Iranian Journal of Toxicology (Sep 2018)

Assessment of Mercury Accumulation and Magnification in a Freshwater Food Chain: Sediment, Benthos and Benthivorous Fish

  • Mehdi Khoshnamvand*,
  • Kamran Almasieh,
  • Shahram Kaboodvandpour

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 12, no. 5
pp. 17 – 22


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Background: Present study was conducted to measure the level of total mercury (tHg) in sediments, benthos and benthivorous fish (i.e., common carp) for determining Biota (Benthos)-Sediment Accumulation Factor (BSAF), as well as Biomagnification Factor (BMF) of tHg between two trophic levels of benthos and benthivorous fish caught from Sanandaj Gheshlagh Reservoir (SGR) in the west of Iran. Methods: Samples of sediments and benthos biomasses were collected from three sampling stations. Common carps were captured around the selected stations during July to December 2010. Results: Means accumulated tHg (±SE) in sediments, benthos masses and muscle tissue of common carp were 117.66±9.72, 94.3±5.02 and 233.21±20.67 ng g-1 dry weight, respectively. Means accumulated tHg in benthos masses and muscle tissue of the common carp during the studying months showed no significant differences (P>0.05), while it was significantly differed in sediment samples (P<0.05). Results showed that there were statistically significant differences between accumulated tHg between sediment and benthos mass samples collected from the study sites (P<0.05). Conclusion: During the study, all calculated BSAF measurements were less than one, indicating transmission of mercury from sediment to benthos was not considerable. However, mercury BMFs was higher than one, denoting mercury biomagnification occurred from the benthos trophic level to the higher trophic level (i.e., common carp) in study site. Hence, the health considerations have to be taken in to the account for consumption of fishery products of SGR.