SS3.17 Global Mercury Cycling: From Natural to Anthropogenic Sources
Date: Tuesday, June 11, 2002
Time: 5:00:00 PM
Location: Carson C
Daughney, C, J, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada, 
Siciliano, S, D, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada, 
Rencz, A, N, Geological Survey of Canada, Ottawa, Canada, 
Lean, D, R, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada,
FortinD, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada,
Hg(II) Adsorption by Bacteria: A Surface Complexation Model and its Application to Shallow Acidic Lakes and Wetlands in Kejimkujik National Park, N.S., Canada
The fate and environmental threat posed by mercury in aquatic systems is controlled, in part, by the transport of Hg(II) from oxic to anoxic zones in lakes and its subsequent transformation to organic mercury. The transport of Hg(II) in aquatic systems can be affected by its partitioning between the dissolved and particulate phases. In this study, batch experiments were performed to quantify Hg(II) adsorption to Bacillus subtilis as bacteria-to-metal ratio, pH, chloride concentration, growth phase and reaction time were independently varied. The laboratory data were well described by a surface complexation model (SCM) considering the adsorption of neutral Hg(II) hydroxide and chloride complexes by specific functional groups on the bacterial surface. To evaluate its applicability to complex aquatic systems, the SCM was used to predict the distributions of Hg(II) in 36 shallow acidic lakes and wetlands in Kejimkujik National Park, Nova Scotia, Canada. The lab-derived SCM provided a statistically accurate (r2 = 0.615, P < 0.01) fit to the field data when it was expanded to consider Hg(II) complexation by dissolved organic matter. Inclusion of Hg(II)-mineral adsorption reactions did not improve the fit of the model. The quality of fit provided by the expanded SCM suggested that the major assumptions implicit in applying a lab-derived model to the field were justifiable. Our study has demonstrated that SCMs are powerful tools for dynamic prediction of the sorption of environmental contaminants to biocolloids at the regional scale.