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Brazilian Journal of Biology

Print version ISSN 1519-6984On-line version ISSN 1678-4375


LACERDA, LD. et al. Total-Hg and organic-Hg in Cephalopholis fulva (Linnaeus, 1758) from inshore and offshore waters of NE Brazil. Braz. J. Biol. [online]. 2007, vol.67, n.3, pp.493-498. ISSN 1519-6984.

To investigate whether source proximity or bioavailability is the major factor controlling both Hg concentration and Hg speciation in marine fishes, total- and organic-Hg content in muscle and liver tissues from different populations of Cephalopholis fulva (piraúna) from inshore and offshore waters of the Brazilian northeastern coast were analyzed. Average total-Hg in muscle (104 ng.g-1 w.w.) and liver (2,865 ng.g-1 w.w.) tissues, as well as organic-Hg concentrations in muscle (169 ng.g-1 w.w.) and liver (1,038 ng.g-1 w.w.), were much higher in the offshore population of C. fulva than in the inshore ones. In the inshore population total-Hg and organic-Hg average concentrations in muscle tissue were similar and reached only 49 ng.g-1 w.w., while in liver they reached 412 ng.g-1 w.w. for total-Hg and 180 ng.g-1 w.w., for organic-Hg. Concentrations of both Hg species in the two populations were higher in liver than in muscle. The average percentage contribution of organic-Hg to the total Hg content was higher in muscle (98-100%) than in liver (42-53%), but similar between the two populations. Total-Hg and organic-Hg concentrations in muscle and liver from the offshore population showed significant (P < 0.05) positive correlation with fish length. However, in the inshore population only the total-Hg and organic-Hg in muscle tissues correlate significantly with fish size. Although the coastal environments are enriched in total Hg relative to open waters, the significant higher Hg concentrations in the offshore population of C. fulva and the significant correlation found between organic-Hg in liver with fish size suggest higher bioavailability of Hg in offshore waters relative to inshore ones.

Keywords : total mercury; organic mercury; fish populations; Cephalopholis fulva; NE Brazil.

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