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Faculty for Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences

Department Soil Ecology - Prof. Dr. Eva Lehndorff

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Karpinska (Dombaiová), R: Mercury and methylmercury in terrestrial soils in differently contaminated sites in Slovakia, Ecology (Bratislava), 25(2), 166-175 (2006)
Summary: Mercury (Hg) and methylmercury (MeHg) are global pollutants that might affect the function of terrestrial ecosystems. We were investigating the concentrations of MeHg and Hgtotal in the soil profiles under forest and meadow at 9 sites in Slovakia and analyzing the relation between MeHgto-Hgtotal and Hg pollution. The Hgtotal and MeHg concentrations in Rudňany soils (up to 104.000 and 50 ng.Hg.g-1, respectively) were much higher than those in the other soils (up to 1000 and 4 ng.Hg.g-1, respectively). The soils from the polluted site (Rudňany) had very low MeHg-to-Hgtotal ratios (median: 0.037%) comparing to the ratios in soils from less contaminated sites (median: 0.48%). In Žiar basin, the MeHg-to-Hgtotal ratios in forest floors were the lowest at the closest sites to the actual and past pollution sources. The high MeHg concentrations in Rudňany soils suggest the enhanced importance of Hg methylation in Hg contaminated terrestrial soils. For the first time, the MeHg-to-Hgtotal ratios were demonstrated to be negatively related to the Hg pollution in terrestrial soils. The ratios in forest floors reflected the Hg pollution better than those from meadow and mineral soils. Keywords: methylmercury, total mercury, soil, Slovakia
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