Faculty and Student Publications

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-1-2019

Abstract

© 2019 by the authors. Mercury (Hg) is a global pollutant with human health and ecological impacts. Gas exchange between terrestrial surfaces and the atmosphere is an important route for Hg to enter and exit ecosystems. Here, we used a dynamic flux chamber to measure gaseous elemental Hg (GEM) exchange over different landscapes in Mississippi, including in situ measurements for a wetland (soil and water), forest floor, pond, mowed field and grass-covered lawn, as well as mesocosm experiments for three different agricultural soils. Fluxes were measured during both the summer and winter. Mean ambient levels of GEM ranged between 0.93-1.57 ng m-3. GEM emission fluxes varied diurnally with higher daytime fluxes, driven primarily by solar radiation, and lower and more stable nighttime fluxes, dependent mostly on temperature. GEM fluxes (ng m-2 h-1) were seasonally dependent with net emission during the summer (mean 2.15, range 0.32 to 4.92) and net deposition during the winter (-0.12, range -0.32 to 0.12). Total Hg concentrations in the soil ranged from 17.1 ng g-1 to 127 ng g-1 but were not a good predictor of GEM emissions. GEM flux and soil temperature were correlated over the forest floor, and the corresponding activation energy for Hg emission was ~31 kcal mol-1 using the Arrhenius equation. There were significant differences in GEM fluxes between the habitats with emissions for grass > wetland soil > mowed field > pond > wetland water ≈ forest ≈ agriculture soils. Overall, we demonstrate that these diverse landscapes serve as both sources and sinks for airborne Hg depending on the season and meteorological factors.

Relational Format

journal article

DOI

10.3390/atmos10090538

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