The fate of legacy mercury in forest ecosystems in the area of the Black Triangle, Czech Republic

01.01.2011 - 31.12.2014
Grant agency: 
Registration number: 
Internal investigator/coinvestigator: 
Tomáš Navrátil
Interní řešitel: 
is principal investigator
External investigator/coinvestigator: 
Czech Geological Survey
Internal collaborators: 
Irena Dobešová
Internal collaborators: 
Maria Vaňková (Hojdová)
Internal collaborators: 
Jan Rohovec

The Black Triangle received extreme sulfur deposition for several decades. By association, Hg deposition was undoubtedly also highly elevated, but research on the distribution, dynamics and fate of Hg in the Czech Republic has been rather scarce. This study will examine the fate of legacy Hg and whether it is still “leaking out” of impacted ecosystems even after emissions have been greatly reduced. We will assess the loading of Hg from upland forests to downstream water bodies, and assess the extent of methylation in the uplands. The combined spatial and temporal records will yield new insights into the behavior and controlling factors of Hg and its toxic forms, like methylmercury, at the fine timescales at which hydrologic and biogeochemical changes occur. This study will also advance our understanding of why organic carbon concentrations and quality vary over time with hydrologic conditions, findings that will be especially relevant to global change scientists.