Mercury and selenium distribution in key tissues and early life stages of Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens)
Article [Accepted Manuscript]
Is part ofEnvironmental pollution ; vol. 254, no. partie A.
Whereas early life stages are usually considered as particularly sensitive to both organic and inorganic contaminants, field studies assessing contaminant bioaccumulation in these stages are scarce. Selenium (Se) is thought to counteract Hg toxic effects when it is found at Se:Hg molar ratios above 1. However, the variation of this ratio in key fish tissues of different early life stages is mostly unknown. The present study therefore aimed to assess Hg and Se content in gravid female tissues (gonads, muscle, liver, gut, and brain) and different life stages (egg masses, newly hatched larvae (NHL), larvae and juvenile) of Yellow Perch (YP) in a large fluvial lake (Lake Saint-Pierre, Québec, Canada). Se:Hg molar ratios were measured for each compartment in order to fill associated knowledge gaps. Total Hg (THg) and methylmercury (MeHg) concentration varied between tissue according to the following trend: Muscle > Liver > Gut > Brain > Gonads. During YP early life stages, MeHg values increased according to an ontogenetic pattern (mg/kg dw) (mean ± SEM): Egg masses (0.01 ± 0.002) < NHL (0.015 ± 0.001) < Larvae (0.14 ± 0.01) < Juveniles (0.18 ± 0.01). Se concentrations in different YP tissues showed the following trend (mg/kg dw) (mean ± SEM): Gut (3.6 ± 0.1) > Liver (2.5 ± 0.1) > Gonads (1.92 ± 0.06) > Brain (1.26 ± 0.03) > Muscle (1.23 ± 0.06). In YP early life stages, Se concentrations were highest in NHL (3.0 ± 0.2), and then decreased as follows: Egg masses (2.8 ± 0.1) > Larvae (1.37 ± 0.04) > Juveniles (0.93 ± 0.05). Se:Hg molar ratios varied considerably and were systematically above 1. This is the first study to simultaneously report Hg and Se bioaccumulation through fish life cycle.