This article identifies environmental factors that explain most of the dynamic year-to-year changes in mercury concentrations of young-of-year (YOY) yellow perch (Perca flavescens) in study reservoirs. Mercury concentrations in fish, collected each fall, were measured for 9 years in four reservoirs in northeastern Minnesota. Three to 4 years of data were also obtained for two natural lakes and one other reservoir. Average annual concentrations varied considerably from year to year with a mean change of 39% between consecutive years across all lakes. Those averages show a similar time trend for each lake over the years and suggest that important factors influencing mercury bioaccumulation change annually and are also experienced in common over the study region. Three factors satisfying that description are precipitation depth, water level, and average air temperature. This article reveals that all three have statistically significant correlations with observed mercury concentrations. Moreover, multiple regressions indicate that maximum water levels and average air temperatures explain most of the observed variations. Regressions employing precipitation depth and temperature are less significant.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Anderson, C., Niemela, S., Anderson, J., Grayson, S., Monson, B., Christopherson, D., Lundeen, B., Jasperson, J., Kennedy, M., Parson, K., & Kelly, M. (2013). St. Louis River watershed monitoring report and assessment report. St. Paul: Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
Bodaly, R., Hecky, R., & Fudge, R. (1984). Increases in fish mercury levels in lakes flooded by the Churchill River diversion, northern Manitoba. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 41, 682–691.
Bodaly, R. A., Rudd, J. W. M., Fudge, R. J. P., & Kelly, C. A. (1993). Mercury concentrations in fish related to size of remote Canadian shield lakes. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 50(5), 980–987.
Callister, S. M., & Winfrey, M. R. (1986). Microbial methylation of mercury in Upper Wisconsin River sediments. Water Air & Soil Pollution, 29, 453–465.
Chen, C., Herr, J., & Goldstein, R. (2008). Model calculations of total maximum daily loads of mercury for drainage lakes. Journal of American Water Resources, 44(5), 1295–1307.
Dijkstra, J. A., Buckman, K. L., Ward, D., Evans, D. W., Dionne, M., & Chen, C. Y. (2013). Experimental and natural warming elevates mercury concentrations in estuarine fish. PLoS One, 8(3), e58401. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0058401.
Eckley, C. S., Luxton, T. P., McKernan, J. L., Goetz, J., & Goulet, J. (2015). Influence of reservoir water level fluctuations on sediment methylmercury concentrations downstream of the historical Black Butte mercury mine, OR. Applied Geochemistry, 61, 284–293.
Gilmour, C. C., Krabbenhoft, D. P., Orem, W. H., & Aiken, G. R. (2004). Appendix 2B-1: influence of drying and rewetting on mercury and sulfur cycling in Everglades and STA soils. In: 2004 Everglades consolidated report (19 pp.). West Palm Beach: South Florida Water Management District.
Glass, G. E., & Sorensen, J. A. (1999). Six-Year trend (1990-1995) of wet mercury deposition in the Upper Midwest, U.S.A. Environmental Science & Technology, 33, 3303–3312.
Jarque, C. M., & Bera, A. K. (1987). A test for normality of observations and regression residuals. International Statistical Review, 55(2), 163–172.
Kendall, M. G., & Smith, B. (1939). The problem of m rankings. The Annals of Mathematical Statistics, 10(3), 275–287.
Larson, J. H., Maki, R. P., Knights, B. C., & Gray, B. R. (2014). Can mercury in fish be reduced by water level management? Evaluating the effects of water level fluctuation on mercury accumulation in yellow perch (Perca flavescens). Ecotoxicology, 23, 1555–1563.
McCombie, A. M. (1959). Some relations between air temperatures and the surface water temperature of lakes. Limnologu & Oceanography, 4, 252–258.
MDC. (1968). An inventory of Minnesota lakes. Bulletin No. 25. St. Paul: Minnesota Department of Conservation.
MNDNR. (2017). Lake Finder. St. Paul: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/lakefind/index.html. Accessed Dec 2017.
Mosteller, F., & Fisher, R. A. (1948). Questions and answers. The American Statistician, 2(5), 30–31.
MPC. (2003–2013). Series of personal communications. Duluth: Minnesota Power Company.
NOAA. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration https://gis.ncdc.noaa.gov/maps/ncei/summaries/daily. Accessed Jan 2016.
Selch, T. M., Hoagstrom, C. W., Weimer, E. J., Duehr, J. P., & Chipps, S. R. (2007). Influence of fluctuating water levels on mercury concentrations in adult walleye. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 79, 36–40.
Sorensen, J. A., Glass, G. E., Schmidt, K. W., Huber, J. K., & Rapp, G. R. (1990). Airborne mercury deposition and watershed characteristics in relation to mercury concentrations in water, sediments, plankton, and fish of eighty northern Minnesota lakes. Environmental Science & Technology, 24(11), 1716–1727.
Sorensen, J. A., Kallemeyn, L., & Sydor, M. (2005). Relationship between mercury accumulation in young-of-the-year yellow perch and water-level fluctuations. Environmental Science & Technology, 39, 9237–9243.
USDA. US Department of Agriculture http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/nrcs142p2_022925.pdf. Accessed Jan 2017.
USEPA. (1991). Methods for the determination of metals in environmental samples. EPA/600/4-91/010. Washington, D. C: US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development.
Wasik, K. C., Engstrom, D. R., Mitchell, C. P. J., Swain, E. B., Monson, B. A., Balogh, S. J., Jeremiason, J. D., Branfireun, B. A., Kolka, R. K., & Almendinger, J. E. (2015). The effects of hydrologic fluctuation and sulfate regeneration on mercury cycling in an experimental peatland. JGR Biogeosciences, 120(9), 1697–1715.
Yeo, I.-K., & Johnson, R. A. (2000). A new family of power transformations to improve normality or symmetry. Biometrika Series B, 87(4), 954–959.
Field sampling was assisted by FDLR staff including Thomas Howes, Terry Perrault, Brian Borkholder, Sean Thompson, Adam Thompson, John Goodreau, and Lance Overland. Also helping with sample collection were Gary Sorensen, Diane Sorensen, and Donna Busick. Stephanie Suckow helped with mercury analyses, and Richard Green provided valuable assistance with statistics advice. Amber Waseen, Gary Glass, Diane Sorensen, and Donna Busick provided appreciated advice with writing this report.
Funding for sample collection and analyses were obtained from the National Park Service 6820-0202-NYZ, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, and the Fond du Lac Reservation (FDLR).
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Sorensen, J.A. Relationships Between Mercury Concentration in Young-of-the-Year Yellow Perch and Precipitation Depth, Water Level, and Temperature. Water Air Soil Pollut 230, 83 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11270-019-4139-4
- Water levels