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Mercury pollution related...

Fish growth variation & mercury levels: a slightly different perspective

Zofia Baumann,Robert P. Mason, David O. Conover, Prentiss Balcom, Celia Y. Chen, Kate L. Buckman, Nicholas S. Fisher,Hannes Baumann. 2016. Mercury bioaccumulation increases with latitude in a coastal marine fish (Atlantic silverside Menidia menidia). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences

This is an interesting paper that looks at latitudinal variation in mercury levels for a marine fish - Atlantic silverside. What I find interesting is the potential for species to show counter-gradient growth pattern, i.e. growth rate increases as one goes higher (colder) in latitude. This contradicts the more generally accepted bioenergetics model projections of latitudinal variation in growth. The authors mention early on that such counter-gradient pattern is not unlikely if one considers the possibility that large spatial gradients can promote local within-species adaptation in traits such as growth, vertebral number, and environmental sex determination. Apparently such local adaptations are well reported for Atlantic Silverside, which makes this study on latitudinal variation in methyl mercury in the context of growth dilution all the more interesting.

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