Student Research Projects
The Effect of Salinity on Leaf Mercury Deposition
|Student||Renee Wiggs, '16|
|Course||CHEM 270: Environmental Chemistry|
Relatively little is known about the effects of sea spray on the mercury deposition to plant material near the ocean. The primary objective of this study is to determine whether there is a correlation between NaCl concentration and the mercury deposition on the surface of the leaves. We worked with the leaves of the Ilex aquifolium plant, where 6 branches (with approximately 7 leaves) were selected for coating with 0%, 5% and 10% salt solutions respectively. Three days later, the leaves were collected and washed with deionized water which was then analyzed for mercury and major anion content. Interestingly an increase in the salt concentration from 0% to 5% salt resulted in an increased Hg deposition. However, no increase in Hg deposition was seen for the 10% salt solution relative to the 5% solution. This might indicate that there is only a limited amount of gaseous Hg available to deposit to the additional NaCl.