Mitchell Center Research - Validating landscape models for mercury in northeast lakes using dragonfly nymphs as mercury bio-sentinels
Mercury is a natural element but is found in elevated levels in Maine and many locations across the country due largely to fossil fuel emissions; mercury travels far in the atmosphere and lands in remote places – far from where it may be emitted – worldwide. Scientists are unable to predict which waterbodies might have high or low mercury because it has a complex cycle both getting to waterbodies and once it’s in the water. Our work has been using dragonfly larvae as bio-sentinels – to help us understand which types of watersheds and waterbodies seem to have greater mercury. This project, funded by the Northeastern States Research Cooperative (NSRC), is studying dragonfly larvae mercury and lake water mercury in a statistical set of lakes across the Northeast (all New England states plus New York). The PI is Sarah J. Nelson, with Co-PIs Celia Chen of Dartmouth College, Jeffrey S. Kahl of University of New Hampshire, and Bill Zoellick of SERC Institute.
This project follows on two other Mitchell Center research projects:
- Evaluating Spatial Patterns in Mercury and Methyl Mercury in Northeastern Lakes: Landscape Setting, Chemical Climate, and Human Influences
- Evaluating Scope and Trends for the Base Cation Decline in Surface Waters in the Northeastern US
ALSC Participates in Dragonfly Project (Press release)