Forging sustainability

Hg-PLANKTARCTIC - Unravelling interactions between phyto- and zooplankton and mercury cycling in Deception Island waters impacted by volcanic-mercury
Coordinator - Carla Alexandra Lapa Pereira Gameiro
CESAM Responsible researcher - Mário Pacheco
Programme - PROPOLAR 2016-2017 - Programa Polar Português
Execution dates - 2017-01-15 - 2018-12-31 (24 Months)
Funding Entity - FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
Total Funding - 1700 €
Proponent Institution - MARE - Centro de Ciências do Mar e do Ambiente, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa
Participating Institutions
Universidade de Aveiro
Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), Universidade de Lisboa

Mercury (Hg) is recognised as priority pollutant, impacting polar marine communities. Although phytoand zooplankton are key components in polar marine systems, little is known about Hg effects on natural communities. The volcanic-Hg impacted Deception Island in Antarctica provides perfect conditions to understand Hg effects on phyto- and zooplankton, their physiological response and resistance mechanisms to cope with Hg contamination and its impacts on Hg biogeochemical cycling. In the project, Hg availability, phyto- and zooplankton community features, physiological (photosynthesis, respiration) and biochemical information (pigments, fatty acids (FA), reactive oxygen species (ROS) reaction products, antioxidants) will be integrated with a metagenomics approach. The proposed research will provide lacking fundamental knowledge on interactions between phyto- and zooplankton and Hg cycling in austral ecosystems, with potential application to other Hg contaminated environments worldwide.

CESAM Funding: