STP573

    Effect of Body Weight on Uptake of Methyl Mercury by Fish

    Published: Jan 1975


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    Abstract

    An uptake rate of 1.10 ng mercury (Hg) per h per fish was obtained when small golden shiners, Notemigonus crysoleucus, with a body weight of 2.5 g were exposed to water at 13°C containing 0.1 × 10-3 µg Hg/ml. Results on methyl mercury uptake from water by fish ranging in body weight from 2 to 120 g demonstrate that smaller fish accumulate mercury in their body tissues at a faster rate per unit weight of body tissue than larger fish. Mercury uptake followed first order mass action kinetics in which the whole fish was treated as a single uptake compartment. The acquired body burdens of mercury in the test fish varied proportionately with the 0.76 power of the body weight. The observed body weight exponent of 0.76 is similar to the function one would expect if uptake rate increased in proportion to metabolic rate. Therefore, factors such as water temperature and fish activity may also effect uptake of methyl mercury from water due to their direct effect on metabolic rate.

    Keywords:

    water quality, fishes, body weight, environmental tests, mercury (methyl), uptake


    Author Information:

    de Freitas, ASW
    Associate and principal research officer, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario

    Hart, JS
    Associate and principal research officer, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario


    Paper ID: STP39022S

    Committee/Subcommittee: D19.95

    DOI: 10.1520/STP39022S


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