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Research article2020Peer reviewedOpen access

Formation and mobilization of methylmercury across natural and experimental sulfur deposition gradients

Akerblom, Staffan; Nilsson, Mats B.; Skyllberg, Ulf; Bjorn, Erik; Jonsson, Sofi; Ranneby, Bo; Bishop, Kevin


We investigated the influence of sulfate (SO42-) deposition and concentrations on the net formation and solubility of methylmercury (MeHg) in peat soils. We used data from a natural sulfate deposition gradient running 300 km across southern Sweden to test the hypothesis posed by results from an experimental field study in northern Sweden: that increased loading of SO42- both increases net MeHg formation and redistributes methylmercury (MeHg) from the peat soil to its porewater. Sulfur concentrations in peat soils correlated positively with MeHg concentrations in peat porewater, along the deposition gradient similar to the response to added SO42- in the experimental field study. The combined results from the experimental field study and deposition gradient accentuate the multiple, distinct and interacting roles of SO42- deposition in the formation and redistribution of MeHg in the environment. (c) 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (


Mercury; Methyl mercury; Sulfur; Methylation; Peatland

Published in

Environmental Pollution
2020, Volume: 263, number: Part A, article number: 114398