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If we test to see if terrestrial organisms or aquatic organisms have more mercury then the aquatic organisms will have more mercury because of methylation.

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Presentation on theme: "If we test to see if terrestrial organisms or aquatic organisms have more mercury then the aquatic organisms will have more mercury because of methylation."— Presentation transcript:

1 If we test to see if terrestrial organisms or aquatic organisms have more mercury then the aquatic organisms will have more mercury because of methylation. Methylation is how mercury changes into organic forms and this happens under water. Introduction The information our group researched is important because it tells us whether terrestrial or aquatic organisms have more mercury. Mercury can also kill many people. According to the EPA, mercury can be found in air, water and soil. Mercury is everywhere and it gets there by emissions from vehicles and emissions from factories, but the main ways are through pollution or waste. Mercury can also be found in fossil fuels, such as coal. All of these sources of mercury are the result of human activity. Bioaccumulation is the increase of pollutants from the environment to organisms. It is also the accumulation or buildup of mercury in organisms (Marietta.edu). Human industrial activity enhances the mercury in the air and after that it gets into the water where fish and other aquatic animals eat it. In the water mercury changes through a process called methylation. Methylation is how mercury changes into an organic forms of mercury such as methylmercury. Mercury gets spread to aquatic animals in the form of methylmercury. Aquatic animals are more exposed to methylmercury because methylation happens under water.. Materials And Methods To complete our project we had to complete a number of steps. First we created a question. We wondered, “What has more mercury, land organisms or water organisms?” Then we had to make up a hypothesis. Our group predicted that water organisms would have more mercury than land organisms. Once we made our prediction we looked at data of the amount of mercury in certain land and water organisms. After we acquired the data we needed, we used excel to put our information in a graph. The data we used was processed for mercury at Dartmouth College and the University of Maine. The organisms were collected by students from schools in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Our four organisms were earthworm, spider, water scorpion, and crayfish. Acknowledgements We would like to give thanks to all the people who helped and supported this project. We give thanks to Ms. Cramer, and Mrs. Stainton. We would also like to thank The University of Maine, Dartmouth College, The National Park Service, and The National Park Foundation. Conclusions The group’s hypothesis was, “If we test land and water organisms for mercury, then the water organisms will have more mercury because of methylation. Methylation occurs under water and it is how mercury can accumulate in organisms. Our group’s hypothesis was supported because the aquatic organisms had more mercury in their bodies than the land organisms did. The crayfish and water scorpions (water), had more mercury than the spiders and earthworms (land). The crayfish’s range of mercury was ppb (dw) and the average was ppb. The water scorpion’s range of mercury was ppb (dw) and the average was ppb. The spider’s range of mercury was ppb (dw) and the average was ppb. The earthworm’s range was ppb (dw) and the average was ppb. This shows that the aquatic organisms had higher ranges and averages of mercury than the terrestrial. Some of the errors that might change our data is the outliers in the graphs, or that the schools may have contaminated the organisms by accident. In addition the organisms came from different places and from different years. The different places that the organisms were found were at, Mt. View High School, Old Town High school, and John Bapst, and the range of years was from 2008 to From the data we have collected, it seems that aquatic organisms have more mercury than the land organisms. In the future we can test more land and aquatic organisms for a more accurate representation of the data. Alex Blaiklock, Colby Bridge, Spencer Cole Woodstock Union High School Literature cited "Basic Information." EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, n.d. Web. 10 Dec


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