A consistent methodology for assessing the accumulating effects of natural and manmade change on riverine systems has not been developed for a whole host of reasons including a lack of data, disagreement over core elements to consider, and complexity. Accumulated state assessments of aquatic systems is an integral component of watershed cumulative effects assessment. The Yukon River is the largest free flowing river in the world and is the fourth largest drainage basin in North America, draining 855,000 km(2) in Canada and the United States. Because of its remote location, it is considered pristine but little is known about its cumulative state. This review identified 7 "hot spot" areas in the Yukon River Basin including Lake Laberge, Yukon River at Dawson City, the Charley and Yukon River confluence, Porcupine and Yukon River confluence, Yukon River at the Dalton Highway Bridge, Tolovana River near Tolovana, and Tanana River at Fairbanks. Climate change, natural stressors, and anthropogenic stresses have resulted in accumulating changes including measurable levels of contaminants in surface waters and fish tissues, fish and human disease, changes in surface hydrology, as well as shifts in biogeochemical loads. This article is the first integrated accumulated state assessment for the Yukon River basin based on a literature review. It is the first part of a 2-part series. The second article (Dubé et al. 2013a, this issue) is a quantitative accumulated state assessment of the Yukon River Basin where hot spots and hot moments are assessed outside of a "normal" range of variability.
The presence of organotin compounds, e.g., tributyltin (TBT) and triphenyltin (TPhT) including the di- and monosubstituted breakdown products, was studied in a representative marine food web in order to assess the accumulation potential at different trophic levels in Danish coastal waters. This included samples of two species of seaweed, four species of invertebrates, four species of fish, five species of birds and two species of mammals. All organisms were sampled away from harbour areas and the organotin concentrations found in this study can therefore be considered to reflect a general level in organisms living in Danish coastal waters. All the samples analysed contained organotin compounds. The highest hepatic concentrations of butyltins were found in flounder (60-259 ng g-1 wet weight [ww], as Sn), eider duck (12-202 ng g-1 ww) and harbour porpoise (134-2283 ng g-1 ww). The lowest concentrations were found in seaweed and a plant-feeding bird. TPhT or its degradation products were also found in most of the samples with the highest concentrations in flounder (9.8-74 ng g-1 ww), cod (23-28 ng g-1 ww) and great black-backed gull (19-24 ng g-1 ww). This indicates an input of TPhT in the region, probably from the use as antifouling agent. A high variance in accumulation potential was found between the species, even between species at the same trophic level, which probably reflects the species-specific differences in exposure routes and the capabilities to metabolise and eliminate the organotin compounds. This study gives evidence of the importance of biomagnification of butyltin in harbour porpoises and, to a lesser extent, in fish and birds.
An environmental survey was performed in Lake Kyrtj?nn, a small lake within an abandoned shooting range in the south of Norway. In Lake Kyrtj?nn the total water concentrations of Pb (14?g/L), Cu (6.1?g/L) and Sb (1.3?g/L) were elevated compared to the nearby reference Lake Stitj?nn, where the total concentrations of Pb, Cu and Sb were 0.76, 1.8 and 0.12?g/L, respectively. Brown trout (Salmo trutta) from Lake Kyrtj?nn had very high levels of Pb in bone (104mg/kg w.w.), kidney (161mg/kg w.w.) and the gills (137mg/kg d.w), and a strong inhibition of the ALA-D enzyme activity were observed in the blood (24% of control). Dry fertilized brown trout eggs were placed in the small outlet streams from Lake Kyrtj?nn and the reference lake for 6 months, and the concentrations of Pb and Cu in eggs from the Lake Kyrtj?nn stream were significantly higher than in eggs from the reference. More than 90% of Pb accumulated in the egg shell, whereas more than 80% of the Cu and Zn accumulated in the egg interior. Pb in the lake sediments was elevated in the upper 2-5cm layer (410-2700mg/kg d.w), and was predominantly associated with redox sensitive fractions (e.g., organic materials, hydroxides) indicating low potential mobility and bioavailability of the deposited Pb. Only minor amounts of Cu and Sb were deposited in the sediments. The present work showed that the adult brown trout, as well as fertilized eggs and alevins, may be subjected to increased stress due to chronic exposure to Pb, whereas exposure to Cu, Zn and Sb were of less importance.
The concentrations of butyltin (summation operatorBT=TBT+DBT+MBT) and mercury (Hg) were determined in the liver of 35 harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena), which were found dead along the coastlines or caught as by-catch in the Danish North Sea and the Inner Danish waters. In addition, three harbour porpoises hunted in West Greenland were analysed. High levels of butyltin and mercury, within the range of 68-4605 mg BT/kg ww and 0.22-92 mg Hg/kg ww, were found in the liver of the Danish harbour porpoises and both substances tend to accumulate with age. The levels in the harbour porpoise from West Greenland were 2.0-18 mg BT/kg ww and 6.3-6.9 mg Hg/kg ww, respectively. The concentrations of butyltin and mercury were both found to be higher in stranded than in by-caught harbour porpoises but only the butyltin concentration was significantly higher in stranded porpoises in the age group 1-5 years. These substances are suspected of inducing adverse effects on immune and endocrine systems in mammals and they may thereby pose a threat to the animals. This study suggests that organotin compounds are also important, when assessing the risks of contaminants on the health and viability of harbour porpoises in Danish waters.
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are highly lipophilic components of brominated flame retardants that are environmentally persistent and bioaccumulate. PBDEs are taken up from the gastrointestinal tract and accumulate mainly in fat depots and liver tissues. Seal species inhabiting Arctic and sub-Arctic regions can have upwards of 30% of their body mass composed of blubber. When those blubber stores are mobilized for energy, stored toxicants are also released into circulation. Most studies reporting accumulation of PBDEs in seals have focused on harbor and grey seals with few examining harp and hooded seals. In this study, PBDEs concentrations were analyzed in seal blubber from 21 stranded harp and 9 stranded hooded seals sampled along the northeast coast of the U.S. (1999-2010). A PBDE congener profile was determined for each individual. The results show that both species of seals are accumulating PBDEs with BDE-47 being the dominant congener. Mean ?PBDE concentrations in harp seals were 70.55?±?33.59?ng/g ww and for hooded seals 94.28?±?42.65?ng/g ww. The results of this study are consistent with previous studies reporting a decrease in bioaccumulation with an increase in bromination. For both species, BDE-47 represented the highest percentage of the ?PBDEs, composing over 50% of the ?PBDEs in harp seals. When compared to stranding condition code, animals found alive had overall higher PBDE concentrations than those found in a state of moderate decomposition. This difference could be due to decreased blubber levels in the decomposed animals or potential degradation of the compounds in the blubber. Almost all seals used in this study were yearlings which is the most likely age class to strand. Yearling seals are at a crucial stage of development, especially of their immune system, which can be impacted by high levels of contaminants like PBDEs and increase the susceptibility to disease.
Acid precipitation affects the solubility of several metals in aquatic systems and in soil. Cadmium levels in tap water samples from geological areas having low resistance to acidic pollution were significantly higher than those in samples from a neighbouring reference area where there was a different geological structure. The median cadmium levels and pH values were 0.14 microgram l-1 and 5.6 respectively, for the acidic areas compared with 0.07 microgram l-1 and 6.4 respectively for the reference area. Further, there was a significant inverse relationship between both cadmium and lead contents and the pH values of the samples. The mobility of the metals was thus dependent on the acidity. The blood lead levels in 195 subjects from the acidic areas were lower than those in 91 subjects from the reference area (medians 60 vs. 70 micrograms l-1); no significant differences were found in blood cadmium or blood mercury levels. Subjects in the acidic areas had lower plasma selenium levels than those from the reference area (medians 85 vs. 90 micrograms l-1); the difference was mainly attributed to subjects with private wells. The data may indicate a negative effect of the acidic pollution on selenium intake via water and/or foods. There was also a positive relationship between intake of fish on the one hand and blood mercury and plasma selenium on the other, which is in accordance with the role of fish as a source of these metals.
Acidification of soils and surface waters caused by acid deposition is still a major problem in southern Scandinavia, despite clear signs of recovery. Besides emission control, liming of lakes, streams, and wetlands is currently used to ameliorate acidification in Sweden. An alternative strategy is forest soil liming to restore the acidified upland soils from which much acidified runoff originates. This cost-benefit analysis compared these liming strategies with a special emphasis on the time perspective for expected benefits. Benefits transfer was used to estimate use values for sport ffishing and nonuse values in terms of existence values. The results show that large-scale forest soil liming is not socioeconomically profitable, while lake liming is, if it is done efficiently-in other words, if only acidified surface waters are treated. The beguiling logic of "solving" an environmental problem at its source (soils), rather than continuing to treat the symptoms (surface waters), is thus misleading.
Cites: Nature. 2007 Nov 22;450(7169):537-4018033294
Differences in the degree of separate and combined effects of temperature, pH, and heavy metals (zinc, copper) on the trypsin- and chymotrypsin-like proteinase activities have been established in the whole body of some invertebrate animals - potential objects of fish nutrition: pond snail Lymnaeae stagnalis, orb snail Planorbis purpura, zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha, oligochaetae Tubifex sp. and Lumbriculus sp. in total, chironomid larvae Chironimus sp. and Ch. riparus, as well as crustacean zooplankton. It has been shown that enzymes of the potential victim at a low temperature can compensate low activity of intestinal proteinases of fish bentho- and planktophages.
Bath treatment pharmaceuticals used to control sea lice infestations in the salmonid industry, such as hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), are released directly into the environment where non-target organisms are at risk of exposure. The aim of this study was to determine the threshold concentrations for mortality of the Northern krill, Meganyctiphanes norvegica, a major component of the north Atlantic marine ecosystem. To assess the lethal effects of H2O2, we carried out a series of 1 h acute toxicity tests and assessed mortality through a 48 h post-exposure period. One-hour exposure to 170 mg/L, corresponding to 10% of the recommended H2O2 treatment, caused 100% mortality and a subsequent acute median-lethal concentration LC50 value of 32.5 mg/L. Increased mortality was observed with time in all exposed groups, resulting in successively lower LC50 values during the post-exposure period. The suggested H2O2 concentrations have the potential of causing negative effects to the Northern krill.
Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Department of Biology, N-7491 Trondheim, Norway; SINTEF Materials and Chemistry, Environmental Technology, N-7465 Trondheim, Norway. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Acute lethal toxicity, expressed as LC50 values, is a widely used parameter in risk assessment of chemicals, and has been proposed as a tool to assess differences in species sensitivities to chemicals between climatic regions. Arctic Calanus glacialis and boreal Calanus finmarchicus were exposed to mercury (Hg(2+)) under natural environmental conditions including sea temperatures of 2° and 10°C, respectively. Acute lethal toxicity (96 h LC50) and sub-lethal molecular response (GST expression; in this article gene expression is used as a synonym of gene transcription, although it is acknowledged that gene expression is also regulated, e.g., at translation and protein stability level) were studied. The acute lethal toxicity was monitored for 96 h using seven different Hg concentrations. The sub-lethal experiment was set up on the basis of nominal LC50 values for each species using concentrations equivalent to 50, 5 and 0.5% of their 96 h LC50 value. No significant differences were found in acute lethal toxicity between the two species. The sub-lethal molecular response revealed large differences both in response time and the fold induction of GST, where the Arctic species responded both faster and with higher mRNA levels of GST after 48 h exposure. Under the natural exposure conditions applied in the present study, the Arctic species C. glacialis may potentially be more susceptible to mercury exposure on the sub-lethal level.