Mercury dilution by autochthonous organic matter in a fertilized mangrove wetland

Document Type


Publication details

Machado, W, Sanders, CJ, Santos, IR, Sanders, LM, Silva-Filho, E & Luiz-Silva 2016, 'Mercury dilution by autochthonous organic matter in a fertilized mangrove wetland', Environmental Pollution, vol. 213, pp. 30-35.

Published version available from:


Peer Reviewed



A dated sediment core from a highly-fertilized mangrove wetland located in Cubat~ ao (SE Brazil) presented a negative correlation between mercury (Hg) and organic carbon contents. This is an unusual result for a metal with well-known affinity to organic matter. A dilution of Hg concentrations by autochthonous organic matter explained this observation, as revealed by carbon stable isotopes signatures (d13C). Mercury dilution by the predominant mangrove-derived organic matter counterbalanced the positive influences of algal-derived organic matter and clay contents on Hg levels, suggesting that deleterious effects of Hg may be attenuated. Considering the current paradigm on the positive effect of organic matter on Hg concentrations in coastal sediments and the expected increase in mangrove organic matter burial due to natural and anthropogenic stimulations of primary production, predictions on the influences of organic matter on Hg accumulation in mangrove wetlands deserve caution.

Find in your library