lazorchak, J. M. (1994). Zooplankton assemblage responses to disturbance gradients. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 51(11), 2435–2447.Google Scholar
  50. Suhendrayatna, O. A., et al. (2002). Studies on the accumulation and transformation of arsenic in freshwater organisms I. Accumulation, transformation and toxicity of arsenic compounds on the Japanese Medaka, Oryzias latipes. Chemosphere, 46(2), 319–324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. USEPA (1984). Ambient water quality criteria for arsenic, edited.Google Scholar
  52. USEPA (2000). Guidance for assessing chemical contaminant data for use in fish advisories, edited.Google Scholar
  53. USEPA (2001). Water quality criterion for the protection of human health: Methylmercury, edited.Google Scholar
  54. Wang, H. Y., & Stuanes, A. O. (2003). Heavy metal pollution in air–water–soil–plant system of Zhuzhou City, Hunan Province. China. Water Air and Soil Pollution, 147(1–4), 79–107.Google Scholar
  55. Wang, Q. R., et al. (2003). Soil contamination and plant uptake of heavy metals at polluted sites in China. Journal of Environmental Science and Health Part A – Toxic/Hazardous Substances & Environmental Engineering, 38(5), 823–838.Google Scholar
  56. Wang, Z. W., et al. (2006). Mercury concentrations in size-fractionated airborne particles at urban and suburban sites in Beijing, China. Atmospheric Environment, 40(12), 2194–2201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Watras, C. J., et al. (1998). Bioaccumulation of mercury in pelagic freshwater food webs. Science of the Total Environment, 219(2–3), 183–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Wickre, J. B., et al. (2004). Environmental exposure and fingernail analysis of arsenic and mercury in children and adults in a Nicaraguan gold mining community. Archives of Environmental Health, 59(8), 400–409.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Wu, Y., et al. (2006). Trends in anthropogenic mercury emissions in China from 1995 to 2003. Environmental Science & Technology, 40(17), 5312–5318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Xia, Y. J., & Liu, J. (2004). An overview on chronic arsenism via drinking water in FIR China. Toxicology, 198(1–3), 25–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Xu, M. Q., et al. (1995). Zooplankton community structure and water quality of Baiyangdian Lake. In S. Zhang, et al. (Ed.) Study on Water Pollution Control for Baiyangdian Lake Area (I). Beijing: Science Press.Google Scholar
  62. Xu, M. Q., et al. (1998). The ecological degradation and restoration of Baiyangdian Lake, China. Journal of Freshwater Ecology, 13(4), 433–446.Google Scholar
  63. Yoshida, T., et al. (2004). Chronic health effects in people exposed to arsenic via the drinking water: dose–response relationships in review. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, 198(3), 243–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Zhang, H., et al. (1999). An approach to studying heavy metal pollution caused by modern city development in Nanjing, China. Environmental Geology, 38(3), 223–228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Zhang, H., et al. (2002). Arsenic pollution in groundwater from Hetao Area, China. Environmental Geology, 41(6), 638–643.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Zhong, Y. G., & Power, G. (1997). Fisheries in China: Progress, problems, and prospects. Canadian journal of fisheries and aquatic sciences, 54(1), 224–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Y. Chen
    • 1
  • P. C. Pickhardt
    • 2
  • M. Q. Xu
    • 3
  • C. L. Folt
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesDartmouth CollegeHanoverUSA
  2. 2.Lakeland CollegeSheboyganUSA
  3. 3.Institute of ZoologyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations