|Home||Archived October 29, 2018||(i)|
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.
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.
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)
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 (PCB’s, 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 (PCB’s, 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.
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Center for
Comments and suggestions? Contact: Heather Henkel - Webmaster
Generated by mp version 2.8.18 on Tue Jan 23 04:29:07 2007
|Home||Archived October 29, 2018|