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1 November 2009 The Effects of Forestry on Hg Bioaccumulation in Nemoral/Boreal Waters and Recommendations for Good Silvicultural Practice
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Abstract
Mercury (Hg) levels are alarmingly high in fish from lakes across Fennoscandia and northern North America. The few published studies on the ways in which silviculture practices influence this problem indicate that forest operations increase Hg in downstream aquatic ecosystems. From these studies, we estimate that between one-tenth and one-quarter of the Hg in the fish of high-latitude, managed forest landscapes can be attributed to harvesting. Forestry, however, did not create the elevated Hg levels in the soils, and waterborne Hg/MeHg concentrations downstream from harvested areas are similar to those from wetlands. Given the current understanding of the way in which silviculture impacts Hg cycling, most of the recommendations for good forest practice in Sweden appear to be appropriate for high-latitude regions, e.g., leaving riparian buffer zones, as well as reducing disturbance at stream crossings and in moist areas. The recommendation to restore wetlands and reduce drainage, however, will likely increase Hg/MeHg loadings to aquatic ecosystems.
Kevin Bishop, Craig Allan, Lage Bringmark, Edenise Garcia, Sofie Hellsten, Lars Högbom, Kjell Johansson, Anja Lomander, Markus Meili, John Munthe, Mats Nilsson, Petri Porvari, Ulf Skyllberg, Rasmus Sørensen, Therese Zetterberg and Staffan Åkerblom "The Effects of Forestry on Hg Bioaccumulation in Nemoral/Boreal Waters and Recommendations for Good Silvicultural Practice," AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment 38(7), (1 November 2009). https://doi.org/10.1579/0044-7447-38.7.373
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