Mercury Stable Isotopes Discriminate Different Populations of European Seabass and Trace Potential Hg Sources around Europe

Cransveld A., Amouroux D., Tessier E., Koutrakis E., Ozturk A. A., Bettoso N., ...More

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, vol.51, no.21, pp.12219-12228, 2017 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 51 Issue: 21
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1021/acs.est.7b01307
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.12219-12228
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Our study reports the first data on mercury (Hg) isotope composition in marine European fish, for seven distinct populations of the European seabass, Dicentrarchus labrax. The use of delta Hg-202 and Delta Hg-199 values in SIBER enabled us to estimate Hg isotopic niches, successfully discriminating several populations. Recursive-partitioning analyses demonstrated the relevance of Hg stable isotopes as discriminating tools. Hg isotopic values also provided insight on Hg contamination sources for biota in coastal environment. The overall narrow range of delta Hg-202 around Europe was suggested to be related to a global atmospheric contamination while delta Hg-202 at some sites was linked either to background contamination, or with local contamination sources. Delta Hg-199 was related to Hg levels of fish but we also suggest a relation with ecological conditions. Throughout this study, results from the Black Sea population stood out, displaying a Hg cycling similar to fresh water lakes. Out findings bring out the possibility to use Hg isotopes in order to discriminate distinct populations, to explore the Hg cycle on a large scale (Europe) and to distinguish sites contaminated by global versus local Hg source. The interest of using Hg sable isotopes to investigate the whole European Hg cycle is clearly highlighted.