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Ecological Risk Assessment of Toxic Substances in the Greater Everglades Ecosystem: Wildlife Effects and Exposure Assessment

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Metadata:


Identification_Information:
Citation:
Citation_Information:
Originator:
Timothy S. Gross

Mike Meyer

Publication_Date: 2005
Title:
Ecological Risk Assessment of Toxic Substances in the Greater Everglades Ecosystem: Wildlife Effects and Exposure Assessment
Online_Linkage: <https://sofia.usgs.gov/projects/eco_risk/>
Description:
Abstract:
This project will be carried out in several locations throughout those areas critical to the South Florida Restoration Initiative. These areas include: 1) Water Conservation Areas 1, 2, and 3 of the Central Everglades, 2) Everglades National Park, 3) Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, 4) Big Cypress National Preserve, 5) multiple Miami Metropolitan area canals and drainages, and 6) restoration related STAs (STAs 1-6) adjacent to the Everglades. Specific site selections will be based upon consideration of USACE restoration plans and upon discussions with other place-based and CESI approved projects.

The overall objectives are characterize the exposure of wildlife to contaminants within the aquatic ecosystems of South Florida, through a multi-stage process: a) screening of biota to identify hazards/contaminants posing risk, and b) evaluation of the potential effects of those contaminants on appropriate animal/wildlife receptors. This project will focus upon each of these stages/needs, with an emphasis on understanding the effects of contaminants on alligators, fishes, birds, amphibians and macroinvertebrates.

Purpose:
Historically, little consideration has been given to environmental chemical stressors/contaminants within the ecosystem restoration efforts for the Greater Everglades Ecosystem. The restoration is primarily guided by determining and restoring the historical relationships between ecosystem function and hydrology. The restoration plan was formulated to restore the natural hydrology and therefore, the resultant landscape patterns, bio-diversity and wildlife abundance. However, additional efforts need to consider the role that chemical contaminants such as pesticides and other inorganic/organic contaminants play in the structure and function of the resultant South Florida ecosystems. Indeed, the current level of agriculture and expanding urbanization and development necessitate that more emphasis be placed on chemical contaminants within this sensitive ecosystem and the current restoration efforts.

The primary goal of the proposed project, therefore, is to develop an improved understanding of the exposure/fate (i.e. degradation, metabolism, dissipation, accumulation and transport) and potential ecological effects produced as a result of chemical stressors and their interactions in South Florida freshwater and wetland ecosystems. The overall objectives are to evaluate the risk posed by contaminants to biota within the aquatic ecosystems of South Florida, through a multi-stage process: a) screening of biota to identify hazards/contaminants posing risk and b) evaluation of the potential effects of those contaminants on appropriate animal/wildlife receptors. This project will focus upon each of these stages/needs, with an emphasis on understanding the effects of contaminants on alligators, fishes, birds, amphibians and macroinvertebrates.

The specific objectives of this project are to:

1. Assess current exposure and potential adverse effects for appropriate receptors/species within the South Florida ecosystems with some emphasis on DOI trust species. These efforts will determine whether natural populations are significantly exposed to a variety of chemical stressors/contaminants, such as mercury, chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides, historic and/or current use agricultural chemicals, and/or mixtures, as well as document lethal and non-lethal adverse effects in multiple health, physiologic and/or endocrine endpoints.

2. Assess exposure and potential adverse effects for appropriate species within South Florida as a function of restoration implementation.

Time_Period_of_Content:
Time_Period_Information:
Range_of_Dates/Times:
Beginning_Date: 20001001
Ending_Date: 20040930
Currentness_Reference: ground condition
Status:
Progress: Complete
Maintenance_and_Update_Frequency: None planned
Spatial_Domain:
Description_of_Geographic_Extent: South Florida Ecosystem
Bounding_Coordinates:
West_Bounding_Coordinate: -81.125
East_Bounding_Coordinate: -80.125
North_Bounding_Coordinate: 26.75
South_Bounding_Coordinate: 25.125
Keywords:
Theme:
Theme_Keyword_Thesaurus: none
Theme_Keyword: biology
Theme_Keyword: contaminants
Theme_Keyword: ecological risk assessment
Theme_Keyword: toxics
Theme:
Theme_Keyword_Thesaurus: ISO 19115 Topic Category
Theme_Keyword: biota
Theme_Keyword: environment
Theme_Keyword: inlandWaters
Theme_Keyword: 002
Theme_Keyword: 007
Theme_Keyword: 012
Place:
Place_Keyword_Thesaurus:
Department of Commerce, 1995, Countries, Dependencies, Areas of Special Sovereignty, and Their Principal Administrative Divisions, Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 10-4, Washington, D.C., National Institute of Standards and Technology
Place_Keyword: United States
Place_Keyword: US
Place:
Place_Keyword_Thesaurus:
U.S. Department of Commerce, 1987, Codes for the identification of the States, the District of Columbia and the outlying areas of the United States, and associated areas (Federal Information Processing Standard 5-2): Washington, D. C., NIST
Place_Keyword: Florida
Place_Keyword: FL
Place:
Place_Keyword_Thesaurus:
Department of Commerce, 1990, Counties and Equivalent Entities of the United States, Its Possessions, and Associated Areas, FIPS 6-3, Washington, DC, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Place_Keyword: Broward County
Place_Keyword: Palm Beach County
Place_Keyword: Miami-Dade County
Place_Keyword: Monroe County
Place_Keyword: Collier County
Place:
Place_Keyword_Thesaurus: none
Place_Keyword: Central Everglades
Place_Keyword: Florida Keys
Place_Keyword: SW Big Cypress
Place_Keyword: South East Coast
Place_Keyword: Water Conservation Area 1
Place_Keyword: Water Conservation Area 2
Place_Keyword: Water Conservation Area 3
Place_Keyword: WCA1
Place_Keyword: WCA2
Place_Keyword: WCA3
Place_Keyword: STA 5
Place_Keyword: Storm Treatment Areas
Place_Keyword: STA 1
Place_Keyword: STA 3
Place_Keyword: STA 4
Place_Keyword: STA 6
Place_Keyword: STA 2
Place:
Place_Keyword_Thesaurus: USGS Geographic Names Information System
Place_Keyword: Everglades National Park
Place_Keyword: Big Cypress National Preserve
Place_Keyword: Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge
Taxonomy:
Keywords/Taxon:
Taxonomic_Keyword_Thesaurus: none
Taxonomic_Keywords: multiple species
Taxonomic_Keywords: animals
Taxonomic_Keywords: reptiles
Taxonomic_Keywords: vertebrates
Taxonomic_System:
Classification_System/Authority:
Classification_System_Citation:
Citation_Information:
Originator:
U.S. Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service (ARS)

U.S. Department of Agriculture - Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Department of the Interior - U.S. Geological Survey Department of Commerce - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Smithsonian Institution - National Museum of Natural History (NMNH)

Publication_Date: 2000
Title: Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS)
Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: Database
Other_Citation_Details:
Retrieved from the Integrated Taxonomic Information System on-line database, <http://www.itis.gov>.
Online_Linkage: <http://www.itis.gov>
Taxonomic_Procedures:
Alligators were collected at six sites throughout the south Florida/Everglades ecosystem. Contaminant analyses and preliminary assessments of potential effects included a full survey/assessment of freshwater mussels in historic locations throughout south Florida. Additional assessments of wading birds and other species will be conducted.
Taxonomic_Completeness: unknown
General_Taxonomic_Coverage: All specimens were identified to the species level
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Kingdom
Taxon_Rank_Value: Animalia
Applicable_Common_Name: animals
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Phylum
Taxon_Rank_Value: Chordata
Applicable_Common_Name: chordates
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Subphylum
Taxon_Rank_Value: Vertebrata
Applicable_Common_Name: vertebrates
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Class
Taxon_Rank_Value: Reptilia
Applicable_Common_Name: reptiles
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Order
Taxon_Rank_Value: Crocodilia
Applicable_Common_Name: crocodiles
Applicable_Common_Name: alligators
Applicable_Common_Name: caimans
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Family
Taxon_Rank_Value: Alligatoridae
Applicable_Common_Name: alligators
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Genus
Taxon_Rank_Value: Alligator
Applicable_Common_Name: alligators
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Species
Taxon_Rank_Value: Alligator mississippiensis
Applicable_Common_Name: American alligator
Applicable_Common_Name: Florida alligator
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Class
Taxon_Rank_Value: Aves
Applicable_Common_Name: birds
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Order
Taxon_Rank_Value: Ciconiiformes
Applicable_Common_Name: ibises
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Family
Taxon_Rank_Value: Threskiornithidae
Applicable_Common_Name: ibises
Applicable_Common_Name: spoonbills
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Genus
Taxon_Rank_Value: Eudocimus
Applicable_Common_Name: white ibises
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Species
Taxon_Rank_Value: Eudocimus albus
Applicable_Common_Name: white ibis
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Order
Taxon_Rank_Value: Ciconiiformes
Applicable_Common_Name: herons
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Family
Taxon_Rank_Value: Ardeidae
Applicable_Common_Name: bitterns
Applicable_Common_Name: egrets
Applicable_Common_Name: herons
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Genus
Taxon_Rank_Value: Casmerodius
Applicable_Common_Name: great egrets
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: species
Taxon_Rank_Value: Casmerodius albus
Applicable_Common_Name: great egret
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Superclass
Taxon_Rank_Value: Osteichthyes
Applicable_Common_Name: bony fishes
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Class
Taxon_Rank_Value: Actinopterygii
Applicable_Common_Name: ray-finned fishes
Applicable_Common_Name: spiny rayed fishes
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Subclass
Taxon_Rank_Value: Neopterygii
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Infraclass
Taxon_Rank_Value: Teleostei
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Superorder
Taxon_Rank_Value: Ostariophysi
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Order
Taxon_Rank_Value: Siluriformes
Applicable_Common_Name: catfishes
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Family
Taxon_Rank_Value: Ictaluridae
Applicable_Common_Name: bullhead catfishes
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Genus
Taxon_Rank_Value: Ameiurus
Applicable_Common_Name: bullheads
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Species
Taxon_Rank_Value: Ameiurus nebulosus
Applicable_Common_Name: brown bullhead
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Superorder
Taxon_Rank_Value: Acanthopterygii
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Order
Taxon_Rank_Value: Perciformes
Applicable_Common_Name: perch-like fishes
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Suborder
Taxon_Rank_Value: Percoidei
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Family
Taxon_Rank_Value: Centrarchidae
Applicable_Common_Name: sunfishes
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Genus
Taxon_Rank_Value: Micropterus
Applicable_Common_Name: black basses
Applicable_Common_Name: largemouth basses
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Species
Taxon_Rank_Value: Micropterus salmoides
Applicable_Common_Name: largemouth bass
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Phylum
Taxon_Rank_Value: Mollusca
Applicable_Common_Name: molluscs
Applicable_Common_Name: mollusks
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Class
Taxon_Rank_Value: Gastropoda
Applicable_Common_Name: gastropods
Applicable_Common_Name: snails
Applicable_Common_Name: slugs
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Subclass
Taxon_Rank_Value: Prosobranchia
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Order
Taxon_Rank_Value: Architaenioglossa
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Family
Taxon_Rank_Value: Ampullariidae
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Genus
Taxon_Rank_Value: Pomacea
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Species
Taxon_Rank_Value: Pomacea paludosa
Applicable_Common_Name: Florida apple snail
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Phylum
Taxon_Rank_Value: Mollusca
Applicable_Common_Name: molluscs
Applicable_Common_Name: mollusks
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Class
Taxon_Rank_Value: Bivalvia
Applicable_Common_Name: bivalves
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Subclass
Taxon_Rank_Value: Palaeoheterodonta
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Order
Taxon_Rank_Value: Unionoida
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Family
Taxon_Rank_Value: Unionidae
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Genus
Taxon_Rank_Value: Elliptio
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Species
Taxon_Rank_Value: Elliptio buckleyi
Applicable_Common_Name: Florida shiny spike
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Genus
Taxon_Rank_Value: Utterbackia
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Species
Taxon_Rank_Value: Utterbackis imbecillis
Applicable_Common_Name: paper pondshell
Access_Constraints: none
Use_Constraints: none
Point_of_Contact:
Contact_Information:
Contact_Person_Primary:
Contact_Person: Lynn Lefebvre
Contact_Organization: U.S. Geological Survey
Contact_Address:
Address_Type: mailing and physical address
Address: 2201 NW 40th Terrace
City: Gainesville
State_or_Province: FL
Postal_Code: 32605
Country: USA
Contact_Voice_Telephone: 352 264-3543
Contact_Facsimile_Telephone: 352 373-5763
Contact_Electronic_Mail_Address: llefebvre@usgs.gov
Data_Set_Credit:
Project personnel included: Marisol Sepulveda, Jon Wiebe, Carla Wieser, Nicola Kernaghan, Shane Ruessler, and Beverly Arnold

Data_Quality_Information:
Logical_Consistency_Report: not applicable
Completeness_Report: not available
Lineage:
Process_Step:
Process_Description:
Efforts during FY2000 have involved the collection of alligators at 6 sites throughout the South Florida/Everglades ecosystem. Contaminant analyses and preliminary assessments of potential effects are currently underway. These efforts have also included a full survey/assessment of freshwater mussels in historic locations throughout S. Florida. Complete analyses for invertebrates will be completed during Fall 2000. Additional survey/assessments of fish throughout the South Florida ecosystems is currently underway and will occur throughout Fall 2000. Additional assessments of wading birds are proposed for Spring 2000, as well as additional assessments of other species and the completion of preliminary risk assessments.
Process_Date: 2000
Process_Step:
Process_Description:
We have conducted a survey of freshwater mussels across 32 sites, alligators across 14 sites, and largemouth bass and sunfish for 42 sites. Efforts are now in progress and/or planned for amphibians at 12 sites and wading birds (i.e. great egrets) at 5 sites. Alligator tissues are complete for OC and target contaminant analyses; however, analyses of non-classic/non-target compounds such as pharmaceuticals etc are currently underway. These causes significant exposures for alligators in WCAs and other restored/reclaimed sites, as well as exposure to historic and current use agricultural and urban-runoff chemical contaminants. Fish samples have been collected from an extensive collection of sites during the non-reproductive season and analyses are in progress. Initial analyses suggest significant exposures and significant distribution differences across S. Florida ecosystems. Fish efforts have been in collaboration with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the South Florida Water Management District. Amphibian surveys and collections are currently underway and will be ongoing through Spring 2003. These efforts are in collaboration with Ken Rice and with the University of Florida-IFAS and Syngenta, Corp. Initial efforts to identify colonies of wading birds are underway and collections will occur during 2003-2004.
Process_Date: 2001
Process_Step:
Process_Description:
We have conducted a survey of amphibians (frogs and toads at 12 sites) and wading birds (i.e. great egrets) at 5 sites. Fish samples have been collected from an extensive collection of sites during the non-reproductive season, mercury analyses are complete and OCP and other contaminant analyses are in progress. Initial analyses suggest significant exposures and significant distribution differences across S. Florida ecosystems and an altered distribution of mercury with the implementation of STA's. Fish efforts have been in collaboration with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the South Florida Water Management District. Amphibian surveys and collections are complete and chemical analyses will be conducted during 2004-5
Process_Date: 2002
Process_Step:
Process_Description:
Work planned for FY 2004 includes:

1. Assess current exposure and potential adverse effects for appropriate receptors/species within the South Florida ecosystems with some emphasis on DOI trust species

The initial exposure assessment will begin with an evaluation and expansion of data and the sample base generated by the preliminary phase of this project (2000-2002). These efforts have included the sampling of alligators, fish, amphibians and freshwater mussels across multiple sites in the Greater Everglades Ecosystem as an initiation of efforts to characterize exposure and effects. There are currently greater than 3000 biota samples banked for these analyses. Additional sampling regimes, will also be needed, at selected critical areas to provide an evaluation of soil, water and sediments and/or additional biota. These evaluations will include pH, percent water, grain size, cation exchange capacity, and total volatile solids as well as quantitation of organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), organophosphate pesticides (OPs), nitrogen based herbicides, phenoxy-acid herbicides, and heavy metals. Soil, sediment and water samples will be collected and analyzed at multiple seasons, 4-6 times annually, to assess temporal patterns in use, especially for the non-persistent, water-soluble, pesticides. Tissue samples will also be collected from the ecological receptors, outlined above, at many of these selected sites. Tissues will also be analyzed for lipid content, as well as quantitation of organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), organophosphate pesticides (OPs), nitrogen based herbicides, phenoxy-acid herbicides, and heavy metals. These efforts will enable the first complete exposure assessment at multiple trophic levels for the Greater Everglades ecosystem, and serve as a critical basis for all future research efforts and risk assessments.

In addition to the emphasis on the persistent contaminants listed above, we also propose the characterization of non-target, current use, non or less persistent contaminants as well. These contaminants have been identified as the emerging contaminants of concern for ecosystems throughout the US by USEPA. Analyses will include chemicals/contaminants of concern from urban run-off or waste water: pharmaceuticals, health care components, xenobiotic endocrine factors and current use pesticides, as well as nutrients and novel compounds. These contaminants have not been characterized for the Greater Everglades Ecosystem previously, nor have they been considered under any of the restoration strategies. The partnership with the WRD-Water Quality Laboratory in Ocala will be critical to these efforts and to the development of appropriate techniques to evaluate this emerging contaminant issue.

To assess whether chemical stressors/contaminants in South Florida harm wildlife (effects assessment) it is important to study animals that are potentially exposed and appear sensitive to contaminants. Utilization of several receptors/species at multiple trophic levels will enable the detection of both potential exposures and adverse effects within the South Florida ecosystems. The project will utilize American alligators, largemouth bass, brown-bullhead catfish, white ibises, great egrets, Florida apple snails, and two endemic species of freshwater mussels as model ecological receptors for evaluation of the South Florida ecosystems. Receptors will be monitored for acute and chronic effects, such as general health status, growth, development, reproduction, and endocrine function. These initial assessments will rely primarily upon biomarkers and bioindicators of effects, such as sex steroids, vitellogenin, stress hormones, thyroid hormones, blood chemistry, organ somatic indices, body condition indices, plasma and tissue lysozyme, and tissue glycogen.

Process_Date: 20040930
Process_Contact:
Contact_Information:
Contact_Person_Primary:
Contact_Person: Lynn Lefebvre
Contact_Organization: U.S. Geological Survey
Contact_Address:
Address_Type: mailing and physical address
Address: 2201 NW 40th Terrace
City: Gainesville
State_or_Province: FL
Postal_Code: 32605
Country: USA
Contact_Voice_Telephone: 352 264-3543
Contact_Facsimile_Telephone: 352 373-5763
Contact_Electronic_Mail_Address: llefebvre@usgs.gov

Distribution_Information:
Distributor:
Contact_Information:
Contact_Person_Primary:
Contact_Person: Lynn Lefebvre
Contact_Organization: U.S. Geological Survey
Contact_Address:
Address_Type: mailing and physical address
Address: 2201 NW 40th Terrace
City: Gainesville
State_or_Province: FL
Postal_Code: 32605
Country: USA
Contact_Voice_Telephone: 352 264-3543
Contact_Facsimile_Telephone: 352 373-5763
Contact_Electronic_Mail_Address: llefebvre@usgs.gov
Resource_Description: ecological risk assessment papers
Distribution_Liability: The USGS assumes no responsibility for the use of these data
Standard_Order_Process:
Non-digital_Form: unknown
Fees: none
Ordering_Instructions: Please contact Lynn Lefebvre for data from this project

Metadata_Reference_Information:
Metadata_Date: 20070123
Metadata_Contact:
Contact_Information:
Contact_Person_Primary:
Contact_Person: Heather Henkel
Contact_Organization: U.S. Geological Survey
Contact_Address:
Address_Type: mailing and physical address
Address: 600 Fourth Street South
City: St. Petersburg
State_or_Province: FL
Postal_Code: 33701
Country: USA
Contact_Voice_Telephone: 727 803-8747 ext 3028
Contact_Facsimile_Telephone: 727 803-2030
Contact_Electronic_Mail_Address: sofia-metadata@usgs.gov
Metadata_Standard_Name:
Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata Part 1: Biological Data Profile
Metadata_Standard_Version: FGDC-STD-001.1-1999

This page is <https://sofia.usgs.gov/metadata/sflwww/eco_assess_risk_toxics.html>

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Center for Coastal Geology
Comments and suggestions? Contact: Heather Henkel - Webmaster
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