[Eoas-seminar] REMINDER TODAY - EOAS Colloquium this Friday at 3:30 in CAR 101

eoas-seminar at lists.fsu.edu eoas-seminar at lists.fsu.edu
Fri Mar 1 12:49:50 EST 2019

This week's EOAS colloquium speaker will be:

Dr Peter Weiss
University of California, Santa Cruz

Atmospheric methylmercury: from the ocean to fog to bioaccumulation in coastal terrestrial apex predators in California

Coastal upwelling of ocean water can result in a sea-air flux of the potent yet highly reactive neurotoxin dimethylmercury. Marine stratus clouds are commonly present over the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California during the seasons when upwelling is active (spring and summer). These clouds act as an efficient absorber of dimethylmercury and also of airborne monomethylmercury that may arise from sea spray. As these clouds advect onto land and deposit water as fog drip, they can transfer significant quantities of methylmercury to terrestrial ecosystems. This talk will describe the research that has been conducted since 2011 to quantify methylmercury in fog and marine stratus clouds, and its possible sources and sinks. An investigation of the mercury burdens in the coastal terrestrial food web will also be presented. These results show that methylmercury concentrations in the California mountain lion, mule deer, and lichen (a deer food) are significantly elevated in samples taken from a fog-inundated coastal forest area versus inland areas with no fog. This suggests that while fog drip is a small portion of the hydrologic inputs, the methylmercury it contains may play a disproportionate role in bioaccumulation of mercury in coastal terrestrial food webs.
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