The Mercury Biocomplexity Project is a multi-institution investigation being conducted in the Adirondack region of New York with funding from the NSF, EPA, and NYSERDA. Mercury (Hg) is a toxic trace metal whose use has been linked to human illness and degradation of ecosystems. However, links between atmospheric Hg emissions and the widespread contamination of aquatic environments, including dangerously high biotic concentrations, are not well established. Thus, a quantitative understanding of the inputs and pathways of atmospheric Hg deposition, the factors regulating the transport and transformations of atmospherically derived Hg as it cycles through the terrestrial environment and the bioavailability of Hg in downstream aquatic ecosystems are critical research needs. Research within the project has been separated into three phases and combined with modeling efforts:

Phase I: deposition pathways and fate within watersheds
Phase II: organic matter interactions and MeHg production (and degradation)
Phase III: regional patterns of deposition, transport, and subsequent MeHg accumulation in aquatic biota
MCM:HD: process-oriented lake/watershed Hg cycling model

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For further information contact:
Charles T. Driscoll
University Professor of Environmental Systems Engineering
Syracuse University
151 Link Hall
Syracuse, NY 13244
315-443-1243 (fax)