Bulletin of environmental contamination and toxicology

Mercury bioaccumulation and bioaccumulation factors for Everglades mosquitofish as related to sulfate: a re-analysis of Julian II (2013).

PMID 25260994


The Everglades, an ecosystem of international significance, has elevated biota mercury levels representing risk to human and wildlife consumers of fish. Given the critical role of sulfate in the methylation of mercury, and because there is a significant agricultural contribution, one potential means of reducing these mercury levels is reducing Everglades sulfate inputs. Julian II (Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 90:329-332, 2013) conducted regression modeling of the relationship between surface water sulfate concentrations and Gambusia spp. mercury bioconcentration factors across the major hydrologic subunits of the Everglades, and used those results to draw conclusions about the role of sulfate in the cycling of mercury in the Everglades. We however demonstrate a number of fundamental problems with the analysis, interpretation and conclusions. As a result, we strongly caution against using the results of Julian II (Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 90:329-332, 2013) to formulate management decisions regarding mitigation of the Everglades mercury problem.