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New research published by Dr. Allyson Jackson

A new article was published this month in the journal Ecology and Evolution by Dr. Allyson Jackson, titled “Differential reliance on aquatic prey subsidies influences mercury exposure in riparian arachnids and songbirds.”

Mercury (a potent neurotoxin) is primarily considered an aquatic contaminant - you may have been warned against eating tuna or swordfish because of high mercury levels. Recently, we have discovered that animals living on land are also exposed to mercury, sometimes at levels that can cause harm.

Dr. Jackson, along with her collaborators, published a new article that explains part of the reason that birds living on land may have high mercury concentrations. They show that birds who eat more emergent aquatic prey sources have higher mercury exposure. These prey sources include insects, such as mayflies and stoneflies, that start their life in an aquatic larval form, and then emerge to become winged adults in the terrestrial ecosystem. 

If you want to read the article, you can find the article here