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Abstract Title: Mercury and Its Fractions in the Basin, Lagoons and Catchment of the Southern Baltic Sea
Presenter Name: Agnieszka Jędruch
Company/Institution: Institute of Oceanography of the University of Gdansk; Institute of Oceanology of the Polish Academy of Sciences
Session: Mercury in Marine Ecosystems
Co-Authors: Agnieszka Jędruch,Adriana Wojdasiewicz,Bartłomiej Wilman,Karolina Gębka,Dominika Hetko,Ewa Korejwo,Urszula Kwasigroch,Julia Kwiatkowska,Leszek Łęczyński,Patrycja Płońska,Angela Popławska,Piotr Prusiński,Dominika Saniewska,Małgorzata Witak,Martyna Zakrzewska,Agnieszka Zarzeczańska,Aleksandra Zgrundo,Ilona Złoch,Magdalena Bełdowska

Abstract Information :

The Baltic is a semi-enclosed sea with limited water exchange with the North Sea. This leads to the fact that pollutants that enter the waterbody remain there for a long time. Currently, the inflow of metals (including Hg) to the Baltic Sea has been greatly reduced, therefore, its remobilization from sediments and the catchment area has a significant contribution to the net input. The entry of Hg into the circulation is stimulated by the increasing lack of ice in the coastal zone and by heavy rainfall that increases terrestrial runoff. These phenomena potentially provide toxic Hg to the coastal zone, where marine organisms thrive intensively. Studies of Hg concentration have been conducted in the region of the Gdansk Basin, southern Baltic, where the large Vistula River discharges. The analysis of total Hg and its operationally defined species (fractions) was performed using the thermodesorption Hg analyzer. The research included the soil of the catchment and sediments of the Gdansk Basin, including the Vistula Lagoon and Puck Lagoon as well as atmospheric and riverine particulate matter. In the coastal zone, Hg was studied in macrophytobentos, macrozoobenthos (including non-native species), phytoplankton, zooplankton (including jellyfish), and fish showing symptoms of illness. The results do not support the theory that the Baltic Sea is the most polluted sea in the world, nor that the Vistula River is a major source of Hg. The database illustrates Hg transfer in the initial links of the trophic web. The sources of Hg and the processes that govern its cycling in the study area were also identified.

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