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S6 Mercury rising in Kejimkujik National Park, Nova Scotia

Tuesday, 26 July, 2011

TS6-P1 — 11:00-12:00 and 17:30-18:30
CONTINUING IMPACTS OF METHYLMERCURY ON COMMON LOON REPRODUCTION AT KEJIMKUJIK NATIONAL PARK
Authors: BURGESS, Neil1, SCHEUHAMMER, Tony1, BEALS, Lindsey2, NUSSBAUMER, Christina1
(1) Environment Canada, neil.burgess@ec.gc.ca; (2) Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute;

Research at Kejimkujik National Park in 1995-97 revealed a strong association between poor reproductive success in breeding common loons and their levels of mercury exposure. We returned to the Kejimkujik area in 2007-10 to monitor loon productivity on 35 lakes. We also captured loons to measure their blood mercury levels, and captured the loon’s preferred prey fish (yellow perch) to determine their mean mercury levels in lakes in 2009 and 2010. Mean common loon productivity within Kejimkujik Park was X young/territorial pair, and over all 35 lakes was Y young/territorial pair. This compares to productivity within the Park of Z young/territorial pair in 1995-97. Mean mercury concentrations were A ug/g in adult male loons and B ug/g in adult females. Juvenile loons had blood mercury levels of C ug/g. Mean mercury concentrations in dorsal muscle of standard-length (12 cm) yellow perch ranged from M – N ug/g in P lakes. Using quantile regression, maximum loon productivity on lakes was negatively associated with loon blood mercury concentrations and mean mercury levels in standard-length yellow perch. These findings indicate that mercury continues to impair the reproduction of common loons in Kejimkujik National Park.

TS6-P2 — 11:00-12:00 and 17:30-18:30
BIG DAM WEST LAKE MERCURY MODEL (HERMES)
Authors: ETHIER, Adrienne1, O’DRISCOLL, Nelson2, LEAN, David3, MACKAY, Don4, TOOSE-REID, Liisa4
(1) Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, ethiera@aecl.ca; (2) Acadia University; (3) David Lean Environmental Consulting; (4) Trent University;

The HERMES model uses a reduced set of inputs to predict concentrations of total mercury and methyl mercury in the water column and sediments of lakes. Results from development and initial application of HERMES model to Big Dam West Lake, Kejimkujik Park, Nova Scotia will be discussed, along with processes that might affect mercury bioaccumulation and retention in aquatic systems. The model has proved to be a good predictive screening-level tool to assess mercury risk in lakes with limited datasets.

Tuesday, 26 July, 2011