Mercury and methylmercury in surface waters and soils at two sites with contrasting deposition histories

01.01.2016 - 31.12.2018
Grant agency: 
Registration number: 
Internal investigator/coinvestigator: 
Tomáš Navrátil
Interní řešitel: 
is principal investigator

Forest ecosystems of the Czech Republic were exposed to a high level of pollutant deposition originating from coal burning in the 20th century. But studies investigating the fate of contaminants, such as toxic mercury, in the environment have been rather scarce. This project aims to explore the fate of mercury in forest ecosystems and its transformation to the highly toxic methylmercury in soils of two contrasting sites at the pristine Bohemian Forest and relatively polluted Beskids Mountains. We will fill a gap in the knowledge of historical deposition in northeastern Moravia through analysis of peat cores. Because the level of mercury deposition is an important parameter affecting the methylation processes, we will evaluate current mercury deposition at both sites and compare it to a reference site. Finally, forests at both contrasting study areas were subject to forest decline in the past decade due to insect infestations. Thus another aspect of this study will be to assessthe effect of forest dieback on methylation processes in polluted and unpolluted regions.