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Bergamaschi B.A.,United States Geological Survey California Water Science Center | Krabbenhoft D.P.,United States Geological Survey Wisconsin Water Science Center | Aiken G.R.,U.S. Geological Survey | Patino E.,United States Geological Survey Florida Water Science Center | And 2 more authors.
Environmental Science and Technology | Year: 2012

The flux of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) from mangrove swamps accounts for 10% of the global terrestrial flux of DOC to coastal oceans. Recent findings of high concentrations of mercury (Hg) and methylmercury (MeHg) in mangroves, in conjunction with the common co-occurrence of DOC and Hg species, have raised concerns that mercury fluxes may also be large. We used a novel approach to estimate export of DOC, Hg, and MeHg to coastal waters from a mangrove-dominated estuary in Everglades National Park (Florida, USA). Using in situ measurements of fluorescent dissolved organic matter as a proxy for DOC, filtered total Hg, and filtered MeHg, we estimated the DOC yield to be 180 (±12.6) g C m -2 yr -1, which is in the range of previously reported values. Although Hg and MeHg yields from tidal mangrove swamps have not been previously measured, our estimated yields of Hg species (28 ± 4.5 μg total Hg m -2 yr -1 and 3.1 ± 0.4 μg methyl Hg m -2 yr -1) were five times greater than is typically reported for terrestrial wetlands. These results indicate that in addition to the well documented contributions of DOC, tidally driven export from mangroves represents a significant potential source of Hg and MeHg to nearby coastal waters. © 2011 American Chemical Society. Source

McIntyre P.J.,University of California at Berkeley | Thorne J.H.,University of California at Davis | Dolanc C.R.,University of California at Davis | Dolanc C.R.,University of Montana | And 5 more authors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2015

We document changes in forest structure between historical (1930s) and contemporary (2000s) surveys of California vegetation through comparisons of tree abundance and size across the state and within several ecoregions. Across California, tree density in forested regions increased by 30% between the two time periods, whereas forest biomass in the same regions declined, as indicated by a 19% reduction in basal area. These changes reflect a demographic shift in forest structure: larger trees (>61 cm diameter at breast height) have declined, whereas smaller trees (<30 cm) have increased. Large tree declines were found in all surveyed regions of California, whereas small tree increases were found in every region except the south and central coast. Large tree declines were more severe in areas experiencing greater increases in climaticwater deficit since the 1930s, based on a hydrologicmodel of water balance for historical climates through the 20th century. Forest composition in California in the last century has also shifted toward increased dominance by oaks relative to pines, a pattern consistent with warming and increased water stress, and also with paleohistoric shifts in vegetation in California over the last 150,000 y. Source

Bergamaschi B.A.,United States Geological Survey California Water Science Center | Fleck J.A.,United States Geological Survey California Water Science Center | Downing B.D.,United States Geological Survey California Water Science Center | Boss E.,University of Maine, United States | And 7 more authors.
Estuaries and Coasts | Year: 2012

We used high-resolution in situ measurements of turbidity and fluorescent dissolved organic matter (FDOM) to quantitatively estimate the tidally driven exchange of mercury (Hg) between the waters of the San Francisco estuary and Browns Island, a tidal wetland. Turbidity and FDOM-representative of particle-associated and filter-passing Hg, respectively-together predicted 94 % of the observed variability in measured total mercury concentration in unfiltered water samples (UTHg) collected during a single tidal cycle in spring, fall, and winter, 2005-2006. Continuous in situ turbidity and FDOM data spanning at least a full spring-neap period were used to generate UTHg concentration time series using this relationship, and then combined with water discharge measurements to calculate Hg fluxes in each season. Wetlands are generally considered to be sinks for sediment and associated mercury. However, during the three periods of monitoring, Browns Island wetland did not appreciably accumulate Hg. Instead, gradual tidally driven export of UTHg from the wetland offset the large episodic on-island fluxes associated with high wind events. Exports were highest during large spring tides, when ebbing waters relatively enriched in FDOM, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and filter-passing mercury drained from the marsh into the open waters of the estuary. On-island flux of UTHg, which was largely particle-associated, was highest during strong winds coincident with flood tides. Our results demonstrate that processes driving UTHg fluxes in tidal wetlands encompass both the dissolved and particulate phases and multiple timescales, necessitating longer term monitoring to adequately quantify fluxes. © 2012 The Author(s). Source

Bergamaschi B.A.,United States Geological Survey California Water Science Center | Fleck J.A.,United States Geological Survey California Water Science Center | Downing B.D.,United States Geological Survey California Water Science Center | Boss E.,University of Maine, United States | And 7 more authors.
Limnology and Oceanography | Year: 2011

We assessed monomethylmercury (MeHg) dynamics in a tidal wetland over three seasons using a novel method that employs a combination of in situ optical measurements as concentration proxies. MeHg concentrations measured over a single spring tide were extended to a concentration time series using in situ optical measurements. Tidal fluxes were calculated using modeled concentrations and bi-directional velocities obtained acoustically. The magnitude of the flux was the result of complex interactions of tides, geomorphic features, particle sorption, and random episodic events such as wind storms and precipitation. Correlation of dissolved organic matter quality measurements with timing of MeHg release suggests that MeHg is produced in areas of fluctuating redox and not limited by buildup of sulfide. The wetland was a net source of MeHg to the estuary in all seasons, with particulate flux being much higher than dissolved flux, even though dissolved concentrations were commonly higher. Estimated total MeHg yields out of the wetland were approximately 2.5 mg m22 yr21-4-40 times previously published yields-representing a potential loading to the estuary of 80 g yr21, equivalent to 3% of the river loading. Thus, export from tidal wetlands should be included in mass balance estimates for MeHg loading to estuaries. Also, adequate estimation of loads and the interactions between physical and biogeochemical processes in tidal wetlands might not be possible without long-term, high-frequency in situ measurements. © 2011, by the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, Inc. Source

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