Science.gov

Sample records for evaluate ecological risk

  1. Primer for evaluating ecological risk at petroleum release sites.

    PubMed

    Claff, R

    1999-02-01

    Increasingly, risk-based approaches are being used to guide decision making at sites such as service stations and petroleum product terminals, where petroleum products have been inadvertently released to the soil. For example, the API Decision Support System software, DSS, evaluates site human health risk along six different routes of exposure. The American Society for Testing and Materials' Risk-Based Corrective Action (RBCA) standard, ASTM 1739, establishes a tiered framework for evaluating petroleum release sites on the basis of human health risk. Though much of the risk assessment focus has been on human health risk, regulatory agencies recognize that protection of human health may not fully protect the environment; and EPA has developed guidance on identifying ecological resources to be protected through risk-based decision making. Not every service station or petroleum product terminal site warrants a detailed ecological risk assessment. In some cases, a simple preliminary assessment will provide sufficient information for decision making. Accordingly, the American Petroleum Institute (API) is developing a primer for site managers, to assist them in conducting this preliminary assessment, and in deciding whether more detailed ecological risk assessments are warranted. The primer assists the site manager in identifying relevant ecological receptors and habitats, in identifying chemicals and exposure pathways of concern, in developing a conceptual model of the site to guide subsequent actions, and in identifying conditions that may warrant immediate response. PMID:10189585

  2. Food-chain contamination evaluations in ecological risk assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Linder, G.

    1994-12-31

    Food-chain models have become increasingly important within the ecological risk assessment process. This is the case particularly when acute effects are not readily apparent, or the contaminants of concern are not readily detoxified, have a high likelihood for partitioning into lipids, or have specific target organs or tissues that may increase their significance in evaluating their potential adverse effects. An overview of food-chain models -- conceptual, theoretical, and empirical -- will be considered through a series of papers that will focus on their application within the ecological risk assessment process. Whether a food-chain evaluation is being developed to address relatively simple questions related to chronic effects of toxicants on target populations, or whether a more complex food-web model is being developed to address questions related to multiple-trophic level transfers of toxicants, the elements within the food chain contamination evaluation can be generalized to address the mechanisms of toxicant accumulation in individual organisms. This can then be incorporated into more elaborate models that consider these organismal-level processes within the context of a species life-history or community-level responses that may be associated with long-term exposures.

  3. Evaluating Ecological Risk to Invertebrate Receptors from PAHs in Sediments at Hazardous Waste Sites (External Review Draft)

    EPA Science Inventory

    In March 2004, ORD's Ecological Risk Assessment Support Center (ERASC) received a request from the Ecological Risk Assessment Forum (ERAF) relating to the evaluation of ecological risk to vertebrate and benthic invertebrate receptors from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon compounds...

  4. Evaluation of vegetable production management practices to reduce the ecological risk of pesticides

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The ability of agricultural management practices to reduce the ecological risks of pesticides was evaluated. Risk quotients, a mathematical description of the relationship between exposure and toxicity, and hazard ratings, a rank of potential risk of pesticides to aquatic environments, were calculat...

  5. EPA APPROACH TO EVALUATION OF INDICATORS FOR ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Research and Development (ORD) is continuing research efforts initiated by the Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP) on ecological indicator development. An ORD Ecological Indicators Working Group has been form...

  6. [Characteristics of speciation and evaluation of ecological risk of heavy metals in sewage sludge of Guangzhou].

    PubMed

    Guo, Peng-Ran; Lei, Yong-Qian; Cai, Da-Chuan; Zhang, Tao; Wu, Rui; Pan, Jia-Chuan

    2014-02-01

    Contents of heavy metals in different sewage sludges were analyzed and the speciation distribution and bioavailability of heavy metals were investigated, and the risk assessment code (RAC) and toxicity characteristic leaching procedure for solid waste were used to evaluate the potential ecological risk and leaching toxicity risk of heavy metals in sludge samples, respectively. The results showed that contents of Cu, Cr, Pb and Zn were high and presented a great difference by different sources in sewage sludges. Most of heavy metals existed in non-residual fractions and percentages of the mobile fraction (acid soluble fraction) of heavy metals in acidic sludge were higher. According to the results of single extraction, 1 mol x L(-1) NaOAc solution (pH 5.0) and 0.02 mol x L(-1) EDTA + 0.5 mol x L(-1) NH4OAc solution (pH 4.6) were suitable for evaluating bioavailable heavy metals in acidic and alkaline sludge, respectively. Percentages of bioavailable heavy metals were higher with the stronger of sludge acidity. The mobile ability of heavy metals resulted in the high ecological risk of sludge samples, and the bioavailability of heavy metals caused acidic sludges with a very high ecological risk but alkaline sludges with the middle ecological risk. Leaching toxicity risk was very high in sludge samples except domestic sewage sludge. After the removal of bioavailable heavy metals, leaching toxicity risk of sludge samples was still high in spite of its decrease; however, part type of sludges could be implemented landfill disposal. PMID:24812965

  7. [Heavy metals distribution characteristics and ecological risk evaluation in surface sediments of dammed Jinshan lake].

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xiao-Hong; Liu, Long-Mei; Chen, Xi; Chen, Zhi-Gang; Zhang, Jin-Ping; Li, Yi-Min; Liu, Biao

    2014-11-01

    In order to reveal the pollution loading of heavy metals in Dammed Jinshan lake, six heavy metals (As, Cu, Pb, Cd, Zn, Cr) from 18 sediment samples were analyzed using ICP, and the distribution characteristics of heavy metals in the sediment were comprehensively evaluated through concentration coefficient, geo-acumulation indexes, potential ecological risk evaluation and traceability analysis. The results showed that (1) the average contents of As, Pb, Cu, Zn, Cr, Cd were 23.22, 26.20, 24.42, 143.12, 245.30 and 0.67 mg x kg(-1), respectively, in the surface sediments of dammed Jinshan Lake. The average contents of Pb and Cu were lower than the primary standard and secondary standards of soil environmental quality standards. The average contents of Zn and Cr were lower than the primary standard and higher than the secondary standards of soil environmental quality standards. The average contents of As and Cd were higher than the primary and secondary standards of soil environmental quality standards. From the spatial distribution, the contents of Pb and Zn were the highest at sampling site No. 1, which was located at the Beigushan Square. The contents of As,Cu, Cr, Cd were the highest at sampling sites Nos. 12, 3, 14, and 7, respectively; (2) The order of concentration coefficient was As > Cr > Cd > Pb > Zn > Cu, which indicated that the enrichment amount of As was the highest and that of Cu was the lowest; (3) Based on the geo-acumulation indexes, the Cu is clean and Pb, Zn, Cd is the light pollution and As, Cr moderate pollution; (4) The order of Potential ecological risk coefficient was Cd > As > Cr > Pb > Cu > Zn, Cr, Pb, Cu, Zn were of light ecological risk and As, Cd were of medium ecological risk. From the spatial distribution, the sampling sites Nos. 1, 6, 7 and 12 had medium potential ecological risk, and the rest sample points had slight potential ecological risk; (5) The principal component analysis (PCA) revealed that the main reason for the differences

  8. Modeling extreme risks in ecology.

    PubMed

    Burgman, Mark; Franklin, James; Hayes, Keith R; Hosack, Geoffrey R; Peters, Gareth W; Sisson, Scott A

    2012-11-01

    Extreme risks in ecology are typified by circumstances in which data are sporadic or unavailable, understanding is poor, and decisions are urgently needed. Expert judgments are pervasive and disagreements among experts are commonplace. We outline approaches to evaluating extreme risks in ecology that rely on stochastic simulation, with a particular focus on methods to evaluate the likelihood of extinction and quasi-extinction of threatened species, and the likelihood of establishment and spread of invasive pests. We evaluate the importance of assumptions in these assessments and the potential of some new approaches to account for these uncertainties, including hierarchical estimation procedures and generalized extreme value distributions. We conclude by examining the treatment of consequences in extreme risk analysis in ecology and how expert judgment may better be harnessed to evaluate extreme risks. PMID:22817845

  9. Evaluation of vegetable production management practices to reduce the ecological risk of pesticides.

    PubMed

    Rice, Pamela J; Hapeman, Cathleen J; McConnell, Laura L; Sadeghi, Ali M; Teasdale, John R; Coffman, C Benjamin; McCarty, Gregory W; Abdul-Baki, Aref A; Starr, James L

    2007-11-01

    The ability of agricultural management practices to reduce the ecological risks of pesticides was evaluated. Risk quotients, a mathematical description of the relationship between exposure and toxicity, and hazard ratings, a rank of the potential risk of pesticides to aquatic environments, were calculated for conventional and alternative cultivation practices for tomatoes: Poly-Bare, raised beds covered with polyethylene mulch with bare-soil furrows; Poly-Rye, raised beds covered with polyethylene mulch with cereal rye (Secale cereale) grown in the furrows; and Vetch, raised beds and furrows planted with hairy vetch seed (Vicia villosa). Evaluations were conducted using measured pesticide concentrations in runoff at the edge-of-field and estimated environmental concentrations in an adjacent creek and a theoretical pond receiving the runoff. Runoff from Poly-Bare presented the greatest risk to ecosystem health and to sensitive organisms, whereas the use of Vetch minimized these risks. Previous studies have shown that harvest yields were maintained and that runoff volume, soil loss, and off-site transport of pesticides measured in runoff were reduced using the alternative management practices (Poly-Rye and Vetch). Together, these results indicate that the alternative management practices (Poly-Rye and Vetch) have a less adverse impact on the environment than the conventional management practice (Poly-Bare) while providing growers with an acceptable economic return. In addition, the present study demonstrates the need to consider the management practice when assessing the potential risks and hazards for certain pesticides. PMID:17941735

  10. ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Ecological Soil Screening Level (Eco-SSL) Work Group, composed of scientists and risk assessors from EPA, Environment Canada, DOE, Army, Navy, Air Force, states, industry, academia, and consulting companies, has been working on the development of scientifically sound, ecologi...

  11. ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT WORKSHOP

    EPA Science Inventory

    As ecological risk assessment evolves, it is moving beyond focus on single species toward addressing multiple species and their interactions, and from assessing effects of simple chemical toxicity to the cumulative impacts of multiple interacting chemical, physical, and biologica...

  12. Application of ecological risk assessment principles to evaluation of oil spill impacts

    SciTech Connect

    Brannon, E.L.; Neff, J.M.; Pearson, W.H.; Stubblefield, W.A.; Maki, A.W.

    1995-12-31

    Ecological risk assessments are often used prospectively to predict the consequences of human activities on the environment. Laboratory and field studies were conducted to evaluate the ecological impacts to commercial fishery resources resulting from the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Using the ecorisk paradigm, each of the studies correlated concentrations of petroleum hydrocarbons in different environmental compartments with observed biological effects in local populations of herring and pink salmon. Hydrocarbon concentrations in the water column of the Sound were elevated for a short time after the spill, but 99.7% of the samples remained below the Alaska water quality standard and returned to background levels within a few months. PAH concentrations in sediments and eggs correlated with a very low degree of injury to early life stages of herring and salmon. Overall, effects of the spill on populations of herring and pink salmon were minimal and post-spill harvests of the year classes at greater risk of spill injury in the two years following the spill were at or near record levels. The program underscores the utility and strength of the risk assessment paradigm to identify contaminant related injury while considering effects attributable to natural ecosystem variability.

  13. A CONCEPTUAL MODEL FOR EVALUATING RELATIVE POTENCY DATA FOR USE IN ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    For chemicals with a common mechanism of toxicity, relative potency factors (RPFs) allow dose and exposure measures to be normalized to an equivalent toxicity amount of a model chemical... In ecological risk assessments the large number of possible target species, variety of expo...

  14. Sediment and water toxicity evaluations for the Clinch River ecological risk assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Gonzalez, A.M.; Phipps, T.L.; Kszos, L.A.

    1995-12-31

    The sediment and surface water at three sites in the Clinch River and six sites in Poplar Creek were evaluated by means of toxicity tests with aquatic organisms. The results of these tests were used as one of the lines of evidence in an assessment of ecological risk due to contaminants, transported from the Oak Ridge Reservation, to the off-site sediment and water environment. Results from a suite of six whole sediment, elutriate and pore water toxicity tests were summarized in terms of survival (Hyalella azteca, Daphnia magna, Anodonta imbecillis, Ceriodaphnia dubia), fecundity (Daphnia magna) or light output reduction (Microtox{reg_sign}). Results from the water toxicity tests were summarized in terms of reduction in survival or fecundity of C. dubia, and survival or growth of Pimephales promelas. Toxicity test results (covering a period of about 1 6 months) showed little difference between reference site media and media from sites of concern. They also showed no strong spatial or temporal response pattern. These results are further supported by the presence of indigenous Chironomus and Hexagenia spp. in the sediment samples. Toxicity results will be discussed with respect to three issues. Two criteria were used to define significant differences between reference sites and sites of concern: a difference of 20%, and statistical significance at a = 0.05. Secondly, the relevance of comparing mean responses to control vs. reference site will be discussed. Lastly, toxicity results are consistent with site characterization information which suggest that contaminants of concern in sediment are buried under clean sediment, effectively isolating the material from potential human or ecological exposure.

  15. Ecological risk assessment: Lessons learned

    SciTech Connect

    DeShields, B.R.; Stelljes, M.E.; Hawkins, E.T.; Alsop, W.R.

    1995-12-31

    On the basis of experience with ecological risk assessments and regulatory involvement in the process, a number of lessons can be learned relating to design, implementation, and reporting of ecological risk assessments. A number of case studies will be presented in order to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches. Issues surrounding the selection of assessment and measurement endpoints, receptors, accuracy of models when compared with field data, bioavailability of chemicals, selection of appropriate reference sites, availability of relevant toxicological data, utility of bioassays, and accounting for temporal and seasonal variability, species adaptation, and ecological relevance will be examined. In addition, effective ways of dealing with limitations such as duration and cost of the assessments will be evaluated. Case studies ranging from large, complex Superfund sites to small, relatively simplistic sites will be included. By scrutinizing the approaches used and the outcomes of these case studies, insight can be gained that will allow risk assessors to deal with limitations and to focus future efforts to provide useful and relevant information and sound scientifically-based results.

  16. Evaluating the potential of ecological niche modelling as a component in marine non-indigenous species risk assessments.

    PubMed

    Leidenberger, Sonja; Obst, Matthias; Kulawik, Robert; Stelzer, Kerstin; Heyer, Karin; Hardisty, Alex; Bourlat, Sarah J

    2015-08-15

    Marine biological invasions have increased with the development of global trading, causing the homogenization of communities and the decline of biodiversity. A main vector is ballast water exchange from shipping. This study evaluates the use of ecological niche modelling (ENM) to predict the spread of 18 non-indigenous species (NIS) along shipping routes and their potential habitat suitability (hot/cold spots) in the Baltic Sea and Northeast Atlantic. Results show that, contrary to current risk assessment methods, temperature and sea ice concentration determine habitat suitability for 61% of species, rather than salinity (11%). We show high habitat suitability for NIS in the Skagerrak and Kattegat, a transitional area for NIS entering or leaving the Baltic Sea. As many cases of NIS introduction in the marine environment are associated with shipping pathways, we explore how ENM can be used to provide valuable information on the potential spread of NIS for ballast water risk assessment. PMID:26066862

  17. Evaluation of core cultivation practices to reduce ecological risk of pesticides in runoff from Agrostis palustris.

    PubMed

    Rice, Pamela J; Horgan, Brian P; Rittenhouse, Jennifer L

    2010-06-01

    Pesticides associated with the turfgrass industry have been detected in storm runoff and surface waters of urban watersheds, invoking concern of their potential environmental effects and a desire to reduce their transport to nontarget locations. Quantities of chlorpyrifos, dicamba, dimethylamine salt of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), flutolanil, and mecoprop-p (MCPP) transported in runoff from bentgrass (Agrostis palustris) fairway turf managed with solid tine (ST) or hollow tine (HT) core cultivation were compared to determine which cultivation practice is more efficient at mitigating environmental risk. Plots receiving HT core cultivation showed a 10 and 55% reduction in runoff volume and a 15 to 57% reduction in pesticide transport with runoff at 63 d and 2 d following core cultivation. Estimated environmental concentrations of the pesticides in a surface water receiving runoff from turf managed with ST core cultivation exceeded the median lethal concentration (LC50) or median effective concentration (EC50) of nine aquatic organisms evaluated. Replacing ST core cultivation with HT core cultivation reduced surface water concentrations of the pesticides to levels below the LC50 and EC50 for most these aquatic organisms, lessening risk associated with pesticides in runoff from the fairway turf. Results of the present research provide quantitative information that will allow for informed decisions on cultural practices that can maximize pesticide retention at the site of application, improving pest control in turf while minimizing environmental contamination and adverse effects associated with the off-site transport of pesticides. PMID:20821563

  18. Evaluation of surface water quality indices and ecological risk assessment for heavy metals in scrap yard neighbourhood.

    PubMed

    Ojekunle, Olusheyi Z; Ojekunle, Olurotimi V; Adeyemi, Azeem A; Taiwo, Abayomi G; Sangowusi, Opeyemi R; Taiwo, Adewale M; Adekitan, Adetoun A

    2016-01-01

    Pollution of surface water with heavy metals from industrial activities especially those from scrap yard has caused a major threat to human life exposing man to series of hazard, diseases, disability and consequently death. This study focuses on water quality indices of Owode-Onirin and Lafenwa scrap yard with respect to its physicochemical parameters and heavy metal concentrations by evaluating Heavy Metal Pollution Index (HPI), Metal Index (MI) and Potential Ecological Risk Index (PERI). Fifteen water samples were selected randomly from two locations by purposive sampling methods. Five heavy metals which includes Nickel (Ni), Zinc (Zn), Copper (Cu), Cadmium (Cd), Lead (Pb) were analyzed using Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy and standard analytical procedure were follow to ensure accuracy. One way analysis of variance was carried out to analyse the data. The concentrations of the heavy metals were significantly different between sampling locations. However, the mean concentrations of Cd (0.0121 mg/L) were found to be above the highest permissible value of Standard Organization of Nigeria standards for drinking water (SON 2007) and WHO (Guidelines for drinking water quality: incorporating 1st and 2nd Addlenda. World Health Organization, Geneva, 2004) for drinking water. Although Pb was present in two out of the fifteen water samples with a mean value of (0.0324 mg/L) which was also above the highest permissible value. The mean concentrations of Zn (0.2149 mg/L) and Cu (0.0341 mg/L) are found to be below the highest permissible value of the mentioned guideline while no trace of Ni was found in the water samples across the two sampling locations. The mean HPI 518.55 is far above the critical value of 100, indicates that selected water samples are critically polluted with heavy metals. MI revealed low quality water with mean value 4.83, suggests that the selected water is seriously affected with the present of heavy metal. The Hakanson PERI indicated that of the

  19. SERAFM: AN ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT TOOL FOR EVALUATING WILDLIFE EXPOSURE RISK ASSOCIATED WITH MERCURY-CONTAMINATED SEDIMENT IN LAKE AND RIVER SYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    A spreadsheet model, SERAFM, Spreadsheet-based Ecological Risk Assessment for the Fate of Mercury, was developed that can be used as a risk assessment tool for mercury contaminated ecosystems. In this tool, process-based understanding of the chemical, physical, and biological pro...

  20. Ecological risk evaluation of sediment metals in a tropical Euthrophic Bay, Guanabara Bay, Southeast Atlantic.

    PubMed

    Abreu, Ilene Matanó; Cordeiro, Renato Campello; Soares-Gomes, Abílio; Abessa, Denis Moledo S; Maranho, Luciane Alves; Santelli, Ricardo Erthal

    2016-08-15

    Surface sediments were collected from Guanabara Bay, at 14 stations distributed in five sectors, over three sampling campaigns. Analyses of metals, grain size fractions and total organic carbon analyses were performed. The geo-accumulation index and the enrichment factor were estimated to assess contamination status based on background values. Additionally, the sediment quality guidelines were applied to evaluate the adverse biological effects. Results show that there was no seasonal variation in sediment quality based on any methodology, and all methods utilized showed that NW sector and HRJ sector were the worst affected and that the NE sector had the best conditions. The sediments of GB are polluted mainly by Cr, Pb and Zn. According to ΣSEM/AVS, these metals are not available to the biota, although toxicity tests dispute this. Among the various methods employed, those using background values for the area seem to best reflect the local historical contamination. PMID:27210562

  1. [Urban ecological risk assessment: a review].

    PubMed

    Wang, Mei-E; Chen, Wei-Ping; Peng, Chi

    2014-03-01

    With the development of urbanization and the degradation of urban living environment, urban ecological risks caused by urbanization have attracted more and more attentions. Based on urban ecology principles and ecological risk assessment frameworks, contents of urban ecological risk assessment were reviewed in terms of driven forces, risk resources, risk receptors, endpoints and integrated approaches for risk assessment. It was suggested that types and degrees of urban economical and social activities were the driven forces for urban ecological risks. Ecological functional components at different levels in urban ecosystems as well as the urban system as a whole were the risk receptors. Assessment endpoints involved in changes of urban ecological structures, processes, functional components and the integrity of characteristic and function. Social-ecological models should be the major approaches for urban ecological risk assessment. Trends for urban ecological risk assessment study should focus on setting a definite protection target and criteria corresponding to assessment endpoints, establishing a multiple-parameter assessment system and integrative assessment approaches. PMID:24984514

  2. Picillo Farm ecological risk assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Rury, P.M.; Turton, D.J.

    1995-12-31

    Under the direction of US Environmental Protection Agency, Region 1, a baseline ecological risk assessment (ERA) was conducted for terrestrial, wetland, and aquatic ecosystems located on-site and off-site/downstream of a Superfund site in Coventry, Rhode Island. Surveys of biota and ecosystems were focused in the vicinity of 26 soil, sediment, and surface water sampling locations used for the RI/FS site contamination assessment, to cross-link data on biological receptors to site-specific habitat maps. Classes of contaminants of concern (COCs), selected independently for each medium based on exceedances of ecotoxicity criteria, for which risks to one or more indicator communities and species were calculated, included VOCs, SVOCs, metals, PCBs and pesticides. Simple hazard quotients were used to estimate risks for benthic and pelagic communities of the aquatic and wetland exposure zones, using AWQC and NOAA sediment guidelines. These aquatic criteria also were applied to a site-specific exposure models for all life stages of the Green Frog (Rana clamitans). To complement the benthic invertebrate risk estimates, site-derived sediments also were used for toxicity tests of Chironomus tentans and Hyalella azteca. Published, species-specific and/or extrapolated toxicity effects endpoints were used in site-specific, mathematical food chain exposure assessment models for the Amedcan Woodcock (Scolopax minor), Short-tailed Shrew (Blarina brevicauda) and Mink (Mustela vison), to estimate organismal risks for a variety of foraging scenarios within one or more exposure zone. Incremental site contributions to risks from metals were inferred using local background data, whereas all risks from organic compounds were assumed to be site-derived.

  3. [Pollution and Potential Ecology Risk Evaluation of Heavy Metals in River Water, Top Sediments on Bed and Soils Along Banks of Bortala River, Northwest China].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhao-yong; Abuduwaili, Jilili; Jiang, Feng-qing

    2015-07-01

    This paper focuses on the sources, pollution status and potential ecology risks of heavy metals (Cr, Cu, Hg, As, Cd, Pb, and Zn) in the surface water, top sediment of river bed and soil along banks of Bortala River, which locates in the oasis region of Xinjiang, northwest China. Results showed that: (1) As a whole, contents of 7 tested heavy metals of Bortala River were low, while the maximum values of Hg, Cd, Pb, and Cr in the river water were significantly higher than those of Secondary Category of the Surface Water Quality Standards of People's Republic of China (GB 3838-2002) and Drinking Water Guideline from WHO. Analysis showed that the heavy metals contents of top sediment on river bed and soils along river banks were significantly higher than those of the river water. (Correlation analysis and enrichment factor (EF) calculation showed that in the river water, top sediment on river bed and soils along river banks, Hg, Cd, Pb, and Cr mainly originated from industrial emissions, urban and rural anthropogenic activities, transportation and agricultural production activities; While Cu, Zn, and As mainly originated from natural geological background and soil parent materials. (3) Pollution assessment showed that in three matrices, the single factor pollution index(Pi) and the integrated pollution index (Pz) of 7 heavy metals were all lower than 1, and they all belonged to safe and clean levels. (4) Potential ecology risk evaluation showed that as a whole the single factor potential ecological risk (Eir) and the integrated potential ecology risks (RI) of 7 heavy metals were relatively low, and would not cause threats to the health of water and soil environment of river basin, while the potential ecology risks of Cd, Hg, Pb, and Cr were significantly higher than those of other heavy metals. PMID:26489307

  4. ECO 201: Overview of Ecological Risk Assessment

    EPA Science Inventory

    The objectives of this course is to provide participants with knowledge about the fundamentals of ecological risk assessment. A brief history of how ecological risk assessment has evolved over time and how it is both similar to and different from human health risk assessment wil...

  5. PERSONAL VALUES, BELIEFS, AND ECOLOGICAL RISK PERCEPTION

    EPA Science Inventory

    A mail survey on ecological risk perception was administered in the summer of 2002 to a randomized sample of the lay public and to selected risk professionals at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). The ranking of 24 ecological risk items, from global climate change...

  6. Ecological risk assessment framework -- the NAS perspective

    SciTech Connect

    Barnthouse, L.W.

    1993-06-01

    A Workshop on Ecological Risk Assessment was held on February 26--March 1, 1991, at Airlie House, Warrenton, Virginia. In addition to presentation and discussion of the case study papers, the workshop included breakout sessions to discuss conceptual and technical aspects of ecological risk assessment. A general consensus emerged that an ecological version of the 1983 framework is desirable and feasible. The committee concluded that the 1983 human health framework could be expanded to accomodate both human health and ecological risk assessment. For general applicability to ecological assessments, the 1983 scheme requires augmentation to address some of the interfaces between science and management, primarily because of the need to focus on appropriate questions relevant to applicable environmental law and policy under different circumstances. Specifically, the scheme needs modification to address (1) the influence of legal and regulatory considerations on the initial stages of ecological risk assessment and (2) the importance of characterizing ecological risks in terms that are intelligible to risk managers. The committee`s opinion is that these augmentations are as important for human health risk assessment as they are for ecological risk assessment. This paper briefly describes the framework recommended by the Committee and compares it to EPA`s recently-published Framework for Ecological Risk Assessment.

  7. Estimating the accumulation of chemicals in an estuarine food web: A case study for evaluation of future ecological and human health risks

    SciTech Connect

    Iannuzzi, T.J.; Finley, B.L.

    1995-12-31

    A model was constructed and calibrated for estimating the accumulation of sediment associated nonionic organic chemicals, including selected PCBs and PCDD/Fs, in a simplified food web of the tidal Passaic River, New Jersey. The model was used to estimate concentrations of several chemicals in infaunal invertebrates, forage fish, blue crab, and adult finfish in the River as part of a screening-level risk assessment that was conducted during the preliminary phase of a CERCLA Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS). Subsequent tissue-residue data were collected to evaluate the performance of the model, and to calibrate the model for multiple chemicals of concern in the River. A follow-up program of data collection was designed to support a more detailed risk assessment. The objectives of calibrating the model are to supplement the extant tissue-residue data that is available for risk assessment, and to evaluate future scenarios of bioaccumulation (and potential ecological and human health risk) under various future conditions in the River. Results to-date suggest that the model performs well for the simplified food web that exists in the Passaic River. A case study was constructed to demonstrate the application of the model for future predictions of ecological risk. These preliminary results suggest that the model is sufficiently sensitive and accurate for estimating variations of bioaccumulation under varying degrees of source control or other future conditions.

  8. DRAFT PROPOSED GUIDELINES FOR ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    This document is part of a continuing, long-term effort to develop Agency-wide ecological risk assessment guidelines for EPA. The goal of the guidelines is to improve the quality and consistency of the Agency's ecological risk assessments. These guidelines move beyond the Agency'...

  9. ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT: PROTECTING NORTHWEST ANADROMOUS SALMONID STOCKS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological risk assessment is usually defined as the process that evaluates the likelihood that adverse ecological effects are occurring, or may occur, as a result of exposure to one or mare stressors. he basic concept, while straightforward, is difficult to apply. trong reaction...

  10. Sampling of resident earthworms using mustard expellant to evaluate ecological risk at a mixed hazardous and radioactive waste site

    SciTech Connect

    Stair, D.M. Jr.; Keller, L.J.; Hensel, T.W.

    1994-12-31

    As residents of contaminated soils and as prey for many species of wildlife, earthworms can serve as integrative biomonitors of soil contamination, which is biologically available to the terrestrial food chain. The assessment of contaminants within earthworm tissue provides a more realistic measurement of the potential biological hazards and ecological risks than physical and chemical measurements of soil. A unique sampling procedure using a mixture of ground mustard powder and water was implemented for cost-effectively collecting earthworms without digging; the procedure minimized occupational exposure to soil contaminants and reduced the quantity of investigation-derived wastes. The study site is located at a closed burial ground for low-level radioactive waste and transuranic waste that lies within the Valley and Ridge Physiographic Province of East Tennessee. Earthworms were maintained in the laboratory for four days to allow passage of the contents of the digestive tract. Earthworm body burdens, castings, and soil were analyzed for gamma-emitting radioisotopes (potassium 40, cobalt 60, cesium 137), strontium 90, trace metals (arsenic, cadmium, chromium, mercury, lead, and selenium), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Ecological effects of soil contamination on the earthworms were also assessed through analysis of weight, abundance, and reproductive success.

  11. Baseline ecological risk assessment of the Calcasieu Estuary, Louisiana: 3. An evaluation of the risks to benthic invertebrates associated with exposure to contaminated sediments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    MacDonald, Donald D.; Ingersoll, Christopher G.; Kemble, Nile E.; Smorong, Dawn E.; Sinclair, Jesse A.; Lindskoog, Rebekka; Gaston, Gary; Sanger, Denise; Carr, R. Scott; Biedenbach, James; Gouguet, Ron; Kern, John; Shortelle, Ann; Field, L. Jay; Meyer, John

    2011-01-01

    The sediments in the Calcasieu Estuary are contaminated with a wide variety of chemicals of potential concern (COPCs), including heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls, phthalates, chlorinated benzenes, and polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans. The sources of these COPCs include both point and non-point source discharges. As part of a baseline ecological risk assessment, the risks to benthic invertebrates posed by exposure to sediment-associated COPCs were assessed using five lines of evidence, including whole-sediment chemistry, pore-water chemistry, whole-sediment toxicity, pore-water toxicity, and benthic invertebrate community structure. The results of this assessment indicated that exposure to whole sediments and/or pore water from the Calcasieu Estuary generally posed low risks to benthic invertebrate communities (i.e., risks were classified as low for 68% of the sampling locations investigated). However, incremental risks to benthic invertebrates (i.e., compared with those associated with exposure to conditions in reference areas) were indicated for 32% of the sampling locations within the estuary. Of the three areas of concern (AOCs) investigated, the risks to benthic invertebrates were highest in the Bayou d'Inde AOC; risks were generally lower in the Upper Calcasieu River AOC and Middle Calcasieu River AOC. The areas showing the highest risks to sediment-dwelling organisms were generally located in the vicinity of point source discharges of COPCs. These results provided risk managers with the information required to make decisions regarding the need for remedial actions at the site.

  12. [Forest health ecological risk assessment in China].

    PubMed

    Xiao, Fengjin; Ouyang, Hua; Cheng, Shulan; Zhang, Qiang

    2004-02-01

    Forest health ecological risk assessment is an important factor in forest resources management. In this paper, we selected forest fire, forest disease-pest disasters and acid rain as main risk sources, described the risk resources by probability, intensity and distributing, and mapped each risk source. The endpoints were the damages that the risk acceptor might and these damages might cause ecosystems' organization and function changing under the uncertainty risk sources. Endpoints of forest might compose of productivity descent, reducing biodiversity, forest degrading, forest ecological function declining, furthermore, forest disappearing. We described exposure in terms of intensity, space, and time. In the exposure and hazard analysis, we used fragile index to show frangibility or resistibility (resistibility is reverse to frangibility), and analyzed the damages by different risk sources. Risk assessment and management was the integrated phase of the research. Because of the spatial heterogeneity of risk sources, all risk index were overlaid in the China map by GIS, which divided the region into 30 ecological risk sub-zones (provinces), according to risk index of each risk sub-zone, and the forest in China was divided into six levels of risk zones. In every level of risk zones, we also put forward the countermeasures for forest health ecological risk management. The result of assessment could provide scientific basis for forest management. PMID:15146655

  13. Current directions in screening-level ecological risk assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Carlsen, T M; Efroymson, R A

    2000-12-11

    Ecological risk assessment (ERA) is a tool used by many regulatory agencies to evaluate the impact to ecological receptors from changes in environmental conditions. Widespread use of ERAs began with the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund program to assess the ecological impact from hazardous chemicals released to the environment. Many state hazardous chemical regulatory agencies have adopted the use of ERAs, and several state regulatory agencies are evaluating the use of ERAs to assess ecological impacts from releases of petroleum and gas-related products. Typical ERAs are toxicologically-based, use conservative assumptions with respect to ecological receptor exposure duration and frequency, often require complex modeling of transport and exposure and are very labor intensive. In an effort to streamline the ERA process, efforts are currently underway to develop default soil screening levels, to identify ecological screening criteria for excluding sites from formal risk assessment, and to create risk-based corrective action worksheets. This should help reduce the time spent on ERAs, at least for some sites. Work is also underway to incorporate bioavailability and spatial considerations into ERAs. By evaluating the spatial nature of contaminant releases with respect to the spatial context of the ecosystem under consideration, more realistic ERAs with respect to the actual impact to ecological receptors at the population, community or ecosystem scale should be possible. In addition, by considering the spatial context, it should be possible to develop mitigation and monitoring efforts to more appropriately address such sites within the context of an ecological framework.

  14. PROPOSED GUIDELINES FOR ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Proposed Guidelines for Ecological Risk Assessment were published in the Federal Register on September 9, 1996 (61 FR 47552) for a 90 day public review and comment period. The Proposed Guidelines are being developed to improve the quality of and consistency among EPA's ecolog...

  15. Landscape ecological risk assessment study in arid land

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gong, Lu; Amut, Aniwaer; Shi, Qingdong; Wang, Gary Z.

    2007-09-01

    The ecosystem risk assessment is an essential decision making system for predicting the reconstruction and recovery of a damaged ecosystem after intensive mankind activities. The sustainability of environment and resources of the lake ecosystem in arid districts have been paid close attention to by international communities as well as numerous experts and scholars. The ecological risk assessment offered a scientific foundation for making the decision and execution of ecological risk management. Bosten Lake, the largest inland freshwater lake in China, is the main water source of the industrial and agricultural production as well as the local residence in Yanqi basin, Kuara city and Yuri County in the southern Xinjiang. Bosten Lake also provides a direct water source for emergency transportation in the Lower Reaches of Tarim River. However, with the intensive utilizations of water and soil resources, the environmental condition in the Bosten Lake has become more and more serious. In this study, the theory and method of landscape ecological risk assessment has been practiced using 3S technologies combined with the frontier theory of landscape ecology. Defining the mainly risk resource including flood, drought, water pollution and rich nutrition of water has been evaluated based on the ecosystem risk assessment system. The main process includes five stages: regional natural resources analysis, risk receptor selection, risk sources evaluation, exposure and hazard analysis, and integrated risk assessment. Based on the risk assessment results, the environmental risk management countermeasure has been determined.

  16. Evaluation of community-level end points used in ecological risk assessments for Rocky Mountain streams impacted by mining

    SciTech Connect

    Clements, W.H.; Kiffney, P.M.; Medley, N.

    1994-12-31

    The objective of this research was to measure sensitivity and variability of community-level end points (e.g., species diversity, richness, abundance of dominant taxa) used in ecological risk assessments for Rocky Mountain streams impacted by mining. The authors used results from stream microcosm experiments and field biomonitoring studies to examine community responses of periphyton and benthic macroinvertebrates to heavy metals. In addition, they measured effects of potential confounding variables (e.g., stream size, elevation, discharge) on these responses. Field studies were conducted at six metal-impacted streams in central Colorado. Although all community end points were significantly affected at stations with the highest metal levels, results of multiple regression analysis showed that most variables were also affected by elevation. To validate benthic community end points and to measure sensitivity of these end points to metals, exposed periphyton and benthic macroinvertebrate communities to Cd, Cu, and Zn in stream microcosms. Results support findings of field studies and show that abundance of sensitive macroinvertebrates and tolerant diatoms were most useful for distinguishing among reference, impacted, and recovery sites. Because stream elevation confounds benthic community responses to metals, the authors suggest that experimental studies are necessary to validate the usefulness of community end points.

  17. Translating Ecological Risk to Ecosystem Service Loss

    EPA Science Inventory

    Hazardous site management in the US includes remediation of contaminated environmental media and restoration of injured natural resources. Site remediation decisions are informed by ecological risk assessment (ERA), while restoration and compensation decisions are informed by th...

  18. Personal values, beliefs, and ecological risk perception.

    PubMed

    Slimak, Michael W; Dietz, Thomas

    2006-12-01

    A mail survey on ecological risk perception was administered in the summer of 2002 to a randomized sample of the lay public and to selected risk professionals at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). The ranking of 24 ecological risk items, from global climate change to commercial fishing, reveals that the lay public is more concerned about low-probability, high-consequence risks whereas the risk professionals are more concerned about risks that pose long-term, ecosystem-level impacts. To test the explanatory power of the value-belief-norm (VBN) theory for risk perception, respondents were questioned about their personal values, spiritual beliefs, and worldviews. The most consistent predictors of the risk rankings are belief in the new ecological paradigm (NEP) and Schwartz's altruism. The NEP and Schwartz's altruism explain from 19% to 46% of the variance in the risk rankings. Religious beliefs account for less than 6% of the variance and do not show a consistent pattern in predicting risk perception although religious fundamentalists are generally less concerned about the risk items. While not exerting as strong an impact, social-structural variables do have some influence on risk perception. Ethnicities show no effect on the risk scales but the more educated and financially well-off are less concerned about the risk items. Political leanings have no direct influence on risk rankings, but indirectly affect rankings through the NEP. These results reveal that the VBN theory is a plausible explanation for the differences measured in the respondents' perception of ecological risk. PMID:17184406

  19. Ecological risks of DOE`s programmatic environmental restoration alternatives

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1994-06-01

    This report assesses the ecological risks of the Department of Energy`s (DOE) Environmental Restoration Program. The assessment is programmatic in that it is directed at evaluation of the broad programmatic alternatives outlined in the DOE Implementation Plan. It attempts to (1) characterize the ecological resources present on DOE facilities, (2) describe the occurrence and importance of ecologically significant contamination at major DOE facilities, (3) evaluate the adverse ecological impacts of habitat disturbance caused by remedial activities, and (4) determine whether one or another of the programmatic alternatives is clearly ecologically superior to the others. The assessment focuses on six representative facilities: the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL); the Fernald Environmental Management Project (FEMP); the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR), including the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Y-12 plant, and K-25 plant; the Rocky Flats Plant; the Hanford Reservation; and the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant.

  20. DETERMINING SIGNIFICANT ENDPOINTS FOR ECOLOGICAL RISK ANALYSIS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Risk analyses, both human health and ecological, will be important factors in determining which DOE sites should be cleaned up and in deciding if acceptable performance standards have been met. Risk analysis procedures for humans use the individual as the 'unit' of observation, a...

  1. An Attempt to Develop AN Environmental Information System of Ecological Infrastructure for Evaluating Functions of Ecosystem-Based Solutions for Disaster Risk Reduction Eco-Drr

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doko, T.; Chen, W.; Sasaki, K.; Furutani, T.

    2016-06-01

    "Ecological Infrastructure (EI)" are defined as naturally functioning ecosystems that deliver valuable services to people, such as healthy mountain catchments, rivers, wetlands, coastal dunes, and nodes and corridors of natural habitat, which together form a network of interconnected structural elements in the landscape. On the other hand, natural disaster occur at the locations where habitat was reduced due to the changes of land use, in which the land was converted to the settlements and agricultural cropland. Hence, habitat loss and natural disaster are linked closely. Ecological infrastructure is the nature-based equivalent of built or hard infrastructure, and is as important for providing services and underpinning socio-economic development. Hence, ecological infrastructure is expected to contribute to functioning as ecological disaster reduction, which is termed Ecosystem-based Solutions for Disaster Risk Reduction (Eco-DRR). Although ecological infrastructure already exists in the landscape, it might be degraded, needs to be maintained and managed, and in some cases restored. Maintenance and restoration of ecological infrastructure is important for security of human lives. Therefore, analytical tool and effective visualization tool in spatially explicit way for the past natural disaster and future prediction of natural disaster in relation to ecological infrastructure is considered helpful. Hence, Web-GIS based Ecological Infrastructure Environmental Information System (EI-EIS) has been developed. This paper aims to describe the procedure of development and future application of EI-EIS. The purpose of the EI-EIS is to evaluate functions of Eco-DRR. In order to analyse disaster data, collection of past disaster information, and disaster-prone area is effective. First, a number of digital maps and analogue maps in Japan and Europe were collected. In total, 18,572 maps over 100 years were collected. The Japanese data includes Future-Pop Data Series (1,736 maps

  2. [Ecological risks of reclaimed water irrigation: a review].

    PubMed

    Chen, Wei-Ping; Zhang, Wei-Ling; Pan, Neng; Jiao, Wen-Tao

    2012-12-01

    Wastewater reclamation and reuse have become an important approach to alleviate the water crisis in China because of its social, economic and ecological benefits. The irrigation on urban green space and farmland is the primary utilization of reclaimed water, which has been practiced world widely. To understand the risk of reclaimed water irrigation, we summarized and reviewed the publications associated with typical pollutants in reclaimed water including salts, nitrogen, heavy metals, emerging pollutants and pathogens, systematically analyzed the ecological risk posed by reclaimed water irrigation regarding plant growth, groundwater quality and public health. Studies showed that salt and salt ions were the major risk sources of reclaimed water irrigation, spreading disease was another potential risk of using reclaimed water, and emerging pollutants was the hot topic in researches of ecological risk. Based on overseas experiences, risk control measures on reclaimed water irrigation in urban green space and farmland were proposed. Five recommendations were given to promote the safe use of reclaimed water irrigation including (1) strengthen long-term in situ monitoring, (2) promote the modeling studies, (3) build up the connections of reclaimed water quality, irrigation management and ecological risk, (4) evaluate the soil bearing capacity of reclaimed water irrigation, (5) and establish risk management system of reclaimed water reuse. PMID:23379125

  3. A REGIONAL APPROACH TO ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENTS FOR PESTICIDE REGISTRATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Currently, most ecological risk assessments for EPA pesticide registration are evaluated at the national scale using a predetermined list of test species (OPPTS 850.4225 and 8504250) as a model system with little regard to where and how the product will ultimately be used. The a...

  4. A REGIONAL APPROACH TO ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENTS FOR PRODUCT REGISTRATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Currently, most ecological risk assessments for EPA registration are evaluated at the national scale using a predetermined list of species with little regard to where the product will ultimately be used. The assumption is that the test species presently used are representative a...

  5. ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    This report was prepared by an interagency work group under the auspices of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (CENR). The objective of the work group was to write a document on the major uses of ecological risk assessment by Federal agencies. Eight task groups we...

  6. BOTTOMLAND HARDWOODS IN THE TIFTON-VIDIALIA UPLAND OF GEORGIA: A CONCEPTUAL MODEL FOR ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecology risk assessment provides a methodology for evaluating threats to ecosystem function associated with environmental perturbations or stressors. his report documents the development of a conceptual model for assessing the ecological risk to the water quality function (WQF) o...

  7. Microplastics: addressing ecological risk through lessons learned.

    PubMed

    Syberg, Kristian; Khan, Farhan R; Selck, Henriette; Palmqvist, Annemette; Banta, Gary T; Daley, Jennifer; Sano, Larissa; Duhaime, Melissa B

    2015-05-01

    Plastic litter is an environmental problem of great concern. Despite the magnitude of the plastic pollution in our water bodies, only limited scientific understanding is available about the risk to the environment, particularly for microplastics. The apparent magnitude of the problem calls for quickly developing sound scientific guidance on the ecological risks of microplastics. The authors suggest that future research into microplastics risks should be guided by lessons learned from the more advanced and better understood areas of (eco) toxicology of engineered nanoparticles and mixture toxicity. Relevant examples of advances in these two fields are provided to help accelerate the scientific learning curve within the relatively unexplored area of microplastics risk assessment. Finally, the authors advocate an expansion of the "vector effect" hypothesis with regard to microplastics risk to help focus research of microplastics environmental risk at different levels of biological and environmental organization. PMID:25655822

  8. Assessment Tools for the Evaluation of Risk

    EPA Science Inventory

    ASTER (Assessment Tools for the Evaluation of Risk) was developed by the U.S. EPA Mid-Continent Ecology Division, Duluth, MN to assist regulators in performing ecological risk assessments. ASTER is an integration of the ECOTOXicology Database (ECOTOX; Ecosystem Services as Assessment Endpoints in Ecological Risk Assessment

    EPA Science Inventory

    The focus of ecological risk assessment (ERA) is on assessment endpoints, explicit expressions of environmental values to be protected. Traditionally, the ecological entities identified in assessment endpoints have been components of ecosystems deemed by risk assessors to be impo...

  9. SADA: Ecological Risk Based Decision Support System for Selective Remediation

    EPA Science Inventory

    Spatial Analysis and Decision Assistance (SADA) is freeware that implements terrestrial ecological risk assessment and yields a selective remediation design using its integral geographical information system, based on ecological and risk assessment inputs. Selective remediation ...

  10. Environmental risk evaluation of the use of mine spoils and treated sewage sludge in the ecological restoration of limestone quarries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jordán, M. M.; Pina, S.; García-Orenes, F.; Almendro-Candel, M. B.; García-Sánchez, E.

    2008-07-01

    The ecologic restoration criteria in areas degraded from extraction activities require making use of their mine spoils. These materials do not meet fertility conditions to guarantee restoration success and therefore, need the incorporation of organic amendments to obtain efficient substratum. Reducing the deficiencies in the organic material and restoration material nutrients with the contribution of treated sewage sludge is proposed in this work. This experiment was based on a controlled study using columns. The work was conducted with two mine spoils, both very rich in calcium carbonate. The first mineral, of poor quality, came from the formation of aggregates of crushed limestone ( Z). The other residual material examined originated in limestone extraction, formed by the levels of interspersed non-limestone materials and the remains of stripped soils ( D). Two treatments were undertaken (30,000 and 90,000 kg/ha of sewage sludge), in addition to a control treatment. The water contribution was carried out with a device that simulated either short-duration rain or a flooding irrigation system in order to cover the surface and then percolate through the soil. The collection of leached water took place 24 h after the applications. Different parameters of the leached water were determined, including pH, electrical conductivity, nitrate anions, ammonium, phosphates, sulphates and chlorides. The values obtained for each irrigation application are discussed, and the nitrate values obtained were very elevated.

  11. Population-scale assessment endpoints in ecological risk assessment. Part 1: Reflections of stakeholder values.

    PubMed

    Landis, Wayne G

    2006-01-01

    The selection of appropriate assessment endpoints is a basic element of an ecological risk assessment, especially at regional or watershed scales. Because ecological services often are tied to specific species, the risk to populations is a critical endpoint and feature of ecological risk assessments. The first item is a discussion of the replacement of population-level risk assessment with the construct of a population-scale assessment endpoint. Next, the criteria that are currently used for assessment endpoints are reviewed and evaluated for utility in an ecological risk assessment. Following this examination, assessment endpoints from a number of regional-scale ecological risk assessments are compared. The outcome of this evaluation is that population-scale assessment endpoints are important expressions of the valued components of ecological structures. Finally, a few recommendations for the selection of assessment endpoints at a population scale are listed. PMID:16640323

  12. Ecological risk assessment of endocrine disruptors.

    PubMed

    Hutchinson, T H; Brown, R; Brugger, K E; Campbell, P M; Holt, M; Länge, R; McCahon, P; Tattersfield, L J; van Egmond, R

    2000-11-01

    The European Centre for Ecotoxicology and Toxicology of Chemicals proposes a tiered approach for the ecological risk assessment of endocrine disruptors, integrating exposure and hazard (effects) characterization. Exposure assessment for endocrine disruptors should direct specific tests for wildlife species, placing hazard data into a risk assessment context. Supplementing the suite of mammalian screens now under Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) validation, high priority should be given to developing a fish screening assay for detecting endocrine activity in oviparous species. Taking into account both exposure characterization and alerts from endocrine screening, higher tier tests are also a priority for defining adverse effects. We propose that in vivo mammalian and fish assays provide a comprehensive screening battery for diverse hormonal functions (including androgen, estrogen, and thyroid hormone), whereas Amphibia should be considered at higher tiers if there are exposure concerns. Higher tier endocrine-disruptor testing should include fish development and fish reproduction tests, whereas a full life-cycle test could be subsequently used to refine aquatic risk assessments when necessary. For avian risk assessment, the new OECD Japanese quail reproduction test guideline provides a valuable basis for developing a test to detecting endocrine-mediated reproductive effects; this species could be used, where necessary, for an avian life-cycle test. For aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates, data from existing developmental and reproductive tests remain of high value for ecological risk assessment. High priority should be given to research into comparative endocrine physiology of invertebrates to support data extrapolation to this diverse fauna. PMID:11102288

  13. Ecological risk assessment of endocrine disruptors.

    PubMed Central

    Hutchinson, T H; Brown, R; Brugger, K E; Campbell, P M; Holt, M; Länge, R; McCahon, P; Tattersfield, L J; van Egmond, R

    2000-01-01

    The European Centre for Ecotoxicology and Toxicology of Chemicals proposes a tiered approach for the ecological risk assessment of endocrine disruptors, integrating exposure and hazard (effects) characterization. Exposure assessment for endocrine disruptors should direct specific tests for wildlife species, placing hazard data into a risk assessment context. Supplementing the suite of mammalian screens now under Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) validation, high priority should be given to developing a fish screening assay for detecting endocrine activity in oviparous species. Taking into account both exposure characterization and alerts from endocrine screening, higher tier tests are also a priority for defining adverse effects. We propose that in vivo mammalian and fish assays provide a comprehensive screening battery for diverse hormonal functions (including androgen, estrogen, and thyroid hormone), whereas Amphibia should be considered at higher tiers if there are exposure concerns. Higher tier endocrine-disruptor testing should include fish development and fish reproduction tests, whereas a full life-cycle test could be subsequently used to refine aquatic risk assessments when necessary. For avian risk assessment, the new OECD Japanese quail reproduction test guideline provides a valuable basis for developing a test to detecting endocrine-mediated reproductive effects; this species could be used, where necessary, for an avian life-cycle test. For aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates, data from existing developmental and reproductive tests remain of high value for ecological risk assessment. High priority should be given to research into comparative endocrine physiology of invertebrates to support data extrapolation to this diverse fauna. PMID:11102288

  14. Wetlands in the ecological risk assessment process: A case study

    SciTech Connect

    Saban, L.B.

    1995-12-31

    In the past few years, the ecological risk assessment (ERA) process as outlined in the EPA document Framework for Ecological Risk Assessment has been successfully used to assess risk to birds, mammals, aquatic organisms, plants, and to a limited extent, reptiles and amphibians, but has only recently been applied to wetlands. Due to the unique role that wetlands play in the environment as sources and sinks for nutrients, sediment retention, high productivity, habitat transition zones, aquifer recharge, high diversity and richness of biota, and aesthetic value, it is important to consider the entire wetland system in the ERA process. Because nearly sixty percent of Superfund sites are located in or near wetlands, a comprehensive approach is proposed to evaluate potential risks to flora and fauna in these wetland environments. Using the delineation and functional assessment techniques developed by wetland scientists, an estuarine wetland in western Washington was evaluated within the scope of ERA`S. The ERA was applied to the wetland using functional assessments as an integral part of the problem formulation phase of the risk assessment process. Applying the ERA process to wetlands enhances the functional assessment process and helps to define critical elements to evaluate within wetland systems. The results of this risk assessment help to define patches within a landscape that are potentially at risk and how to prioritize remedial actions.

  15. Case study of ecological risk assessment at an Alaska airport

    SciTech Connect

    Peterson, J.A.; Foster, T.L.; Zieber, P.A.

    1995-12-31

    An ecological risk assessment was conducted for 10 sites at a remote location that has unique biological resources. Chemicals of concern included petroleum, metals, polychlorinated biphenyls, and dioxins and furans. Risks to 23 species of mammals and birds were evaluated by using toxicity reference values and a hazard quotient approach analogous to the US Environmental Protection Agency`s (USEPA`s) approach for evaluating noncarcinogenic human health effects. Risks to fish and aquatic invertebrates were evaluated using risk-based concentrations for water analogous to the USEPA`s water quality criteria. Risks to plants were evaluated using risk-based concentrations for soil. Toxicity reference values and risk-based concentrations were developed by applying uncertainty factors to the highest quality toxicity data available in the literature. Intake rates for wildlife were obtained from the USEPA`s wildlife exposure factors handbook, or were estimated using allometric equations. The sizes of wildlife home ranges were compared with the size of each site to determine species- and site-specific exposure frequencies. Indicator chemicals were selected to represent the chemical and toxicological characteristics of petroleum fractions. The species most often at risk were found to be fish and aquatic invertebrates, as well as small-bodied, ground-dwelling or ground-feeding wildlife.

  16. Ecological risk assessment of contaminated soil.

    PubMed

    Jensen, John; Pedersen, Marianne Bruus

    2006-01-01

    This review has described three cases of ecological risk assessment. The cases include two heavy metals (Cu and Zn) and an anthropogenic organic chemical (DDT). It concludes that there are at least two major constraints hampering the use of laboratory tests to predict effects under natural field conditions. One key issue is bioavailability, and another is suboptimal conditions or multiple stresses in the field such as climatic stress (drought, frost), predators, competition, or food shortage. On the basis of the presented case studies, it was possible to answer three essential questions often raised in connection to ecological risk assessment of contaminated sites. 1. To what extend does soil screening level (SSL) estimate the risk? The SSL are generally derived at levels corresponding to the lowest observed effect levels in laboratory studies, which often is close to the background levels found in many soils. In the cases of zinc and especially DDT, the SSL seemed quite conservative, whereas for copper they resemble the level at which changes in the community structure of soil microarthropods and the plant community have been observed at contaminated sites. The SSL correspond as a whole relatively well with concentrations where no effects or only minor effects were observed in controlled field studies. However, large variation in field surveys can often make it difficult to conclude to what extent the SSL corresponded to no-effect levels in the field. 2. Do bioassays represent a more realistic risk estimate? Here, there is no firm conclusion. The zinc study in UK showed a better relationship between the outcome of ex situ bioassays and field observations than the SSL. The latter overestimated the risk compared to field observations. However, this would be species dependent, as the sensitivity to metals may vary considerably between recognized test species, even within the same group of organisms, such as Folsomia candida and Folsomia fimetaria or Eisenia fetida

  17. Ecological risk assessment benefits environmental management

    SciTech Connect

    Fairbrother, A.; Kapustka, L.A.; Williams, B.A.; Glicken, J.

    1994-12-31

    The ecological risk assessment process in its ideal form is an unbiased approach for assessing the probability of harm to the environment as a consequence of a given action. This information can then be combined with other societal values and biases in the management of such risks. However, as the process currently is understood, decision makers often are accused of manipulating information in order to generate decisions or achieve buy in from the public in support of a particular political agenda. A clear understanding of the nature of the risk management process can help define areas where information should be free from social or personal bias, and areas where values and judgments are critical. The authors do not propose to discuss the individual`s decision-making process, but rather to address the social process of risk communication and environmentally-related decision-making, identifying which parts of that process require bias-free, scientifically generated information about the consequences of various actions and which parts need an understanding of the social values which underlie the informed choices among those possible actions.

  18. ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT FOR THE MIDDLE SNAKE RIVER, IDAHO

    EPA Science Inventory

    An ecological risk assessment was completed for the Middle Snake River, Idaho. In this assessment, mathematical simulations and field observations were used to analyze exposure and ecological effects and to estimate risk.

    The Middle Snake River which refers to a 100 km stret...

  19. Evaluation of population-level ecological risks of dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyl exposure to fish-eating birds in Tokyo Bay and its vicinity.

    PubMed

    Naito, Wataru; Murata, Mariko

    2007-01-01

    Population-level assessments of the ecological risks of dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) exposure to fish-eating birds in Tokyo Bay and its vicinity were performed to judge the need for risk management measures to protect aquatic wildlife from dioxin-like PCB contamination. Egg mortality risk and changes in the population growth rate (lambda) in relation to the contamination levels of dioxin-like PCBs in eggs of gray heron (Ardea cinerea), great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo), osprey (Pandion halieaetus), and kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) were determined by integrating the results of exposure analysis, effect analysis, and a life-history model for each species. The egg mortality risks for the gray heron, great cormorant, osprey, and kingfisher populations were calculated to be 5.8, 6.8, 12, and less than 1%, respectively. The estimated lambda for those populations were calculated to be 1.061, 1.405, 1.024, and 1.131, respectively. The percentage changes in lambda for those populations were estimated to be 1.2, 2.0, 1.6, and less than 1%, respectively. Our results implied that the levels of dioxin-like PCBs observed in the Tokyo Bay area alone would not have significant population-level effects on the fish-eating bird populations. It is concluded that along with the trend toward decreasing dioxin and dioxin-like PCB levels in Tokyo Bay, no urgent need exists for risk-reduction measures to protect fish-eating bird populations against dioxin-like PCBs. PMID:17283596

  1. Ecological predictors of extinction risks of endemic mammals of China.

    PubMed

    Chen, You-Hua

    2014-07-01

    In this brief report, we analyzed ecological correlates of risk of extinction for mammals endemic to China using phylogenetic eigenvector methods to control for the effect of phylogenetic inertia. Extinction risks were based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List and ecological explanatory attributes that include range size and climatic variables. When the effect of phylogenetic inertia were controlled, climate became the best predictor for quantifying and evaluating extinction risks of endemic mammals in China, accounting for 13% of the total variation. Range size seems to play a trivial role, explaining ~1% of total variation; however, when non-phylogenetic variation partitioning analysis was done, the role of range size then explained 7.4% of total variation. Consequently, phylogenetic inertia plays a substantial role in increasing the explanatory power of range size on the extinction risks of mammals endemic to China. Limitations of the present study are discussed, with a focus on under-represented sampling of endemic mammalian species. PMID:25017756

  2. Ecological risk assessment of a decommissioned military base

    SciTech Connect

    Starodub, M.E.; Feniak, N.A.; Willes, R.F.; Moore, C.E.; Mucklow, L.; Marshall, L.

    1995-12-31

    The ecological health risks to selected terrestrial animals at a decommissioned military base in Atlantic Canada have been assessed. Areas of the base varied in terms of terrain, ground cover, as well as types and extent of contamination, dependent on former uses of the sites. Analysis of surficial soils, sediments, water and fish tissue at the base indicated contamination by metals, PCBs, and various petroleum products and their constituents. Identification of chemicals of concern was based on these analyses, in conjunction with detailed chemical selection procedures. Exposures to chemicals of concern for ecological receptors were assessed in one of two ways. The exposures of moose, snowshoe hare and meadow vole were estimated in areas with surficial contamination, based on expected exposures to environmental media via oral inhalation, and dermal routes of exposure. For two top predators (mink and bald-headed eagle), exposures to bioaccumulative chemicals (cadmium, lead, mercury and PCBs) via transport through the aquatic and/or terrestrial foodchain were estimated. A toxicological assessment was conducted for the chemicals of concern, to yield exposure limits derived from governmental regulations or developed based on no-observed-effect-levels (NOELs) reported in scientifically sound toxicological assays in relevant species. The risk evaluation of each chemical of concern was conducted as a comparison of the estimated total exposures to the exposure limits derived for the selected ecological receptors.

  3. Spatially Explicit Landscape-Level Ecological Risks Induced by Land Use and Land Cover Change in a National Ecologically Representative Region in China.

    PubMed

    Gong, Jian; Yang, Jianxin; Tang, Wenwu

    2015-11-01

    Land use and land cover change is driven by multiple influential factors from environmental and social dimensions in a land system. Land use practices of human decision-makers modify the landscape of the land system, possibly leading to landscape fragmentation, biodiversity loss, or environmental pollution-severe environmental or ecological impacts. While landscape-level ecological risk assessment supports the evaluation of these impacts, investigations on how these ecological risks induced by land use practices change over space and time in response to alternative policy intervention remain inadequate. In this article, we conducted spatially explicit landscape ecological risk analysis in Ezhou City, China. Our study area is a national ecologically representative region experiencing drastic land use and land cover change, and is regulated by multiple policies represented by farmland protection, ecological conservation, and urban development. We employed landscape metrics to consider the influence of potential landscape-level disturbance for the evaluation of landscape ecological risks. Using spatiotemporal simulation, we designed scenarios to examine spatiotemporal patterns in landscape ecological risks in response to policy intervention. Our study demonstrated that spatially explicit landscape ecological risk analysis combined with simulation-driven scenario analysis is of particular importance for guiding the sustainable development of ecologically vulnerable land systems. PMID:26569270

  4. Spatially Explicit Landscape-Level Ecological Risks Induced by Land Use and Land Cover Change in a National Ecologically Representative Region in China

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Jian; Yang, Jianxin; Tang, Wenwu

    2015-01-01

    Land use and land cover change is driven by multiple influential factors from environmental and social dimensions in a land system. Land use practices of human decision-makers modify the landscape of the land system, possibly leading to landscape fragmentation, biodiversity loss, or environmental pollution—severe environmental or ecological impacts. While landscape-level ecological risk assessment supports the evaluation of these impacts, investigations on how these ecological risks induced by land use practices change over space and time in response to alternative policy intervention remain inadequate. In this article, we conducted spatially explicit landscape ecological risk analysis in Ezhou City, China. Our study area is a national ecologically representative region experiencing drastic land use and land cover change, and is regulated by multiple policies represented by farmland protection, ecological conservation, and urban development. We employed landscape metrics to consider the influence of potential landscape-level disturbance for the evaluation of landscape ecological risks. Using spatiotemporal simulation, we designed scenarios to examine spatiotemporal patterns in landscape ecological risks in response to policy intervention. Our study demonstrated that spatially explicit landscape ecological risk analysis combined with simulation-driven scenario analysis is of particular importance for guiding the sustainable development of ecologically vulnerable land systems. PMID:26569270

  5. Review of ecological-based risk management approaches used at five Army Superfund sites.

    PubMed

    Poucher, Sherri L; Tracey, Gregory A; Johnson, Mark S; Haines, Laurie B

    2012-04-01

    Factors used in environmental remedial decision making concerning ecological risk are not well understood or necessarily consistent. Recent Records of Decision (RODs) for Army CERCLA sites were reviewed to select case studies where remedial management occurred in response to ecological risks. Thirty-four Army RODs were evaluated representing decisions promulgated between 1996 and 2004. Five were selected based on assessments that remedial actions were clearly linked to concern for ecological receptors. The Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA) approach and the subsequent risk management process were reviewed for each site. The case studies demonstrated that the ERA findings, as well as critical management decisions regarding interpretation of identified ecological risks, were determinants of remedial action objectives. Decisions regarding the selection of remedial alternatives were based on a set of criteria prescribed by Superfund requirements and guidance. Remedial alternative evaluations require protection of human health and the environment, but protective conditions were determined using different methods at each site. Examining the remedial management process for the 5 case study sites revealed that uncertainty in the risk assessment and decisions regarding appropriate spatial scales for both risk assessment and remediation were important factors influencing remedial action decisions. The case reviews also revealed that levels of documentation were variable from site to site. In the future, more detailed documentation of decision criteria and the development of criteria that consider the resilience of the site will result in more technically defensible ecological risk management. PMID:22025287

  6. Bioaccumulation and food-chain analysis for evaluating ecological risks in terrestrial and wetland habitats: Availability-transfer factors (ATFs) in soil {r_arrow} soil macroinvertebrate {r_arrow} amphibian food chains

    SciTech Connect

    Linder, G.; Bollman, M.; Callahan, C.; Gillette, C.; Nebeker, A.; Wilborn, D.

    1998-12-31

    As part of the ecological risk assessment process for terrestrial and wetland habitats, the evaluation of bioaccumulative chemicals of concern (BCCs) is frequently pursued through food-chain analysis with a subsequent comparison of daily doses to benchmark toxicity reference values, when available. Food-chain analysis has frequently been applied to the analysis of exposure to BCCs identified as chemicals of potential ecological concern (COPECs) in the ecological risk assessment process. Here, designed studies focused on wetland food-chains such as hydric soil {r_arrow} soil macroinvertebrate {r_arrow} amphibian and terrestrial food-chains such as soil {r_arrow} plant {r_arrow} small mammal illustrate an approach for the derivation and validation of trophic transfer factors for metals considered as COPECs such as cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, and zinc. The results clearly indicate that the transfer of chemicals between trophic levels is critical in the bioaccumulation process in wetland and terrestrial food-chains and is influenced by numerous interacting abiotic and biotic factors, including physicochemical properties of soil, and the role, if any, that the metal has in the receptor as a required trace element.

  7. Baseline ecological risk assessment of the Calcasieu Estuary, Louisiana: 2. An evaluation of the predictive ability of effects-based sediment quality guidelines

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    MacDonald, Donald D.; Ingersoll, Christopher G.; Smorong, Dawn E.; Sinclair, Jesse A.; Lindskoog, Rebekka; Wang, Ning; Severn, Corrine; Gouguet, Ron; Meyer, John; Field, Jay

    2011-01-01

    Three sets of effects-based sediment-quality guidelines (SQGs) were evaluated to support the selection of sediment-quality benchmarks for assessing risks to benthic invertebrates in the Calcasieu Estuary, Louisiana. These SQGs included probable effect concentrations (PECs), effects range median values (ERMs), and logistic regression model (LRMs)-based T50 values. The results of this investigation indicate that all three sets of SQGs tend to underestimate sediment toxicity in the Calcasieu Estuary (i.e., relative to the national data sets), as evaluated using the results of 10-day toxicity tests with the amphipod, Hyalella azteca, or Ampelisca abdita, and 28-day whole-sediment toxicity tests with the H. azteca. These results emphasize the importance of deriving site-specific toxicity thresholds for assessing risks to benthic invertebrates.

  8. Land Ecological Security Evaluation of Guangzhou, China

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Linyu; Yin, Hao; Li, Zhaoxue; Li, Shun

    2014-01-01

    As the land ecosystem provides the necessary basic material resources for human development, land ecological security (LES) plays an increasingly important role in sustainable development. Given the degradation of land ecological security under rapid urbanization and the urgent LES requirements of urban populations, a comprehensive evaluation method, named Double Land Ecological Security (DLES), has been introduced with the city of Guangzhou, China, as a case study, which evaluates the LES in regional and unit scales for reasonable and specific urban planning. In the evaluation process with this method, we have combined the material security with the spiritual security that is inevitably associated with LES. Some new coefficients of land-security supply/demand distribution and technology contribution for LES evaluation have also been introduced for different spatial scales, including the regional and the unit scales. The results for Guangzhou indicated that, temporally, the LES supply indices were 0.77, 0.84 and 0.77 in 2000, 2006 and 2009 respectively, while LES demand indices for the city increased in 2000, 2006 and 2009 from 0.57 to 0.95, which made the LES level decreased slowly in this period. Spatially, at the regional scale, the urban land ecological security (ULES) level decreased from 0.2 (marginal security) to −0.18 (marginal insecurity) as a whole; in unit scale, areas in the north and in parts of the east were relatively secure and the security area was shrinking with time, but the central and southern areas turned to be marginal insecurity, especially in 2006 and 2009. This study proposes that DLES evaluation should be conducted for targeted and efficient urban planning and management, which can reflect the LES level of study area in general and in detail. PMID:25321873

  9. Land ecological security evaluation of Guangzhou, China.

    PubMed

    Xu, Linyu; Yin, Hao; Li, Zhaoxue; Li, Shun

    2014-01-01

    As the land ecosystem provides the necessary basic material resources for human development, land ecological security (LES) plays an increasingly important role in sustainable development. Given the degradation of land ecological security under rapid urbanization and the urgent LES requirements of urban populations, a comprehensive evaluation method, named Double Land Ecological Security (DLES), has been introduced with the city of Guangzhou, China, as a case study, which evaluates the LES in regional and unit scales for reasonable and specific urban planning. In the evaluation process with this method, we have combined the material security with the spiritual security that is inevitably associated with LES. Some new coefficients of land-security supply/demand distribution and technology contribution for LES evaluation have also been introduced for different spatial scales, including the regional and the unit scales. The results for Guangzhou indicated that, temporally, the LES supply indices were 0.77, 0.84 and 0.77 in 2000, 2006 and 2009 respectively, while LES demand indices for the city increased in 2000, 2006 and 2009 from 0.57 to 0.95, which made the LES level decreased slowly in this period. Spatially, at the regional scale, the urban land ecological security (ULES) level decreased from 0.2 (marginal security) to -0.18 (marginal insecurity) as a whole; in unit scale, areas in the north and in parts of the east were relatively secure and the security area was shrinking with time, but the central and southern areas turned to be marginal insecurity, especially in 2006 and 2009. This study proposes that DLES evaluation should be conducted for targeted and efficient urban planning and management, which can reflect the LES level of study area in general and in detail. PMID:25321873

  10. Evolutionary Consequences for Ecological Risk Assessment and Management.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gochfeld, Michael; Burger, Joanna

    1993-01-01

    Discusses the use of the human health risk assessment model as a basis for developing ecological risk assessment (ERA). For ERA, risk to individuals is less important than the survival of the population, with the exception of endangered species. Suggests that ERA take into account the relative reproductive value of the potentially impacted…

  11. Analysis of the ecological risk of opening new oil and gas fields

    SciTech Connect

    Anikiev, V.V.; Mansurov, M.N.; Fleishman, B.S.

    1995-01-01

    Practical recommendations that would ensure the ecological safety of opening new marine oil and gas fields should include analysis of ecological risk. Such an analysis should precede the studies of ecological safety and resolve a sequence of problems in evaluating the ecological risk, the probability and scale of accidents at the oil and gas extraction complex, and economic damage that could occur. This paper presents a method of evaluation of risks for fish populations incurred by marine extraction of oil and gas, calculates the required limit of probability of accidents excluding the possibility of degradation of flatfish populations, estimates expenses incurred by accidental oil spills, and presents data on level of pollution. 9 refs., 1 tab.

  12. CLINCH AND POWELL VALLEY WATERSHED ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    A watershed ecological risk assessment of the unique Clinch and Powell river system in southwestern Virginia strongly suggests that (1) coal mining activities and agricultural practices, past and present, are having adverse impacts on stream habitats, resulting in unacceptable lo...

  13. Web-enabling Ecological Risk Assessment for Accessibility and Transparency

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological risk methods and tools are necessarily diverse to account for different combinations of receptors, exposure processes, effects estimation, and degree of conservatism/realism necessary to support chemical-based assessments. These tools have been continuously developed s...

  14. Overview of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal ecological risk characterization

    SciTech Connect

    Applehans, F.; Jones, M.; Osborn, S.; Tate, D.J.; Cothern, K.A.; Pavlou, S.; Toll, J.E.; Armstrong, J.P.

    1994-12-31

    The Rocky Mountain Arsenal (RMA) Endangerment Assessment was performed to characterize potential threats to human health and the environment from contaminants released as a result of historical operations and past waste disposal practices at RMA. This paper presents an overview of the Ecological Risk Characterization (ERC), one component of the RMA Endangerment Assessment. Because of the magnitude of the ERC and high public profile of RMA, the RMA ecological risk assessment reflects all aspects of SETAC`s meeting theme, Ecological Risk: Science, Policy, Law, and Perception. The conceptual framework for the ERC is described, major technical and practical issues encountered in conducting the ERC are recounted, and key insights and recommendations for future ecological risk assessments are discussed.

  15. Application of Mechanistic Toxicology Data to Ecological Risk Assessments

    EPA Science Inventory

    The ongoing evolution of knowledge and tools in the areas of molecular biology, bioinformatics, and systems biology holds significant promise for reducing uncertainties associated with ecological risk assessment. As our understanding of the mechanistic basis of responses of organ...

  16. A TEST OF WATERSHED CLASSIFICATION SYSTEMS FOR ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    To facilitate extrapolation among watersheds, ecological risk assessments should be based on a model of underlying factors influencing watershed response, particularly vulnerability. We propose a conceptual model of landscape vulnerability to serve as a basis for watershed classi...

  17. WORKSHOP REPORT ON CHARACTERIZING ECOLOGICAL RISK AT THE WATERSHED SCALE

    EPA Science Inventory

    As ecological risk assessment evolves, it is moving beyond a focus on single species toward addressing multiple species and their interactions, and from assessing effects of simple chemical toxicity to the cumulative impacts of multiple interacting chemical, physical, and biologi...

  18. Evaluating Causes of Ecological Impairments in the Estuaries of Ukraine

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ukrainian estuaries have not undergone a systematic evaluation of the causes of ecological impairments caused by anthropogenic contamination. The objective of this evaluation is to use recently developed diagnostic tools to determine the causes of benthic ecological impairments. ...

  19. DEVELOPMENT OF LANDSCAPE INDICATORS FOR USE IN REGIONAL ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    There is a growing need for cost effective ways to assess conditions of and risks to ecological resources at a variety of scales over broad regions. Indicators, models and assessment tools are needed to evaluate water bodies at risk to non-point source pollution and to be able t...

  20. Screening Risk Evaluation methodology

    SciTech Connect

    Hopper, K.M.

    1994-06-01

    The Screening Risk Evaluation (SRE) Guidance document is a set of guidelines provided for the uniform implementation of SREs performed on D&D facilities. These guidelines are designed specifically for the completion of the second (semi-quantitative screening) phase of the D&D Risk-Based Process. The SRE Guidance produces screening risk scores reflecting levels of risk through the use of risk ranking indices. Five types of possible risk are calculated from the SRE: current releases, worker exposures, future releases, physical hazards, and criticality. The Current Release Index (CRI) calculates the risk to human health and the environment from ongoing or probable releases within a one year time period. The Worker Exposure Index (WEI) calculates the risk to workers, occupants, and visitors in D&D facilities of contaminant exposure. The Future Release Index (FRI) calculates the risk of future releases of contaminants, after one year, to human health and the environment. The Physical Hazards Index (PHI) calculates the risk-to human health due to factors other than that of contaminants. The index of Criticality is approached as a modifying factor to the entire SRE, due to the fact that criticality issues are strictly regulated under DOE. Screening risk results will be tabulated in matrix form and Total Risk will be calculated (weighted equation) to produce a score on which to base early action recommendations. Other recommendations from the screening risk scores will be made based either on individual index scores or from reweighted Total Risk calculations. All recommendations based on the SRE will be made based on a combination of screening risk scores, decision drivers, and other considerations, determined on a project by project basis. The SRE is the first and most important step in the overall D&D project level decision making process.

  1. Response to Ecological Risk Assessment Forum Request for Information on the Benefits of PCB Congener-Specific Analyses

    EPA Science Inventory

    In August, 2001, the Ecological Risk Assessment Forum (ERAF) submitted a formal question to the Ecological Risk Assessment Support Center (ERASC) on the benefits of evaluating PCB congeners in environmental samples. This question was developed by ERAF members Bruce Duncan and Cla...

  2. ASSESSMENT TOOLS FOR THE EVALUATION OF RISK (ASTER)

    EPA Science Inventory

    ASTER (ASsessment Tools for the Evaluation of Risk) was developed by the U.S. EPA Mid-Continent Ecology Division - Duluth (MED-Duluth) to assist regulators in performing ecological risk assessments. ASTER is an integration of the AQUIRE (AQUatic toxicity Information REtrieval) to...

  3. An ecological risk assessment for Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine

    SciTech Connect

    Johnston, R.K.; Munns, W.R. Jr.; Short, F.T.; Hahn, S.

    1995-12-31

    An ecological risk assessment was conducted to assess the ecological risk of hazardous waste releases from the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard located on Seavey Island in the Piscataqua River and Great Bay Estuary, New Hampshire and Maine. Problem formulation suggested that certain areas in the lower estuary had the highest potential for impact, particularly depositional areas where fine-grained sediment particles accumulate. Lead, mercury, copper, zinc, nickel, arsenic, and to a lesser degree PCBs, PAHs, silver and cadmium were identified as contaminants of concern based on their spatial distribution in the estuary, hazard quotient screening levels for sediments and surface water, links to primary sources, and releases of contaminants and ecological damage from Shipyard Solid Waste Management Units. Ecological risk characterization was conducted for exposure pathways and receptors using measurement endpoints to assess risks to pelagic species, epibenthic species, benthic community, salt marsh community, eelgrass community, herbivorous waterfowl, avian predators, and trophic transfer of contaminants through the food chain. The results suggested that ecological risk was related to the loss of habitat from direct disposal of hazardous material in tidal flats, and heavy metal exposure and potential impact on ecological receptors associated with benthic, epibenthic, saltmarsh, and eelgrass habitats located in depositional areas around Seavey Island.

  4. Ecological risk assessments for watersheds: Lessons learned from case studies

    SciTech Connect

    Marcy, S.K.M.

    1994-12-31

    The USEPA Office of Water and Risk Assessment Forum are co-sponsoring the development of watershed level ecological risk assessments in Big Darby Creek, OH, Clinch River, VA, Middle Platte River Wetlands, NE, Snake River, ID, and Waquoit Bay Estuary, MA. The case studies are testing the Agency`s Framework for Ecological Risk Assessment at a watershed scale for multiple stressors. During case study development much has been learned about how to apply and modify the principles in the Framework to landscape scale risk assessments. Insights include how to select appropriate assessment endpoints to drive the risk assessment, how to effectively increase involvement by risk management teams, and provide decision opportunities for managers throughout development. The case studies demonstrate diverse ways to conduct watershed risk assessments, and illustrate the importance of multiple risk hypotheses in conceptual models addressing the combined and relative risk of chemical, physical and biological stressors. Issues the case studies highlight include the need for a process to determine when watershed risk assessments are appropriate and at what level of complexity they should be performed, how to increase the use of the ecological risk assessments in management decision-making and how to determine the best risk reduction strategy. An update on the watershed case studies will be provided and the insights and issues stated above, discussed.

  5. Ecosystem services as assessment endpoints for ecological risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Munns, Wayne R; Rea, Anne W; Suter, Glenn W; Martin, Lawrence; Blake-Hedges, Lynne; Crk, Tanja; Davis, Christine; Ferreira, Gina; Jordan, Steve; Mahoney, Michele; Barron, Mace G

    2016-07-01

    Ecosystem services are defined as the outputs of ecological processes that contribute to human welfare or have the potential to do so in the future. Those outputs include food and drinking water, clean air and water, and pollinated crops. The need to protect the services provided by natural systems has been recognized previously, but ecosystem services have not been formally incorporated into ecological risk assessment practice in a general way in the United States. Endpoints used conventionally in ecological risk assessment, derived directly from the state of the ecosystem (e.g., biophysical structure and processes), and endpoints based on ecosystem services serve different purposes. Conventional endpoints are ecologically important and susceptible entities and attributes that are protected under US laws and regulations. Ecosystem service endpoints are a conceptual and analytical step beyond conventional endpoints and are intended to complement conventional endpoints by linking and extending endpoints to goods and services with more obvious benefit to humans. Conventional endpoints can be related to ecosystem services even when the latter are not considered explicitly during problem formulation. To advance the use of ecosystem service endpoints in ecological risk assessment, the US Environmental Protection Agency's Risk Assessment Forum has added generic endpoints based on ecosystem services (ES-GEAE) to the original 2003 set of generic ecological assessment endpoints (GEAEs). Like conventional GEAEs, ES-GEAEs are defined by an entity and an attribute. Also like conventional GEAEs, ES-GEAEs are broadly described and will need to be made specific when applied to individual assessments. Adoption of ecosystem services as a type of assessment endpoint is intended to improve the value of risk assessment to environmental decision making, linking ecological risk to human well-being, and providing an improved means of communicating those risks. Integr Environ Assess Manag

  6. An integrated framework for health and ecological risk assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Suter, Glenn W. . E-mail: suter.glenn@epa.gov; Vermeire, Theo; Munns, Wayne R.; Sekizawa, Jun

    2005-09-01

    The worldHealth Organization's (WHO's) International Program for Chemical Safety has developed a framework for performing risk assessments that integrate the assessment of risks to human health and risks to nonhuman organisms and ecosystems. The WHO's framework recognizes that stakeholders and risk managers have their own processes that are parallel to the scientific process of risk assessment and may interact with the risk assessment at various points, depending on the context. Integration of health and ecology provides consistent expressions of assessment results, incorporates the interdependence of humans and the environment, uses sentinel organisms, and improves the efficiency and quality of assessments relative to independent human health and ecological risk assessments. The advantage of the framework to toxicologists lies in the opportunity to use understanding of toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics to inform the integrated assessment of all exposed species.

  7. Back-end Science Model Integration for Ecological Risk Assessment

    EPA Science Inventory

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) relies on a number of ecological risk assessment models that have been developed over 30-plus years of regulating pesticide exposure and risks under Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Endangered Spe...

  8. Back-end Science Model Integration for Ecological Risk Assessment.

    EPA Science Inventory

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) relies on a number of ecological risk assessment models that have been developed over 30-plus years of regulating pesticide exposure and risks under Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Endangered Spe...

  9. Biological surveys for ecological and human health risk assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Kathman, R.D.; Reagan, D.P.; Mayfield, J.C.

    1994-12-31

    In the past, human risk assessment was used almost exclusively to determine remedial measures at contaminated waste sites. Recently, however, ecological risk assessments have gained importance in evaluating risk not only to plants and animals, but also to humans through use of measures such as action levels of chemicals in fish tissue. Biological surveys were initiated to assess the mercury concentrations in finfish and shellfish in Lavaca Bay, Texas, part of which has been closed to fish and shellfish consumption since 1988 due to high levels of mercury in these organisms. Samples of particulate organic matter, cordgrass, invertebrates and fish were collected and analyzed for mercury concentrations. In conjunction with the biological surveys, an extensive sediment sampling program was conducted to map mercury concentrations in the sediment throughout the bay. A food web pathways model developed by personnel at National Marine Fisheries Service to assess mercury uptake by aquatic organisms in the bay has enabled the authors to concentrate on specific locations/habitats where mercury concentrations in sediment exceed a critical value. Biological data, along with stable isotope analyses, were used to validate the food web model. The conclusion is that mercury is continuing to enter the food web through the sediment-based food chain and not through the water column. These studies will be used to identify areas which need to be addressed for possible remedial measures, resulting in less uptake and bioaccumulation of mercury, and possible future removal of the fishing ban, thus establishing a direct linkage with human health concerns.

  10. Phase two of Site 300`s ecological risk assessment: Model verification and risk management

    SciTech Connect

    Carlson, T.M.; Gregory, S.D.

    1995-12-31

    The authors completed the baseline ecological risk assessment (ERA) for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory`s Site 300 in 1993. Using data collection and modeling techniques adapted from the human health risk assessment (HRA), they evaluated the potential hazard of contaminants in environmental media to ecological receptors. They identified potential hazards to (1) aquatic invertebrates from heavy metal contaminants in surface water, (2) burrowing vertebrates from contaminants volatilizing from subsurface soil into burrow air, and (3) grazing deer and burrowing vertebrates from cadmium contamination in surface soil. They recently began collecting data to refine the estimates of potential hazard to these ecological receptors. Bioassay results form the surface water failed to verify a hazard to aquatic invertebrates. Soil vapor surveys of subsurface burrows did verify the presence of high concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). However, they have not yet verified a true impact on the burrowing populations. The authors also completed an extensive surface soil sampling program, which identified local hot spots of cadmium contamination. In addition, they have been collecting data on the land use patterns of the deer population. Their data indicate that deer do not typically use those areas with cadmium surface soil contamination. Information from this phase of the ERA, along with the results of the HRA, will direct the selection of remedial alternatives for the site. For the ecological receptors, remedial alternatives include developing a risk management program which includes ensuring that (1) sensitive burrowing species (such as rare or endangered species) do not use areas of surface or subsurface contamination, and (2) deer populations do not use areas of surface soil contamination.

  11. Evaluating the role of coastal habitats and sea-level rise in hurricane risk mitigation: An ecological economic assessment method and application to a business decision.

    PubMed

    Reddy, Sheila M W; Guannel, Gregory; Griffin, Robert; Faries, Joe; Boucher, Timothy; Thompson, Michael; Brenner, Jorge; Bernhardt, Joey; Verutes, Gregory; Wood, Spencer A; Silver, Jessica A; Toft, Jodie; Rogers, Anthony; Maas, Alexander; Guerry, Anne; Molnar, Jennifer; DiMuro, Johnathan L

    2016-04-01

    Businesses may be missing opportunities to account for ecosystem services in their decisions, because they do not have methods to quantify and value ecosystem services. We developed a method to quantify and value coastal protection and other ecosystem services in the context of a cost-benefit analysis of hurricane risk mitigation options for a business. We first analyze linked biophysical and economic models to examine the potential protection provided by marshes. We then applied this method to The Dow Chemical Company's Freeport, Texas facility to evaluate natural (marshes), built (levee), and hybrid (marshes and a levee designed for marshes) defenses against a 100-y hurricane. Model analysis shows that future sea-level rise decreases marsh area, increases flood heights, and increases the required levee height (12%) and cost (8%). In this context, marshes do not provide sufficient protection to the facility, located 12 km inland, to warrant a change in levee design for a 100-y hurricane. Marshes do provide some protection near shore and under smaller storm conditions, which may help maintain the coastline and levee performance in the face of sea-level rise. In sum, the net present value to the business of built defenses ($217 million [2010 US$]) is greater than natural defenses ($15 million [2010 US$]) and similar to the hybrid defense scenario ($229 million [2010 US$]). Examination of a sample of public benefits from the marshes shows they provide at least $117 million (2010 US$) in coastal protection, recreational value, and C sequestration to the public, while supporting 12 fisheries and more than 300 wildlife species. This study provides information on where natural defenses may be effective and a replicable approach that businesses can use to incorporate private, as well as public, ecosystem service values into hurricane risk management at other sites. PMID:26123999

  12. Documentation of the Ecological Risk Assessment Computer Model ECORSK.5

    SciTech Connect

    Anthony F. Gallegos; Gilbert J. Gonzales

    1999-06-01

    The FORTRAN77 ecological risk computer model--ECORSK.5--has been used to estimate the potential toxicity of surficial deposits of radioactive and non-radioactive contaminants to several threatened and endangered (T and E) species at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). These analyses to date include preliminary toxicity estimates for the Mexican spotted owl, the American peregrine falcon, the bald eagle, and the southwestern willow flycatcher. This work has been performed as required for the Record of Decision for the construction of the Dual Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic Test (DARHT) Facility at LANL as part of the Environmental Impact Statement. The model is dependent on the use of the geographic information system and associated software--ARC/INFO--and has been used in conjunction with LANL's Facility for Information Management and Display (FIMAD) contaminant database. The integration of FIMAD data and ARC/INFO using ECORSK.5 allows the generation of spatial information from a gridded area of potential exposure called an Ecological Exposure Unit. ECORSK.5 was used to simulate exposures using a modified Environmental Protection Agency Quotient Method. The model can handle a large number of contaminants within the home range of T and E species. This integration results in the production of hazard indices which, when compared to risk evaluation criteria, estimate the potential for impact from consumption of contaminants in food and ingestion of soil. The assessment is considered a Tier-2 type of analysis. This report summarizes and documents the ECORSK.5 code, the mathematical models used in the development of ECORSK.5, and the input and other requirements for its operation. Other auxiliary FORTRAN 77 codes used for processing and graphing output from ECORSK.5 are also discussed. The reader may refer to reports cited in the introduction to obtain greater detail on past applications of ECORSK.5 and assumptions used in deriving model parameters.

  13. The role of ecological models in linking ecological risk assessment to ecosystem services in agroecosystems.

    PubMed

    Galic, Nika; Schmolke, Amelie; Forbes, Valery; Baveco, Hans; van den Brink, Paul J

    2012-01-15

    Agricultural practices are essential for sustaining the human population, but at the same time they can directly disrupt ecosystem functioning. Ecological risk assessment (ERA) aims to estimate possible adverse effects of human activities on ecosystems and their parts. Current ERA practices, however, incorporate very little ecology and base the risk estimates on the results of standard tests with several standard species. The main obstacles for a more ecologically relevant ERA are the lack of clear protection goals and the inherent complexity of ecosystems that is hard to approach empirically. In this paper, we argue that the ecosystem services framework offers an opportunity to define clear and ecologically relevant protection goals. At the same time, ecological models provide the tools to address ecological complexity to the degree needed to link measurement endpoints and ecosystem services, and to quantify service provision and possible adverse effects from human activities. We focus on the ecosystem services relevant for agroecosystem functioning, including pollination, biocontrol and eutrophication effects and present modeling studies relevant for quantification of each of the services. The challenges of the ecosystem services approach are discussed as well as the limitations of ecological models in the context of ERA. A broad, multi-stakeholder dialog is necessary to aid the definition of protection goals in terms of services delivered by ecosystems and their parts. The need to capture spatio-temporal dynamics and possible interactions among service providers pose challenges for ecological models as a basis for decision making. However, we argue that both fields are advancing quickly and can prove very valuable in achieving more ecologically relevant ERA. PMID:21802704

  14. How Do the Chinese Perceive Ecological Risk in Freshwater Lakes?

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Lei; Han, Yuting; Zhou, Ying; Gutscher, Heinz; Bi, Jun

    2013-01-01

    In this study, we explore the potential contributions of a risk perception framework in understanding public perceptions of unstable ecosystems. In doing so, we characterize one type of common ecological risk– harmful algal blooms (HABs)–in four of the most seriously eutrophicated freshwater lakes in China. These lakes include Chaohu, Dianchi, Hongze, and Taihu, where a total of 2000 residents living near these sites were interviewed. Regional discrepancies existed in the pilot study regarding public perceptions of ecological changes and public concerns for ecological risk. Comparing HABs and other kinds of risks (earthquake, nuclear, and public traffic) through the psychometric paradigm method, Knowledge, Effect, and Trust were three key factors formulating the risk perception model. The results indicated that Knowledge and risk tolerance levels had significant negative correlations in the higher economic situation while correlations in the lower economic situation were significantly positive. Effect and risk tolerance levels had significant negative correlations in the high and middle education situation while correlations in the low education situation were close to zero or insignificant. For residents from Taihu with comparatively higher economic and educational levels, more investment in risk prevention measures and stronger policies are needed. And for residents from Hongze and Dianchi with comparatively low economic and educational levels, improvement of the government’s credibility (Trust) was the most important factor of risk tolerance, so efforts to eliminate ecological problems with the stepwise development of economic and educational levels should be implemented and gradually strengthened. In turn, this could prevent public discontent and ensure support for ecological protection policies. PMID:23671602

  15. [Research progress on index system of regional ecological risk assessment].

    PubMed

    Meng, Ji-Jun; Zhao, Chun-Hong

    2009-04-01

    Regional ecological risk assessment (RERA) covers the assessments of multiple risk sources, receptors, and endpoints, while the selection of assessment indices is quite complicated, being a hotspot in regional environment management research. Domestic and international researches on RERA revealed that three processes in RERA are of vital, i.e., risk probability assessment measured by risk probability index, status and value assessment of ecosystem at regional scale indicated by ecological index, and vulnerability assessment of each ecosystem in a region under risk measured by vulnerability index. The main problems in the establishment of RERA index system are the strong subjectivity and poor comparability, and thus, the index system should be set up in the three key processes under the principles of objectivity, integration, hierarchy, and comparability. Due to the fact that the status and value assessment of ecosystem is most complicated, the index system should be formulated by compulsory and optional components to increase the comparability of RERA results between regions. PMID:19565785

  16. Coordinating ecological restoration options analysis and risk assessment to improve environmental outcomes.

    PubMed

    Kapustka, Lawrence A; Bowers, Keith; Isanhart, John; Martinez-Garza, Cristina; Finger, Susan; Stahl, Ralph G; Stauber, Jenny

    2016-04-01

    Ecological risk assessment as currently practiced has hindered consideration of ecosystem services endpoints and restoration goals in the environmental management process. Practitioners have created barriers between procedures to clean up contaminated areas and efforts to restore ecosystem functions. In this article, we examine linkages between contaminant risk assessment approaches and restoration efforts with the aim of identifying ways to improve environmental outcomes. We advocate that project managers and other stakeholders use an ecological planning framework, with restoration options included upfront in the risk assessment. We also considered the opportunities to incorporate ecosystem services as potential assessment endpoints in the Problem Formulation stages of a risk assessment. Indeed, diverse perspectives of stakeholders are central to understand the relevance of social, cultural, economic, and regional ecology as influences on future use options for the landscape being restored. The measurement endpoints used to characterize the existing ecological conditions for selected ecosystem services can also be used to evaluate restoration success. A regional, landscape, or seascape focus is needed throughout the risk assessment process, so that restoration efforts play a more prominent role in enhancing ecosystem services. In short, we suggest that practitioners begin with the question of "how can the ecological risk assessment inform the decision on how best to restore the ecosystem?" PMID:26077395

  17. ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT IN THE CONTEXT OF GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE

    PubMed Central

    Landis, Wayne G; Durda, Judi L; Brooks, Marjorie L; Chapman, Peter M; Menzie, Charles A; Stahl, Ralph G; Stauber, Jennifer L

    2013-01-01

    Changes to sources, stressors, habitats, and geographic ranges; toxicological effects; end points; and uncertainty estimation require significant changes in the implementation of ecological risk assessment (ERA). Because of the lack of analog systems and circumstances in historically studied sites, there is a likelihood of type III error. As a first step, the authors propose a decision key to aid managers and risk assessors in determining when and to what extent climate change should be incorporated. Next, when global climate change is an important factor, the authors recommend seven critical changes to ERA. First, develop conceptual cause–effect diagrams that consider relevant management decisions as well as appropriate spatial and temporal scales to include both direct and indirect effects of climate change and the stressor of management interest. Second, develop assessment end points that are expressed as ecosystem services. Third, evaluate multiple stressors and nonlinear responses—include the chemicals and the stressors related to climate change. Fourth, estimate how climate change will affect or modify management options as the impacts become manifest. Fifth, consider the direction and rate of change relative to management objectives, recognizing that both positive and negative outcomes can occur. Sixth, determine the major drivers of uncertainty, estimating and bounding stochastic uncertainty spatially, temporally, and progressively. Seventh, plan for adaptive management to account for changing environmental conditions and consequent changes to ecosystem services. Good communication is essential for making risk-related information understandable and useful for managers and stakeholders to implement a successful risk-assessment and decision-making process. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2013;32:79–92. © 2012 SETAC PMID:23161373

  18. Evaluating the metapopulation consequences of ecological traps

    PubMed Central

    Hale, Robin; Treml, Eric A.; Swearer, Stephen E.

    2015-01-01

    Ecological traps occur when environmental changes cause maladaptive habitat selection. Despite their relevance to metapopulations, ecological traps have been studied predominantly at local scales. How these local impacts scale up to affect the dynamics of spatially structured metapopulations in heterogeneous landscapes remains unexplored. We propose that assessing the metapopulation consequences of traps depends on a variety of factors that can be grouped into four categories: the probability of encounter, the likelihood of selection, the fitness costs of selection and species-specific vulnerability to these costs. We evaluate six hypotheses using a network-based metapopulation model to explore the relative importance of factors across these categories within a spatial context. Our model suggests (i) traps are most severe when they represent a large proportion of habitats, severely reduce fitness and are highly attractive, and (ii) species with high intrinsic fitness will be most susceptible. We provide the first evidence that (iii) traps may be beneficial for metapopulations in rare instances, and (iv) preferences for natal-like habitats can magnify the effects of traps. Our study provides important insight into the effects of traps at landscape scales, and highlights the need to explicitly consider spatial context to better understand and manage traps within metapopulations. PMID:25761712

  19. Ecological risk assessment for river sediments contaminated by creosote

    SciTech Connect

    Pastorok, R.A.; Sampson, J.R.; Jacobson, M.A. ); Peek, D.C. )

    1994-12-01

    An ecological risk assessment was conducted for sediments of the lower Willamette River near a wood-treatment (creosote) facility. Both surface ad subsurface sediments near the facility are contaminated by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Limited contamination of sediments by dioxins/furans, chlorinated phenols, and arsenic was also observed. Sediment bioassays based on amphipod (Hyalella azteca) mortality and Microtox[reg sign] (Photobacterium phosphoreum) bioluminescence showed toxicity within approximately 300 ft of the shoreline, with a highly toxic area (i.e., possible acute lethal effects in sedentary benthic species) near a dock used for creosote off-loading. The relatively low concentrations of contaminants measured in crayfish muscle tissue and the absence of serious lesions in livers of large-scale sucker collected near the site suggest that excess risk to mobile species from chronic contamination is low. Cursory observations indicate that acute toxic effects on crayfish may be associated with creosote seeps. There is no evidence of adverse biological effects throughout most of the main channel of the river. Evaluation of sediment chemistry data for PAHs relative to available sediment-quality criteria proposed by the US Environmental Protection Agency supports this conclusion.

  20. [Ecological risk assessment of land use based on exploratory spatial data analysis (ESDA): a case study of Haitan Island, Fujian Province].

    PubMed

    Wu, Jian; Chen, Peng; Wen, Chao-Xiang; Fu, Shi-Feng; Chen, Qing-Hui

    2014-07-01

    As a novel environment management tool, ecological risk assessment has provided a new perspective for the quantitative evaluation of ecological effects of land-use change. In this study, Haitan Island in Fujian Province was taken as a case. Based on the Landsat TM obtained in 1990, SPOT5 RS images obtained in 2010, general layout planning map of Pingtan Comprehensive Experimental Zone in 2030, as well as the field investigation data, we established an ecological risk index to measure ecological endpoints. By using spatial autocorrelation and semivariance analysis of Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis (ESDA), the ecological risk of Haitan Island under different land-use situations was assessed, including the past (1990), present (2010) and future (2030), and the potential risk and its changing trend were analyzed. The results revealed that the ecological risk index showed obvious scale effect, with strong positive correlation within 3000 meters. High-high (HH) and low-low (LL) aggregations were predominant types in spatial distribution of ecological risk index. The ecological risk index showed significant isotropic characteristics, and its spatial distribution was consistent with Anselin Local Moran I (LISA) distribution during the same period. Dramatic spatial distribution change of each ecological risk area was found among 1990, 2010 and 2030, and the fluctuation trend and amplitude of different ecological risk areas were diverse. The low ecological risk area showed a rise-to-fall trend while the medium and high ecological risk areas showed a fall-to-rise trend. In the planning period, due to intensive anthropogenic disturbance, the high ecological risk area spread throughout the whole region. To reduce the ecological risk in land-use and maintain the regional ecological security, the following ecological risk control strategies could be adopted, i.e., optimizing the spatial pattern of land resources, protecting the key ecoregions and controlling the scale of

  1. HUMAN AND ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT: ASSOCIATIONS AMONG HUMAN HEALTH, ECOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING DATA

    EPA Science Inventory

    While all life is affected by the quality of the environment, environmental risk factors for human and wildlife health are typically assessed using independent processes that are dissimilar in scale and scope. However, the integrated analysis of human, ecological, and environmen...

  2. HUMAN AND ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT: ASSOCIATIONS AMONG HUMAN HEALTH, ECOLOGICAL, AND ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING

    EPA Science Inventory

    While all life is affected by the quality of the environment, environmental risk factors for human and wildlife health are typically assessed using independent processes that are dissimilar in scale and scope. However, the integrated analysis of human, ecological, and environmen...

  3. HUMAN AND ECOLOGICAL RISK: CORRELATIONS AMONG HUMAN HEALTH, ECOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING DATA

    EPA Science Inventory

    While all life is affected by the quality of the environment, environmental risk factors for human and wildlife health are typically assessed using independent processes that are dissimilar in scale and scope. However, the integrated analysis of human, ecological, and environmen...

  4. HUMAN AND ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT: ASSOCIATIONS AMONH HUMAN HEALTH, ECOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING DATA

    EPA Science Inventory

    While all life is affected by the quality of the environment, environmental risk factors for human and wildlife health are typically assessed using independent processes that are dissimilar in scale and scope. However, the integrated analysis of human, ecological, and environmen...

  5. UNDERSTANDING ECOLOGICAL RISK IN RURAL WATERSHEDS THROUGH MEASURMENTS OF STREAM COMMUNITY METABOLISM, NUTRIENT AND SEDIMENT DYNAMICS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The goal of this project, and associated research, is to establish thresholds for ecological response to watershed disturbance and to develop tools and insights that will help us manage risks and evaluate best management practice (BMP) effectiveness. Changes in the amount and typ...

  6. Toward an Ecological Risk Assessment Framework for Special Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trepanier, Nathalie Sonia

    2005-01-01

    This paper suggests a new framework for conducting research in the field of special education. This framework is inspired by the ecological risk assessment frameworks of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1995) and G.W. Suter (1993), which are primarily used in ecotoxicology and environmental toxicology. The methodology used to develop the…

  7. U.S. EPA's Ecological Risk Assessment Support Center (ERASC)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Background

    The ERASC provides technical information and addresses scientific questions of concern or interest on topics relevant to ecological risk assessment at hazardous waste sites for EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (APPLICATION OF METABOLOMICS FOR IMPROVING ECOLOGICAL EXPOSURE AND RISK ASSESSMENTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    We have developed a research program in metabolomics that involves numerous partners across EPA, other federal labs, academia, and the private sector. A primary goal is to develop metabolite-based markers that can be used by EPA in ecological exposure and risk assessments. We are...

  8. ISSUES IN SEDIMENT TOXICITY AND ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    This paper is based on a facilitated Workshop and Roundtable Discussion of key issues in sediment toxicology and ecological risk assessment (ERA) as applied to sediments that was held at the Conference on Dredged Material Management: Options and Environmental Considerations. The ...

  9. Probability Surveys, Conditional Probability, and Ecological Risk Assessment

    EPA Science Inventory

    We show that probability-based environmental resource monitoring programs, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (U.S. EPA) Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program, and conditional probability analysis can serve as a basis for estimating ecological risk over ...

  10. FINAL REPORT. DETERMINING SIGNIFICANT ENDPOINTS FOR ECOLOGICAL RISK ANALYSES

    EPA Science Inventory

    This research examines the ecological significance of radioactive and heavy metal contamination. Risks to non-human biota at higher levels of biological organization are assessed by using novel biological dosimeters in controlled, manipulative, dose/effects experiments, and by co...

  11. Toward an Ecological Risk Assessment Framework for Special Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trepanier, Nathalie S.

    2005-01-01

    We suggest a new framework for conducting research in the field of special education. This framework is inspired by the ecological risk assessment frameworks of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1995) and G.W. Suter (1993), which are primarily used in ecotoxicology and environmental toxicology. The framework includes three phases by which…

  12. Supplemental risk-assessment guidance for the Superfund program. Part 1. Guidance for Public-Health Risk Assessments. Part 2. Guidance for ecological Risk Assessments. Draft report (Final)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1989-06-01

    This guidance manual was developed to address the practical aspects and issues pertaining to the Superfund risk-assessment process for both public health and environment concerns. Part 1, Guidance for Public Health Risk Assessments, supplements the Superfund Public Health Evaluation Manual and Superfund Exposure Assessment Manual and the Endangerment Assessment Handbook. Explicit guidance on technical matters which should be followed in developing public health risk assessments for EPA Region 1. The guidance addresses hazard identification, dose-response assessment, exposure assessment, risk characterization, and uncertainty/limitations. Part 2 of the manual, Guidance for Ecological Risk Assessments, addresses the collection of site-specific data needed to support an ecological risk assessment, describes a framework for conducting the assessments, and provides several specific approaches for assessing risks to systems exposed to chemical contamination in different media.

  13. Ecological Risk Assessment of a Metal-Contaminated Area in the Tropics. Tier II: Detailed Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Niemeyer, Júlia Carina; Moreira-Santos, Matilde; Ribeiro, Rui; Rutgers, Michiel; Nogueira, Marco Antonio; da Silva, Eduardo Mendes; Sousa, José Paulo

    2015-01-01

    This study presents data on the detailed evaluation (tier 2) of a site-specific ecological risk assessment (ssERA) in a former smelter area contaminated with metals (Santo Amaro, Bahia, Brazil). Combining information from three lines of evidence (LoE), chemical (ChemLoE), ecotoxicological (EcotoxLoE) and ecological (EcoLoE), in the Triad approach, integrated risk values were calculated to rank sites and confirm the potential risk disclosed with tier 1. Risk values were calculated for the habitat and for the retention functions in each sampling point. Habitat function included the ChemLoE calculated from total metal concentrations. The EcotoxLoE was based on reproduction tests with terrestrial invertebrates (Folsomia candida, Enchytraeus crypticus, Eisenia andrei), shoot length and plant biomass (Avena sativa, Brassica rapa). For the EcoLoE, ecological parameters (microbial parameters, soil invertebrate community, litter breakdown) were used to derive risk values. Retention function included the ChemLoE, calculated from extractable metal concentrations, and the EcotoxLoE based on eluate tests with aquatic organisms (Daphnia magna reproduction and Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata growth). Results related to the habitat function indicated that the metal residues are sufficient to cause risk to biota, while the low metal levels in extracts and the general lack of toxicity in aquatic tests indicated a high soil retention capacity in most sampling points. Integrated risk of tier 2 showed the same trend of tier 1, suggesting the need to proceed with remediation actions. The high risk levels were related to direct toxicity to organisms and indirect effects, such as failure in the establishment of vegetation and the consequent loss of habitat quality for microorganisms and soil fauna. This study shed some light on the selection of tools for the tier 2 of an ssERA in tropical metal-contaminated sites, focusing on ecological receptors at risk and using available chemical

  14. Ecological Risk Assessment of a Metal-Contaminated Area in the Tropics. Tier II: Detailed Assessment.

    PubMed

    Niemeyer, Júlia Carina; Moreira-Santos, Matilde; Ribeiro, Rui; Rutgers, Michiel; Nogueira, Marco Antonio; da Silva, Eduardo Mendes; Sousa, José Paulo

    2015-01-01

    This study presents data on the detailed evaluation (tier 2) of a site-specific ecological risk assessment (ssERA) in a former smelter area contaminated with metals (Santo Amaro, Bahia, Brazil). Combining information from three lines of evidence (LoE), chemical (ChemLoE), ecotoxicological (EcotoxLoE) and ecological (EcoLoE), in the Triad approach, integrated risk values were calculated to rank sites and confirm the potential risk disclosed with tier 1. Risk values were calculated for the habitat and for the retention functions in each sampling point. Habitat function included the ChemLoE calculated from total metal concentrations. The EcotoxLoE was based on reproduction tests with terrestrial invertebrates (Folsomia candida, Enchytraeus crypticus, Eisenia andrei), shoot length and plant biomass (Avena sativa, Brassica rapa). For the EcoLoE, ecological parameters (microbial parameters, soil invertebrate community, litter breakdown) were used to derive risk values. Retention function included the ChemLoE, calculated from extractable metal concentrations, and the EcotoxLoE based on eluate tests with aquatic organisms (Daphnia magna reproduction and Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata growth). Results related to the habitat function indicated that the metal residues are sufficient to cause risk to biota, while the low metal levels in extracts and the general lack of toxicity in aquatic tests indicated a high soil retention capacity in most sampling points. Integrated risk of tier 2 showed the same trend of tier 1, suggesting the need to proceed with remediation actions. The high risk levels were related to direct toxicity to organisms and indirect effects, such as failure in the establishment of vegetation and the consequent loss of habitat quality for microorganisms and soil fauna. This study shed some light on the selection of tools for the tier 2 of an ssERA in tropical metal-contaminated sites, focusing on ecological receptors at risk and using available chemical

  15. Mining the potential interrelationships between human health and ecological risk assessments of metal-contaminated sites

    SciTech Connect

    Appling, J.W.

    1994-12-31

    Conservative approaches to human health or ecological risk assessment often result in evaluations that indicate a risk at metal concentrations near or below background levels. This presents a complex dilemma to regulators, responsible parties, and the public: How can risk be more realistically estimated so that the public is not unnecessarily alarmed into thinking normal exposures pose abnormal risk, and site remediation can be responsible yet cost-effective? One answer is using-ecological and human health studies together to improve the quality of both types of assessments. Mammalian herbivores and roving children are good spatial and temporal integrators of exposure; biomarkers or Monte Carlo-based models of exposure to herbivores can support realistic estimates of exposure to children. Reduced bioavailability of metals in soils at mining sites is well recognized for many metals and is amenable to study in ecological species; such studies reduce the overestimate of risk to humans through direct contact or exposure via the food chain. Recent and current human health studies of lead and arsenic bioavailability also support ecological assessments. Mixtures of metals pose special challenges because of the potential for antagonistic, additive, or synergistic effects with respect to bioavailability, absorption, distribution, excretion, toxic effects and nutritional or physiological essentiality. Combining results from pharmacokinetic, mechanistic, and environmental studies of mixtures enhances the predictive abilities of risk assessments.

  16. Integrating ecological risk assessments across levels of organization using the Franklin-Noss model of biodiversity

    SciTech Connect

    Brugger, K.E.; Tiebout, H.M. III |

    1994-12-31

    Wildlife toxicologists pioneered methodologies for assessing ecological risk to nontarget species. Historically, ecological risk assessments (ERAS) focused on a limited array of species and were based on a relatively few population-level endpoints (mortality, reproduction). Currently, risk assessment models are becoming increasingly complex that factor in multi-species interactions (across trophic levels) and utilize an increasingly diverse number of ecologically significant endpoints. This trend suggests the increasing importance of safeguarding not only populations of individual species, but also the overall integrity of the larger biotic systems that support them. In this sense, ERAs are in alignment with Conservation Biology, an applied science of ecological knowledge used to conserve biodiversity. A theoretical conservation biology model could be incorporated in ERAs to quantify impacts to biodiversity (structure, function or composition across levels of biological organization). The authors suggest that the Franklin-Noss model for evaluating biodiversity, with its nested, hierarchical approach, may provide a suitable paradigm for assessing and integrating the ecological risk that chemical contaminants pose to biological systems from the simplest levels (genotypes, individual organisms) to the most complex levels of organization (communities and ecosystems). The Franklin-Noss model can accommodate the existing ecotoxicological database and, perhaps more importantly, indicate new areas in which critical endpoints should be identified and investigated.

  17. [Scale effect of Li-Xiang Railway construction impact on landscape pattern and its ecological risk].

    PubMed

    Wang, De-zhi; Qiu, Peng-hua; Fang, Yuan-min

    2015-08-01

    As a large corridor project, plateau railway has multiple points and passes various sensitive environments along the railway. The determination of the scope of impact on ecological environment from railway construction is often controversial in ecological impact assessment work. Taking the Tangbu-Jiantang section of Li-Xiang Railway as study object, and using present land use map (1:10000) in 2012 and DEM as data sources, corridor cutting degree index ( CCI) and cumulative effect index of corridor (CCEI) were established by topology, buffer zone and landscape metrics methods. Besides, the ecological risk index used for railway construction was improved. By quantitative analysis of characteristics of the spatio-temporal change of landscape pattern and its evolution style at different spatial scales before and after railway construction, the most appropriate evaluation scale of the railway was obtained. Then the characteristics of the spatio-temporal variation of ecological risk within this scale before and after railway construction were analyzed. The results indicated that the cutting model and degree of railway corridor to various landscape types could be effectively reflected by CCI, and the exposure and harm relations between risk sources and risk receptors of railway can be measured by CCEI. After the railway construction, the railway corridor would cause a great deal of middle cutting effect on the landscape along the railroad, which would influence wood land and grassland landscape most greatly, while would cause less effect of edge cutting and internal cutting. Landscape indices within the 600 m buffer zone demonstrated the most obvious scale effect, therefore, the 600 m zone of the railway was set as the most suitable range of ecological impact assessment. Before railway construction, the low ecological risk level covered the biggest part of the 600 m assessment zone. However, after the railway construction, the ecological risk increased significantly, and

  18. Using drug sales data to evaluate the epidemiology of cardiometabolic risk factors and their inequality: an ecological study on atorvastatin and total cholesterol in Iran

    PubMed Central

    Ahmadvand, Alireza; Farzadfar, Farshad; Jamshidi, Hamid Reza; Mohammadi, Naser; Holakouie-Naieni, Kourosh

    2015-01-01

    Background: Statins have been effective medications in lowering serum total cholesterol (TC) concentrations across populations over time. The aim of this study was to estimate national and provincial trends in atorvastatin sales in Iran, to systematically quantify its relationship with socioeconomic indicators, and changes in TC level. Methods: In this retrospective ecological study, conducted in Iran, we examined trends in atorvastatin sales, the wealth index (WI) as a validly-available socio-economic indicator, and TC level between 2004 and 2011. The main outcome variable was mean atorvastatin sold in defined daily dose per 100,000 people per day (DPD). We analyzed the relationship between WI and DPD and between DPD and mean TC across time and space. Results: At national level, both mean WI and mean DPD showed increasing trend over time, while we observed decreasing trend for TC. Mean WI and DPD in 2011 was nearly 5 and 50 time that of their respective figures in 2004, while the mean TC decreased for nearly 10%. Increases in both WI and DPD had happened in every province, but with different patterns. The maximum and minimum changes in DPD versus WI were seen in Gilan and North Khorasan respectively. Conclusion: A striking increase occurred in the sales for atorvastatin in Iran from 2004-2012 in most provinces examined. The wealthier a province became, the more sales were seen for atorvastatin. TC optimistically decreased from 2005 to 2011 and its decrease was positively correlated with increasing sales for atorvastatin. PMID:26793651

  19. South Florida Coastal Sediment Ecological Risk Assessment.

    PubMed

    Julian, Paul

    2015-08-01

    This study evaluated the degree of sediment contamination in several South Florida estuaries. During the 2010 National Condition Assessment, Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute collected water column, sediment and biotic data from estuaries across the entire state of Florida. Sediments were analyzed for arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, zinc and total polychlorinated biphenyls and were compared relative to empirically derived sediment quality guidelines. As a result of this data collection and assessment effort, it was determined that the degree of contamination with respect to sediment was low for all southern Florida estuaries assessed, except the Miami River which was determined to be considerably contaminated. However only one monitoring location was used to assess the Miami River, and as such should be viewed with caution. A low degree of contamination was determined for Biscayne Bay sediments, possibly indicating a recovery from its previously reported higher contaminant level. PMID:26084967

  1. Guide for developing conceptual models for ecological risk assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Suter, G.W., II

    1996-05-01

    Ecological conceptual models are the result of the problem formulation phase of an ecological risk assessment, which is an important component of the Remedial Investigation process. They present hypotheses of how the site contaminants might affect the site ecology. The contaminant sources, routes, media, routes, and endpoint receptors are presented in the form of a flow chart. This guide is for preparing the conceptual models; use of this guide will standardize the models so that they will be of high quality, useful to the assessment process, and sufficiently consistent so that connections between sources of exposure and receptors can be extended across operable units (OU). Generic conceptual models are presented for source, aquatic integrator, groundwater integrator, and terrestrial OUs.

  2. Ecological risk assessment of water environment for Luanhe River Basin based on relative risk model.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jingling; Chen, Qiuying; Li, Yongli

    2010-11-01

    The relative risk model (RRM) was applied in regional ecological risk assessments successfully. In this study, the RRM was developed through increasing the data of risk source and introducing the source-stressor-habitat exposure filter (SSH), the endpoint-habitat exposure filter (EH) and the stressor-endpoint effect filter (SE) to reflect the meaning of exposure and effect more explicit. Water environment which include water quality, water quantity and aquatic ecosystems was selected as the ecological risk assessment endpoints. The Luanhe River Basin located in the North China was selected as model case. The results showed that there were three low risk regions, one medium risk region and two high risk regions in the Luanhe River Basin. The results also indicated habitat destruction was the largest stressor with the risk scores as high as 11.87 for the Luanhe water environment, the second was oxygen consuming organic pollutants (9.28) and the third was nutrients (7.78). So these three stressors were the main influencing factors of the ecological pressure in the study area. Furthermore, animal husbandry was the biggest source with the risk scores as high as 20.38, the second was domestic sewage (14.00), and the third was polluting industry (9.96). For habitats, waters and farmland were enduring the bigger pressure and should be taken considerable attention. Water deterioration and ecological service values damaged were facing the biggest risk pressure, and secondly was biodiversity decreased and landscape fragmentation. PMID:20683654

  3. Ecological risk of estrogenic endocrine disrupting chemicals in sewage plant effluent and reclaimed water.

    PubMed

    Sun, Yan; Huang, Huang; Sun, Ying; Wang, Chao; Shi, Xiao-Lei; Hu, Hong-Ying; Kameya, Takashi; Fujie, Koichi

    2013-09-01

    The long-term ecological risk of micropollutants, especially endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) has threatened reclaimed water quality. In this study, estrogenic activity and ecological risk of eight typical estrogenic EDCs in effluents from sewage plants were evaluated. The estrogenic activity analysis showed that steroidal estrogens had the highest estrogenic activity (ranged from 10(-1) to 10(3) ng-E2/L), phenolic compounds showed weaker estrogenic activity (mainly ranged from 10(-3) to 10 ng-E2/L), and phthalate esters were negligible. The ecological risk of the estrogenic EDCs which was characterized by risk quotient ranged from 10(-4) to 10(3), with an order in descending: steroids estrogens, phenolic compounds and phthalate esters. The eight estrogenic EDCs were scored and sorted based on the comparison of the estrogenic activity and the ecological risk, suggesting that 17α-ethynylestradiol (EE2), estrone (E1) and estradiol (E2) should be the priority EDCs to control in municipal sewage plants. PMID:23735815

  4. The integration of ecological risk assessment and structured decision making into watershed management.

    PubMed

    Ohlson, Dan W; Serveiss, Victor B

    2007-01-01

    Watershed management processes continue to call for more science and improved decision making that take into account the full range of stakeholder perspectives. Increasingly, the core principles of ecological risk assessment (i.e., the development and use of assessment endpoints and conceptual models, conducting exposure and effects analysis) are being incorporated and adapted in innovative ways to meet the call for more science. Similarly, innovative approaches to adapting decision analysis tools and methods for incorporating stakeholder concerns in complex natural resource management decisions are being increasingly applied. Here, we present an example of the integration of ecological risk assessment with decision analysis in the development of a watershed management plan for the Greater Vancouver Water District in British Columbia, Canada. Assessment endpoints were developed, ecological inventory data were collected, and watershed models were developed to characterize the existing and future condition of 3 watersheds in terms of the potential risks to water quality. Stressors to water quality include sedimentation processes (landslides, streambank erosion) and forest disturbance (wildfire, major insect or disease outbreak). Three landscape-level risk management alternatives were developed to reflect different degrees of management intervention. Each alternative was evaluated under different scenarios and analyzed by explicitly examining value-based trade-offs among water quality, environmental, financial, and social endpoints. The objective of this paper is to demonstrate how the integration of ecological risk assessment and decision analysis approaches can support decision makers in watershed management. PMID:17283600

  5. Baseline ecological risk assessment Salmon Site, Lamar County, Mississippi

    SciTech Connect

    1995-04-01

    The Salmon Site (SS), formerly the Tatum Dome Test Site, located in Mississippi was the site of two nuclear and two gas explosion tests conducted between 1964 and 1970. A consequence of these testing activities is that radionuclides were released into the salt dome, where they are presently contained. During reentry drilling and other site activities, incidental liquid and solid wastes that contained radioactivity were generated, resulting in some soil, ground water and equipment contamination. As part of the remedial investigation effort, a Baseline Ecological Risk Assessment was conducted at the SS. The purpose is to gauge ecological and other environmental impacts attributable to past activities at the former test facility. The results of this facility-specific baseline risk assessment are presented in this document.

  6. Integrating diverse scientific and practitioner knowledge in ecological risk analysis: a case study of biodiversity risk assessment in South Africa.

    PubMed

    Dana, G V; Kapuscinski, A R; Donaldson, J S

    2012-05-15

    Ecological risk analysis (ERA) is a structured evaluation of threats to species, natural communities, and ecosystem processes from pollutants and toxicants and more complicated living stressors such as invasive species, genetically modified organisms, and biological control agents. Such analyses are typically conducted by a narrowly-focused group of scientific experts using technical information. We evaluate whether the inclusion of more diverse experts and practitioners in ERA improved the ecological knowledge base about South African biodiversity and the potential impacts of genetically modified (GM) crops. We conducted two participatory ERA workshops in South Africa, analyzing potential impacts of GM maize on biodiversity. The first workshop involved only four biological scientists, who were joined by 18 diverse scientists and practitioners in the second, and we compared the ERA process and results between the two using descriptive statistics and semi-structured interview responses. The addition of diverse experts and practitioners led to a more comprehensive understanding of biological composition of the agro-ecosystem and a more ecologically relevant set of hazards, but impeded hazard prioritization and the generation of precise risk assessment values. Results suggest that diverse participation can improve the scoping or problem formulation of the ERA, by generating an ecologically robust set of information on which to base the subsequent, more technical risk assessment. The participatory ERA process also increased the transparency of the ERA by exposing the logic and rationale for decisions made at each step. PMID:22266478

  7. Non-Dioxin-Like PCBs: Effects and Consideration in Ecological Risk Assessments

    EPA Science Inventory

    This response document was written in response to a request received by ORD’s Ecological Risk Assessment Support Center (ERASC) from the Ecological Risk Assessment Forum (ERAF). The purpose of this report is to o provide ecological risk assessors with a concise summary of the sta...

  8. Overview of DOD activities in ecological risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Whaley, J E; Porter, R C

    1997-11-01

    Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, Congress has mandated that all designated hazardous waste sites will be remediated to protect human health and the environment. This law is the driving force behind the Department of Defense (DOD) ecological risk assessment (ERA) program. Ecological risk assessments are currently underway at many DOD sites with budgets ranging from five thousand to ten million dollars. However, with the advent of downsizing government and shrinking funds, efforts are being made within DOD to better refine these assessments. Two DOD work groups function to develop guidance for and assist project managers with the ERA process. These groups are the Army Biological Technical Assistance Group chaired by the Army Environmental Center and the Tri-Service Ecological Risk Assessment Work Group (ERWG) chartered by the Tri-Service Environmental Support Centers Coordinating Committee. Membership in the Tri-Service ERWG includes all facets of DOD. In the research arena, the Fate & Effects Research and Development Program is one of four primary thrust areas under the Army's Environmental Quality Technology Program "Clean Up" pillar. This program is currently being executed by three laboratories, the Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, MS, the Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, and the Army Center for Environmental Health Research (Provisional), Ft. Detrick, MD. The goal of this program is to provide tools to improve environmental risk assessments, both human and ecological. The research is geared toward addressing user requirements and is defined by the Fate and Effects Research Program. PMID:9433659

  9. Comprehensive methodology for ecological risk assessment of contaminated soils

    SciTech Connect

    Kuperman, R.G.

    1994-12-31

    Development of a comprehensive methodology for ecological risk assessment and monitoring of contaminated soils is essential to assess the impacts of environmental contaminants on soil community and biologically-mediated processes in soil. The proposed four-step plan involves (1) a thorough survey of the soil community to establish biodiversity and a base-line community structure, (2) toxicity trials on indicator species and whole soil invertebrate communities, (3) laboratory and field tests on indicator processes and (4) the use of statistical and simulation models to ascertain changes in the soil ecosystems. This methodology was used in portions of the US Army`s Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland as part of an ecological risk assessment. Previous soil analyses showed extensive surface soil contamination with metals, nitrate and PCBs. Preliminary results from field surveys of soil invertebrate communities showed significant reductions in total abundance of animals, reductions in the abundance of several taxonomic and functional groups of soil invertebrates, and changes in the activity of epigeic arthropods in contaminated areas when compared with the local ``background`` area. Laboratory tests also demonstrated that microbial activity and success of egg hatching of ground beetle Harpalus pensylvanicus were reduced in contaminated soils. These results suggest that impacts to soil ecosystems should be explicitly considered in ecological risk assessment. The proposed comprehensive methodology appears to offer an efficient and potentially cost saving tool for remedial investigations of contaminated sites.

  10. [Pollution characteristics and ecological risk assessment of heavy metals in the surface sediments of the Yangtze River].

    PubMed

    Wang, Lan; Wang, Ya-ping; Xu, Chun-xue; An, Zi-yi

    2012-08-01

    The concentrations of Cr, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd, As and Hg in surface sediment samples of Yangtze River collected in 2007 were analyzed and evaluated. The results indicated that the concentrations of Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd, As and Hg were significantly higher than those measured in 1990s. Principal component analysis showed that the cumulative proportion of the first three components accounted for 86.75% of the total variable, indicating the three major sources of heavy metals were industrial and mining wastewater, weathering and erosion of rocks, and urban electroplating industry wastewater and natural sources. Geoaccumulation index (Igeo) and enrichment factors (EF) also showed that the surface sediments of the Yangtze River were not contaminated with Cr, Co and Ni, lightly contaminated with Cu, Zn, As and Hg, and majorly contaminated with Ph and Cd. The ecological hazards for the heavy metals in the sediments were evaluated with the Hakanson ecological risk index. It was concluded the ecological hazards for each metal in a descending order were Cd > Hg > As > Zn > Pb > Cu > Co > Ni > Cr. The comprehensive index of potential ecological risks for metals indicated that 36% of the 61 sites had moderate potential ecological risks. Three sites had a high potential ecological risk, namely, Chongqing site of the main Yangtze River, Zishui Dongting Lake and Xinjiang site, whereas Xiangjiang Hengyang section, Xiangjiang Zhuzhou section, Xiangjiang Dongting Lake entrance, Dongting Lake and Shunan River belonged to the areas with extremely high potential ecological risk. PMID:23213879

  11. The role of mesocosm studies in ecological risk analysis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boyle, T.P.; Fairchild, J.F.

    1997-01-01

    Mesocosms have been primarily used as research tools for the evaluation of the fate and effects of xenobiotic chemicals at the population, community, and ecosystem levels of biological organization. This paper provides suggestions for future applications of mesocosm research. Attention should be given to the configuration of mesocosm parameters to explicitly study regional questions of ecological interest. The initial physical, chemical, and biological conditions within mesocosms should be considered as factors shaping the final results of experiments. Certain fundamental questions such as the ecological inertia and resilience of systems with different initial ecological properties should be addressed. Researchers should develop closer working relationships with mathematical modelers in linking computer models to the outcomes of mesocosm studies. Mesocosm tests, linked with models, could enable managers and regulators to forecast the regional consequences of chemicals released into the environment.

  12. [Rare earth elements content in farmland soils and crops of the surrounding copper mining and smelting plant in Jiangxi province and evaluation of its ecological risk].

    PubMed

    Jin, Shu-Lan; Huang, Yi-Zong; Wang, Fei; Xu, Feng; Wang, Xiao-Ling; Gao, Zhu; Hu, Ying; Qiao Min; Li, Jin; Xiang, Meng

    2015-03-01

    Rare earth elements content in farmland soils and crops of the surrounding copper mining and smelting plant in Jiangxi province was studied. The results showed that copper mining and smelting could increase the content of rare earth elements in soils and crops. Rare earth elements content in farmland soils of the surrounding Yinshan Lead Zinc Copper Mine and Guixi Smelting Plant varied from 112.42 to 397.02 mg x kg(-1) and 48.81 to 250.06 mg x kg(-1), and the average content was 254.84 mg x kg(-1) and 144.21 mg x kg(-1), respectively. The average contents of rare earth elements in soils in these two areas were 1.21 times and 0.68 times of the background value in Jiangxi province, 1.36 times and 0.77 times of the domestic background value, 3.59 times and 2.03 times of the control samples, respectively. Rare earth elements content in 10 crops of the surrounding Guixi Smelting Plant varied from 0.35 to 2.87 mg x kg(-1). The contents of rare earth elements in the leaves of crops were higher than those in stem and root. The contents of rare earth elements in Tomato, lettuce leaves and radish leaves were respectively 2.87 mg x kg(-1), 1.58 mg x kg(-1) and 0.80 mg x kg(-1), which were well above the hygienic standard limit of rare earth elements in vegetables and fruits (0.70 mg x kg(-1)). According to the health risk assessment method recommended by America Environmental Protection Bureau (USEPA), we found that the residents' lifelong average daily intake of rare earth elements was 17.72 mg x (kg x d)(-1), lower than the critical value of rare earth elements damage to human health. The results suggested that people must pay attention to the impact of rare earth elements on the surrounding environment when they mine and smelt copper ore in Jiangxi. PMID:25929077

  13. DESIGN AND EVALUATION OF LABORATORY ECOLOGICAL SYSTEM STUDIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Design and evaluation of laboratory ecological system studies are considered in relation to problems and objectives in environmental toxicology. Ecological systems are defined to be organismic systems together with their level-specific, co-extensive environmental systems and to o...

  14. Ecological risk assessment for radionuclides and metals: A radiological and chemical approach

    SciTech Connect

    Mahini, X.; Mahini, R.; Fan, A.

    1995-12-31

    In response to the regulatory concern over the adverse effects of depleted uranium (DU) on ecological receptors at two sites contaminated with DU and metals, an ecological risk assessment (ERA) was performed, in conjunction with a radiological/chemical human health risk assessment (HRA). To date, most research on the harmful effects of radiation has focused only on humans. With regard to radiation protection of the environment, national and international radiation protection advisory committees have concluded that levels protecting human health should be sufficient to protect the environment as well. To select chemicals of potential ecological concern, a qualitative ERA was first performed by comparing chemical stressor concentrations in abiotic media with various benchmarked criteria. The results indicate that, as with the case of human health, DU was the ecological risk-driving chemical at these sites. Both radiological and chemical effects posed by DU were then estimated for the bald eagle, an endangered species that represents the assessment end point of the quantitative ERA. Abiotic media and food webs evaluated were: soils, surface water, plants, terrestrial (both mammalian and avian) species, and aquatic species. The results of the quantitative ERA indicate that the decision to cleanup DU contamination at these sites can solely be based on human health effects as limiting criteria. The risk assessments were well received by the regulatory agencies overseeing the project.

  15. [Distribution and potential ecological risk assessment of heavy metals in sediments of Zhalong Wetland].

    PubMed

    Ye, Hua-Xiang; Zang, Shu-Ying; Zhang, Li-Juan; Zhang, Yu-Hong

    2013-04-01

    This study investigated the concentrations of heavy metals in the sediments of the Zhalong Wetland using ICP-MS, analyzed their spatial distributions, evaluated the potential ecological risk, and explored the pollution sources and environmental influencing factors. The results can be summarized as the followings: (1) The concentrations of Hg, Cd, As, Cu, Pb, Zn and Cr were 0.065, 0.155, 10.26, 18.20, 21.35, 52.08 and 46.47 mg x kg(-1), respectively, which were all above the soil background values of the Songnen Plain. Their spatial distributions were distinctly different. The concentration of heavy metals in the north was higher than that in the south, and the east was higher than the west. Particularly in the eastern region, the concentrations of Hg and Cd were 20.8 and 32.4 times the minimum values of the whole area. And in the core zone, the concentration was relatively low. (2) The sequence of the potential ecological risk posed by the metals was Hg > Cd > As > Pb > Cu > Cr > Zn. The average potential ecological risk index (RI) of the Zhalong Wetland was 171.9 (ranged from 76.9-473.5), suggesting a moderate ecological risk. However, the potential ecological risk was extremely high in the east which should be treated as the major heavy metal pollution prevention site in the future. (3) Except for Hg and Pb, the concentrations of all heavy metals were significantly correlated to each other, indicating that those heavy metals had homology. (4) Organic matter was the major environmental influencing factor. However, the trend of land salinization in the Zhalong Wetland has been intensified, indicating a higher risk of heavy metal releasing from the sediments, to which the local authorities should pay enough attention. PMID:23798110

  16. Occurrence, source identification and ecological risk evaluation of metal elements in surface sediment: toward a comprehensive understanding of heavy metal pollution in Chaohu Lake, Eastern China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ji-Zhong; Peng, Shu-Chuan; Chen, Tian-Hu; Zhang, Liu

    2016-01-01

    In the present study, surface sediment samples from 48 sites covering the whole water area and three main estuaries of Chaohu Lake were collected to determine the concentrations of 25 metal elements using microwave-assisted digestion combined with ICP-MS. Spatial variation, source appointments, and contamination evaluation were examined using multivariate statistical techniques and pollution indices. The results show that for the elements Cd, Pb, Zr, Hf, U, Sr, Zn, Th, Rb, Sn, Cs, Tl, Bi, and Ba, which had higher coefficients of variation (CV), the concentrations were significantly higher in the eastern lake than in the western lake, but other elements with low CV values did not show spatial differences. The accumulation of Cu, Zn, Rb, Sr, Zr, Cd, Sn, Cs, Ba, Hf, Ta, Tl, Pb, Bi, U, and Th in the surface sediments was inferred as long-term agricultural cultivation impact, but that of Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Co, and Ni may have been a natural occurrence. The contribution from industrial and municipal impact was negligible, despite the rapid urbanization around the studied area. Principal component analysis-multiple linear regression (PCA-MLR) predicted the contribution from agricultural activities to range from 0.45 ± 1.31% for Co to 92.7 ± 17.7% for Cd. The results of the pollution indices indicate that Chaohu Lake was weakly to moderately affected by Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Co, and Ni but was severely contaminated by Hf and Cd. The overall pollution level in the eastern lake was higher than that in the western lake with respect to the pollution level index (PLI). Therefore, our results can help comprehensively understand the sediment contamination by metals in Chaohu Lake. PMID:26304811

  17. [Potential ecological risks assessment of heavy metals in the reservoir sediment of the western Haihe River basin].

    PubMed

    Cheng, Xian; Wang, Rui-lin; Wang, Jian-li; Sun, Ran-hao

    2015-05-01

    The reservoirs distributed in the western part of Haihe River basin play a key role in drinking water supply in the densely populated region. The potential ecological risk of heavy metals stored in the reservoir sediments has drawn more attention during recent decades. In this study, a total of 10 reservoirs in the western Haihe River basin were sampled. The sediment samples were assessed by the Hakanson potential ecological risk evaluation index. The sediments of upstream and downstream rivers were also sampled for comparative analysis with those of the reservoirs. The results indicated the concentration of Cd was significantly higher than the background value in this region, it was 1.67 times of the background value on average and the highest was 2.77 times. The concentration of Pb was higher than the background value for more than half of the reservoirs. The potential ecological risk was evaluated by the toxic coefficient. The ecological risk level was decreased in the order of Cd>As>Pb>Ni>Cu>Cr>Zn. The ecological risk of Cd in most reservoir sediments belonged to a moderate harm. Xidayang Reservior, which supplied the drinking water for Beijing and Baoding, had the highest level of Cd pollution. The ecological risk of Cd in the upstream and downstream rivers was significantly higher than that of the reservoirs. In addition, the ecological risks of Pb, Cu and Ni in the upstream rivers were also higher than the reservoirs. The difference of ecological risks of Zn and Cr was not significant between reservoirs and rivers. PMID:26571670

  18. Human health and ecological risk assessment of soil-borne arsenic and lead: A site-specific risk assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Roy, M.; Epp, G.A.; Beukema, P.; Nieboer, E.

    1997-12-31

    Screening level site specific human health and ecological risk assessments (ERA) were conducted at a historical (1908--1921) smelting and refining site in the Niagara Region, Ontario in accordance with the recently released provincial and federal risk assessment guidelines. The purpose of the assessment was to evaluate the risk associated with elevated levels of arsenic and lead in surface soils, and to assess alternative remediation options, prior to property transfer. Future intended land use will be parkland and for the site to remain forested. The identification of potential receptors, exposure pathways, and end-points was conducted at the biological community-level. The ERA involved a toxic cue inventory of the core smelting and refining site, adjacent lands and a reference site. Development of remediation options was based on hazard assessment and the prediction of risks associated with arsenic contamination. An evaluation of remediation options and the selection of a preferred option are discussed.

  19. Combined ecological risks of nitrogen and phosphorus in European freshwaters.

    PubMed

    Azevedo, Ligia B; van Zelm, Rosalie; Leuven, Rob S E W; Hendriks, A Jan; Huijbregts, Mark A J

    2015-05-01

    Eutrophication is a key water quality issue triggered by increasing nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) levels and potentially posing risks to freshwater biota. We predicted the probability that an invertebrate species within a community assemblage becomes absent due to nutrient stress as the ecological risk (ER) for European lakes and streams subjected to N and P pollution from 1985 to 2011. The ER was calculated as a function of species-specific tolerances to NO3(-) and total P concentrations and water quality monitoring data. Lake and stream ER averaged 50% in the last monitored year (i.e. 2011) and we observed a decrease by 22% and 38% in lake and stream ER (respectively) of river basins since 1985. Additionally, the ER from N stress surpassed that of P in both freshwater systems. The ER can be applied to identify river basins most subjected to eutrophication risks and the main drivers of impacts. PMID:25700335

  20. Ecological risk assessment of heavy metals in soils surrounding oil waste disposal areas.

    PubMed

    Xu, Jianling; Wang, Hanxi; Liu, Yuanyuan; Ma, Mengchao; Zhang, Tian; Zheng, Xiaoxue; Zong, Meihan

    2016-02-01

    More attention is being devoted to heavy metal pollution because heavy metals can concentrate in higher animals through the food chain, harm human health and threaten the stability of the ecological environment. In this study, the effects of heavy metals (Cu, Cr, Zn, Pb, Cd, Ni and Hg) emanating from oil waste disposal on surrounding soil in Jilin Province, China, were investigated. A potential ecological risk index was used to evaluate the damage of heavy metals and concluded that the degree of potential ecological damage of heavy metals can be ranked as follows: Hg > Cd > Pb > Cu > Ni > Cr > Zn. The average value of the potential ecological harm index (Ri) is 71.93, thereby indicating light pollution. In addition, this study researched the spatial distribution of soil heavy metals by means of ArcGIS (geographic information system) spatial analysis software. The results showed that the potential ecological risk index (R) of the large value was close to the distance from the oil waste disposal area; it is relatively between the degree of heavy metals in soil and the distance from the waste disposal area. PMID:26832722

  1. Guidance for treatment of variability and uncertainty in ecological risk assessments of contaminated sites

    SciTech Connect

    1998-06-01

    Uncertainty is a seemingly simple concept that has caused great confusion and conflict in the field of risk assessment. This report offers guidance for the analysis and presentation of variability and uncertainty in ecological risk assessments, an important issue in the remedial investigation and feasibility study processes. This report discusses concepts of probability in terms of variance and uncertainty, describes how these concepts differ in ecological risk assessment from human health risk assessment, and describes probabilistic aspects of specific ecological risk assessment techniques. The report ends with 17 points to consider in performing an uncertainty analysis for an ecological risk assessment of a contaminated site.

  2. Reducing uncertainty in ecological risk assessment: The pros of measuring contaminant exposures

    SciTech Connect

    Burris, J.A.; Pease, A.

    1995-12-31

    Wildlife species (mammals, birds and reptiles) are primarily exposed to contamination in soils via ingestion of food. Uncertainties in risk analyses for this pathway are largely associated with the estimation of the amount of contamination in food items. The benefits of measuring contaminant concentrations in food items are examined based on comparison of risk results with and without measurements of exposure. At two hazardous waste sites, plants and earthworms were analyzed for metals and organics. Site-specific bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) were calculated and compared to literature reported values. In general, the metals concentrations in plant samples were higher than those predicted by literature values with the exception of cadmium and copper. Metal concentrations measured in invertebrates (worms) were lower than those predicted by literature values with the exception of arsenic. Literature BAFs did not adequately predict concentrations of barium, mercury or copper in invertebrate tissue. In the ecological risk assessments for both of the sites, if site-specific measurements were used, risks for wildlife species were not predicted. However if literature BAF values were used, unacceptable risks were predicted. The higher estimates of risks were associated with overestimates of dietary exposures of lead, cadmium, chromium, copper and zinc. Measurement of contaminant exposures provided for a more realistic and cost-effective estimate of ecological risks. The effect of using the empirical data on the magnitude of risks were evaluated including decisions concerning remediation. A cost-benefit analysis will be provided comparing the costs of measurement of exposures versus remediation.

  3. Potential ecological risk assessment and prediction of soil heavy metal pollution around coal gangue dump

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, X.; Lu, W. X.; Yang, Q. C.; Yang, Z. P.

    2014-03-01

    Aim of the present study is to evaluate the potential ecological risk and predict the trend of soil heavy metal pollution around a~coal gangue dump in Jilin Province (Northeast China). The concentrations of Cd, Pb, Cu, Cr and Zn were monitored by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The potential ecological risk index method developed by Hakanson (1980) was employed to assess the potential risk of heavy metal pollution. The potential ecological risk in an order of E(Cd) > E(Pb) > E(Cu) > E(Cr) > E(Zn) have been obtained, which showed that Cd was the most important factor led to risk. Based on the Cd pollution history, the cumulative acceleration and cumulative rate of Cd were estimated, and the fixed number of years exceeding standard prediction model was established, which was used to predict the pollution trend of Cd under the accelerated accumulation mode and the uniform mode. Pearson correlation analysis and correspondence analysis are employed to identify the sources of heavy metal, and the relationship between sampling points and variables. These findings provide some useful insights for making appropriate management strategies to prevent and decrease heavy metal pollution around coal gangue dump in Yangcaogou coal mine and other similar areas elsewhere.

  4. Potential ecological risk assessment and prediction of soil heavy-metal pollution around coal gangue dump

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, X.; Lu, W. X.; Zhao, H. Q.; Yang, Q. C.; Yang, Z. P.

    2014-06-01

    The aim of the present study is to evaluate the potential ecological risk and trend of soil heavy-metal pollution around a coal gangue dump in Jilin Province (Northeast China). The concentrations of Cd, Pb, Cu, Cr and Zn were monitored by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The potential ecological risk index method developed by Hakanson (1980) was employed to assess the potential risk of heavy-metal pollution. The potential ecological risk in the order of ER(Cd) > ER(Pb) > ER(Cu) > ER(Cr) > ER(Zn) have been obtained, which showed that Cd was the most important factor leading to risk. Based on the Cd pollution history, the cumulative acceleration and cumulative rate of Cd were estimated, then the fixed number of years exceeding the standard prediction model was established, which was used to predict the pollution trend of Cd under the accelerated accumulation mode and the uniform mode. Pearson correlation analysis and correspondence analysis are employed to identify the sources of heavy metals and the relationship between sampling points and variables. These findings provided some useful insights for making appropriate management strategies to prevent or decrease heavy-metal pollution around a coal gangue dump in the Yangcaogou coal mine and other similar areas elsewhere.

  5. Revealing ecological risks of priority endocrine disrupting chemicals in four marine protected areas in Hong Kong through an integrative approach.

    PubMed

    Xu, Elvis Genbo; Ho, Philip Wing-Lok; Tse, Zero; Ho, Shu-Leong; Leung, Kenneth Mei Yee

    2016-08-01

    Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Hong Kong are situated in close proximity to urbanized areas, and inevitably influenced by wastewater discharges and antifouling biocides leached from vessels. Hence, marine organisms inhabiting these MPAs are probably at risk. Here an integrative approach was employed to comprehensively assess ecological risks of eight priority endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in four MPAs of Hong Kong. We quantified their concentrations in environmental and biota samples collected in different seasons during 2013-2014, while mussels (Septifer virgatus) and semi-permeable membrane devices were deployed to determine the extent of accumulation of the EDCs. Extracts from the environmental samples were subjected to the yeast estrogen screen and a novel human cell-based catechol-O-methyltransferase ELISA to evaluate their estrogenic activities. The results indicated ecological risks of EDCs in the Cape d'Aguilar Marine Reserve. This integrated approach can effectively evaluate ecological risks of EDCs through linking their concentrations to biological effects. PMID:27179329

  6. Soil-ecological risks for soil degradation estimation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trifonova, Tatiana; Shirkin, Leonid; Kust, German; Andreeva, Olga

    2016-04-01

    Soil degradation includes the processes of soil properties and quality worsening, primarily from the point of view of their productivity and decrease of ecosystem services quality. Complete soil cover destruction and/or functioning termination of soil forms of organic life are considered as extreme stages of soil degradation, and for the fragile ecosystems they are normally considered in the network of their desertification, land degradation and droughts /DLDD/ concept. Block-model of ecotoxic effects, generating soil and ecosystem degradation, has been developed as a result of the long-term field and laboratory research of sod-podzol soils, contaminated with waste, containing heavy metals. The model highlights soil degradation mechanisms, caused by direct and indirect impact of ecotoxicants on "phytocenosis- soil" system and their combination, frequently causing synergistic effect. The sequence of occurring changes here can be formalized as a theory of change (succession of interrelated events). Several stages are distinguished here - from heavy metals leaching (releasing) in waste and their migration downward the soil profile to phytoproductivity decrease and certain phytocenosis composition changes. Phytoproductivity decrease leads to the reduction of cellulose content introduced into the soil. The described feedback mechanism acts as a factor of sod-podzolic soil self-purification and stability. It has been shown, that using phytomass productivity index, integrally reflecting the worsening of soil properties complex, it is possible to solve the problems dealing with the dose-reflecting reactions creation and determination of critical levels of load for phytocenosis and corresponding soil-ecological risks. Soil-ecological risk in "phytocenosis- soil" system means probable negative changes and the loss of some ecosystem functions during the transformation process of dead organic substance energy for the new biomass composition. Soil-ecological risks estimation is

  7. APPLICATION OF FETAX IN ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENTS: A CRITICAL ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    A workshop sponsored by NIEHS in 2000 evaluated the use of FETAX as a screening method for identifying the developmental toxicity potenial of chemical and environmental samples. Workshop recommendations pertinent to environmental risk assessment suggested that additional comparat...

  8. Sensitivity of risk estimates to wildlife bioaccumulation factors in ecological risk assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Karustis, C.G.; Brewer, R.A.

    1995-12-31

    The concept of conservatism in risk assessment is well established. However, overly conservative assumptions may result in risk estimates that incorrectly predict remediation goals. Therefore, realistic assumptions should be applied in risk assessment whenever possible. A sensitivity analysis was performed on conservative (i.e. bioaccumulation factor = 1) and scientifically-derived wildlife bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) utilized to calculate risks during a terrestrial ecological risk assessment (ERA). In the first approach, 100% bioaccumulation of contaminants was assumed to estimate the transfer of contaminants through the terrestrial food chain. In the second approach, scientifically-derived BAFs were selected from the literature. For one of the measurement species selected, total risks calculated during the first approach were higher than those calculated during the second approach by two orders of magnitude. However, potential risks due to individual contaminants were not necessarily higher using the conservative approach. Potential risk due to contaminants with low actual bioaccumulation were exaggerated while potential risks due to contaminants with greater than 100% bioaccumulation were underestimated. Therefore, the use of a default of 100% bioaccumulation (BAF = 1) for all contaminants encountered during an ERA could result in cases where contaminants are incorrectly identified as risk drivers, and the calculation of incorrect ecological risk-based cleanup goals. The authors suggest using site-specific or literature-derived BAFs whenever possible and realistic BAF estimates, based upon factors such as log K{sub ow}, when BAFs are unavailable.

  9. METHODOLOGY FOR THE EVALUATION OF CUMULATIVE EPISODIC EXPOSURE TO CHEMICAL STRESSORS IN AQUATIC RISK ASSESSMENT.

    EPA Science Inventory

    An ecological risk assessment method was developed to evaluate the magnitude, duration, and episodic nature of chemical stressors on aquatic communities. The percent of an ecosystem's species at risk from a designated chemical exposure scenario is generated. In effects assessment...

  10. Ecological risk assessment of a wetland exposed to boron

    SciTech Connect

    Powell, R.L.; Kimerle, R.A.; Coyle, G.T.; Best, G.R.

    1997-11-01

    A wetland located in the southeastern portion of the United States was the site of an investigation to determine the potential ecological risk of elevated boron concentrations to the flora and fauna living in the wetland. The conceptual model identified the vegetation as the primary receptor of concern, and thus the vegetation is the focus of this article. Samples of surface water, sediments, and selected vegetation were collected from the study wetland and several nearby reference sites and were analyzed for boron. Concentrations of boron in all three media exceeded reference site concentrations. Boron concentrations were highest near the suspected source but decreased almost to reference-site concentrations near the outer perimeter of the wetland. Some plants appeared stressed with yellowing and necrotic leaves; however, a correlation between tissue boron concentrations and the plant`s visual appearance was not apparent for all species studied. Modeling of the fate of boron indicated that the wetland has likely been at a steady state for many years and that boron concentrations were not expected to increase. It was concluded that no observable adverse ecological impacts to the vegetation could be attributed to boron, nor is it likely that the boron poses an unacceptable risk to the surrounding areas.

  11. Ecological Risk Model of Childhood Obesity in Chinese Immigrant Children

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Nan; Cheah, Charissa S. L.

    2015-01-01

    Chinese Americans are the largest and fastest growing Asian American subgroup, increasing about one-third during the 2000s. Despite the slender Asian stereotype, nearly one-third of 6-to-11 years old Chinese American children were found to be overweight (above the 85th percentile in BMI). Importantly, unique and severe health risks are associated with being overweight/obese in Chinese. Unfortunately, Chinese immigrant children have been neglected in the literature on obesity. This review aimed to identify factors at various levels of the ecological model that may place Chinese immigrant children at risk for being overweight/obese in the U.S. Key contextual factors at the micro-, meso-, exo-, macro- and chronosystem were identified guided by Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory. The corresponding mediating and moderating processes among the factors were also reviewed and proposed. By presenting a conceptual framework and relevant research, this review can provide a basic framework for directing future interdisciplinary research in seeking solutions to childhood obesity within this understudied population. PMID:25728887

  12. Ecological risk model of childhood obesity in Chinese immigrant children.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Nan; Cheah, Charissa S L

    2015-07-01

    Chinese Americans are the largest and fastest growing Asian American subgroup, increasing about one-third during the 2000s. Despite the slender Asian stereotype, nearly one-third of 6-to-11 year old Chinese American children were found to be overweight (above the 85th percentile in BMI). Importantly, unique and severe health risks are associated with being overweight/obese in Chinese. Unfortunately, Chinese immigrant children have been neglected in the literature on obesity. This review aimed to identify factors at various levels of the ecological model that may place Chinese immigrant children at risk for being overweight/obese in the U.S. Key contextual factors at the micro-, meso-, exo-, macro- and chronosystem were identified guided by Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory. The corresponding mediating and moderating processes among the factors were also reviewed and proposed. By presenting a conceptual framework and relevant research, this review can provide a basic framework for directing future interdisciplinary research in seeking solutions to childhood obesity within this understudied population. PMID:25728887

  13. Baseline ecological risk assessment of the Calcasieu Estuary, Louisiana: 1. Overview and problem formulation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    MacDonald, Donald D.; Moore, Dwayne R.J.; Ingersoll, Christopher G.; Smorong, Dawn E.; Carr, R. Scott; Gouguet, Ron; Charters, David; Wilson, Duane; Harris, Tom; Rauscher, Jon; Roddy, Susan; Meyer, John

    2011-01-01

    A remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS) of the Calcasieu Estuary cooperative site was initiated in 1998. This site, which is located in the southwestern portion of Louisiana in the vicinity of Lake Charles, includes the portion of the estuary from the saltwater barrier on the Calcasieu River to Moss Lake. As part of the RI/FS, a baseline ecological risk assessment (BERA) was conducted to assess the risks to aquatic organisms and aquatic-dependent wildlife exposed to environmental contaminants. The purpose of the BERA was to determine if adverse effects on ecological receptors are occurring in the estuary; to evaluate the nature, severity, and areal extent of any such effects; and to identify the substances that are causing or substantially contributing to effects on ecological receptors. This article describes the environmental setting and site history, identifies the chemicals of potential concern, presents the exposure scenarios and conceptual model for the site, and summarizes the assessment and measurement endpoints that were used in the investigation. Two additional articles in this series describe the results of an evaluation of effects-based sediment-quality guidelines as well as an assessment of risks to benthic invertebrates associated with exposure to contaminated sediment.

  14. Effects of algae growth on cadmium remobilization and ecological risk in sediments of Taihu Lake.

    PubMed

    Ni, Lixiao; Li, Dandan; Su, Lili; Xu, Jiajun; Li, Shiyin; Ye, Xiang; Geng, Hong; Wang, Peifang; Li, Yi; Li, Yiping; Acharya, Kumud

    2016-05-01

    Indoor simulation experiment with 2.76 L microcosms using sediment from Taihu Lake were conducted to investigate the relationship between algae bloom and heavy metals release into a lake aquatic environment. The results showed that Microcystic aeruginosa (M. aeruginosa) growth can enhance cadmium (Cd) mobilization from sediments to overlying water due to increasing pH and DO content of overlying water and changing the redox condition of surface sediment (0-2 cm) from weak oxidation to weak reduction. The dissolved Cd concentration in overlying water can be decreased during algal growth process. The remobilization of Cd from sediment can effectively reduce the ecological risk of total Cd in sediments. The results of this study showed that both Igeo and Er(i) can be used to effectively evaluate the ecological risk of heavy metal Cd in different fractions. PMID:26923240

  15. Work plan for conducting an ecological risk assessment at J-Field, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland

    SciTech Connect

    Hlohowskyj, I.; Hayse, J.; Kuperman, R.

    1995-03-01

    The Environmental Management Division of Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), Maryland, is conducting a remedial investigation and feasibility study (RI/FS) of the J-Field area at APG pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), as amended. J-Field is within the Edgewood Area of APG in Harford County, Maryland, and activities at the Edgewood Area since World War II have included the development, manufacture, testing, and destruction of chemical agents and munitions. The J-Field site was used to destroy chemical agents and munitions by open burning and open detonation. This work plan presents the approach proposed to conduct an ecological risk assessment (ERA) as part of the RI/FS program at J-Field. This work plan identifies the locations and types of field studies proposed for each area of concern (AOC), the laboratory studies proposed to evaluate toxicity of media, and the methodology to be used in estimating doses to ecological receptors and discusses the approach that will be used to estimate and evaluate ecological risks at J-Field. Eight AOCs have been identified at J-Field, and the proposed ERA is designed to evaluate the potential for adverse impacts to ecological receptors from contaminated media at each AOC, as well as over the entire J-Field site. The proposed ERA approach consists of three major phases, incorporating field and laboratory studies as well as modeling. Phase 1 includes biotic surveys of the aquatic and terrestrial habitats, biological tissue sampling and analysis, and media toxicity testing at each AOC and appropriate reference locations. Phase 2 includes definitive toxicity testing of media from areas of known or suspected contamination or of media for which the Phase 1 results indicate toxicity or adverse ecological effects. In Phase 3, the uptake models initially developed in Phase 2 will be finalized, and contaminant dose to each receptor from all complete pathways will be estimated.

  16. Family ecology and HIV sexual risk behaviors among African American and Puerto Rican adolescent males.

    PubMed

    Voisin, Dexter R

    2002-04-01

    This study examined the relationship between family ecology and HIV sexual risk behavior among African American and Puerto Rican adolescent males. Family, psychosocial, and HIV risk factors were assessed in 171 African American and 187 Puerto Rican adolescent males. Findings suggest that family ecology, culture, and gender role variables may differentially affect HIV sexual risk behaviors within these groups. PMID:15792069

  17. Hydrologic analysis for ecological risk assessment of watersheds with abandoned mine lands

    SciTech Connect

    Gallagher, D.; Babendreier, J.; Cherry, D.

    1999-07-01

    As part of on-going study of acid mine drainage (AMD), a comprehensive ecological risk assessment was conducted in the Leading Creek Watershed in southeast Ohio. The watershed is influenced by agriculture and active and abandoned coal-mining operations. This work presents a broad overview of several quantitative measures of hydrology and hydraulic watershed properties available for in risk assessment and evaluates their relation to metrics of ecology. Data analysis included statistical comparisons of metrics of ecology, ecotoxicology, water quality, and physically based parameters describing land use, geomorphology, flow, velocity, and particle size. A multiple regression analysis indicated that abandoned mining operations dominated impacts upon aquatic ecology. It also indicated low flow velocity measurements and a ratio of maximum velocity to average velocity at low flow where helpful in describing variation in macroinvertebrate Total Taxa scores. Other key parameters also identified strong impact relationships with biodiversity trends and included pH, simple knowledge of any mining upstream, calculated % of the subshed covered by strip mines, and the measured depth of streambed sediments from site to site.

  18. Guidance Manual for Conducting Screening Level Ecological Risk Assessments at the INEL

    SciTech Connect

    R. L. VanHorn; N. L. Hampton; R. C. Morris

    1995-06-01

    This document presents reference material for conducting screening level ecological risk assessments (SLERAs)for the waste area groups (WAGs) at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory. Included in this document are discussions of the objectives of and processes for conducting SLERAs. The Environmental Protection Agency ecological risk assessment framework is closely followed. Guidance for site characterization, stressor characterization, ecological effects, pathways of contaminant migration, the conceptual site model, assessment endpoints, measurement endpoints, analysis guidance, and risk characterization are included.

  19. Assessing and classifying plant-related ecological risk under water management scenarios in China's Yellow River Delta Wetlands.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zhifeng; Qin, Yan; Yang, Wei

    2013-11-30

    The Yellow River Delta is one of the most vigorous delta areas in the world. The wetlands in this delta are ecologically important due to their hydrologic attributes and their role as ecotones between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. In recent years, the Yellow River Delta Wetlands have gradually shrunk and degraded due to inadequate environmental flows. Water managers have attempted to balance the needs of the environment with the need to protect water supplies for agriculture and urban needs. Despite the need for environmental protection, a broad-scale, integrated way to characterize the degree of ecological stress in the wetlands has been lacking to date. To provide a framework for evaluating various potential water regimes, we developed a model that can be used to estimate the ecological risk for wetland plants, and used the model to determine the degree of ecological risk for different soil moisture conditions based on an ecological value at risk model that we developed and the fuzzy clustering method. The results revealed the spatial distribution of areas with high, medium, or low risks associated with water stress in the study area. These results can serve as a preliminary template to guide managers in their evaluation of water stress-related risk. PMID:24095790

  20. DIETARY RISK EVALUATION SYSTEM: DRES

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Dietary Risk Evaluation System (DRES) estimates exposure to pesticides in the diet by combining information concerning residues on raw agricultural commodities with information on consumption of those commodities. It then compares the estimated exposure level to a toxicologi...

  1. Triazine herbcides: Ecological risk assessment in North American surface waters

    SciTech Connect

    Solomon, K.R.

    1996-10-01

    The triazine herbicides are some of the most widely used pesticides in North America. Some are found in surface waters in North America and risks to aquatic ecosystems are a possible concern. This paper presents the results of a comprehensive aquatic ecological risk assessment conducted using probabilistic risk assessment techniques. The assessment of exposure data concentrated on Midwestern us watersheds, the area of greatest triazine use in North America and showed that concentrations of some triazines rarely exceeded 20 {mu}g/L in rivers, streams, and reservoirs. The effects assessment showed that phytoplankton were the most sensitive organisms to triazines followed, in decreasing order of sensitivity, by macrophytes, benthic invertebrates, zooplankton and fish. Distribution analysis of sensitivity to atrazine showed 10th percentile of 37 {mu}g/L for LC50s in all organisms and 5.4 {mu}g/L for LC50s in algae and plants. Simazine showed 10th percentiles of 188 {mu}g/L for LC50s in all organisms and 27 {mu}g/L for LC50s in aquatic plants. Comparisons of the exposure and effects distributions showed low probabilities of exceeding the 10th percentiles of the sensitivity distributions. These results will be discussed in relation to the mechanism of action of these substances and other stressors in the environment.

  2. Ecological risk assessment of protected species at a military installation

    SciTech Connect

    Jones, M.L.; Faulk, S.T.; Lukin, C.; Kochel, M.J.

    1995-12-31

    A quantitative ecological risk assessment was performed to determine adverse effects posed by potential chemical contamination for two state-protected mammal species (Skull Valley pocket gopher and spotted bat) known to occur or potentially occur within the confines of the US Army Dugway Proving Ground, Utah. Surface soil and prey items were analyzed for metals and total petroleum hydrocarbons. Concentrations of the target analytes in forage were estimated. Receptor-specific biological parameters and the use of a geographic information system allowed the risk assessment to be tailored to the very different natural histories of the two mammals. A grid of interpolated soil concentrations was created for the entire base using measured soil concentrations and knowledge of site history. Spatially-averaged soil exposure concentrations were calculated using receptor home range areas. Doses were stochastically computed using the probability density functions of soil exposure concentration data, biomagnification factors, and measured prey concentration data. An extensive literature search provided the ecotoxicological benchmark values for the contaminants and hazard quotients were computed. The use of receptor-specific information and a geographic information system for spatial analysis of contaminant concentrations and animal exposure allowed a more precise estimate of risk for these two state-protected mammal species.

  3. Integrating human impacts and ecological integrity into a risk-based protocol for conservation planning

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mattson, K.M.; Angermeier, P.L.

    2007-01-01

    Conservation planning aims to protect biodiversity by sustainng the natural physical, chemical, and biological processes within representative ecosystems. Often data to measure these components are inadequate or unavailable. The impact of human activities on ecosystem processes complicates integrity assessments and might alter ecosystem organization at multiple spatial scales. Freshwater conservation targets, such as populations and communities, are influenced by both intrinsic aquatic properties and the surrounding landscape, and locally collected data might not accurately reflect potential impacts. We suggest that changes in five major biotic drivers-energy sources, physical habitat, flow regime, water quality, and biotic interactions-might be used as surrogates to inform conservation planners of the ecological integrity of freshwater ecosystems. Threats to freshwater systems might be evaluated based on their impact to these drivers to provide an overview of potential risk to conservation targets. We developed a risk-based protocol, the Ecological Risk Index (ERI), to identify watersheds with least/most risk to conservation targets. Our protocol combines risk-based components, specifically the frequency and severity of human-induced stressors, with biotic drivers and mappable land- and water-use data to provide a summary of relative risk to watersheds. We illustrate application of our protocol with a case study of the upper Tennessee River basin, USA. Differences in risk patterns among the major drainages in the basin reflect dominant land uses, such as mining and agriculture. A principal components analysis showed that localized, moderately severe threats accounted for most of the threat composition differences among our watersheds. We also found that the relative importance of threats is sensitive to the spatial grain of the analysis. Our case study demonstrates that the ERI is useful for evaluating the frequency and severity of ecosystemwide risk, which can

  4. Development of a conceptual model for ecological risk assessment in the Clinch River, VA

    SciTech Connect

    Diamond, J.; Miller, J.

    1995-12-31

    The Clinch River watershed is one of five selected by the USEPA to: (1) evaluate the methodology given in the USEPA Framework for Ecological Risk Assessment, and (2) provide a case study with which to develop an ecological risk problem formulation framework given a complex watershed with multiple stressors. The Clinch water is perhaps most notable for its high diversity of endemic mussel and fish species, most of which are threatened and endangered. Discussions among most of the resource managers in the watershed revealed four assessment endpoints for this risk assessment, all of which have ecological and societal value, and which are susceptible to a number of stressors common in the recruitment and reproduction; threatened and endangered mussel species recruitment and reproduction; threatened and endangered fish species recruitment and reproduction; aquatic cave fauna abundance and diversity; and riparian corridor extent, connectivity, and species composition. Together, these endpoints address the goals established by the workgroup: self-sustaining populations of native macroinvertebrates and fish; improving surface and subsurface water quality; and establishing and maintaining functional riparian corridors of native vegetation. The heart of the problem formulation was defining the conceptual model for this system. Several sources were addressed including various anthropogenic land-use activities, introduced species, and acid rain.

  5. State trends in ecological risk assessment and standard setting

    SciTech Connect

    Siegel, M R; Fowler, K M; Bilyard, G R

    1993-02-01

    The purposes of this paper are (1) to identify key states' activities and plans related to setting cleanup standards using the ecological risk assessment process, and (2) to discuss the impacts these actions may have on the US Department of Energy's (DOE's) environmental restoration program. This report is prepared as part of a larger task, the purpose of which is to identify and assess state regulatory trends and legal developments that may impact DOE's environmental restoration program. Results of this task are intended to provide DOE with advance notice of potentially significant regulatory developments so as to enhance DOE's ability to influence these developments and to incorporate possible regulatory and policy changes into its planning process.

  6. Ecological Recovery Potential of Freshwater Organisms: Consequences for Environmental Risk Assessment of Chemicals.

    PubMed

    Gergs, Andre; Classen, Silke; Strauss, Tido; Ottermanns, Richard; Brock, Theo C M; Ratte, Hans Toni; Hommen, Udo; Preuss, Thomas G

    2016-01-01

    Chemical contaminants released into the in the environment may have adverse effects on (non-target) species, populations and communities. The return of a stressed system to its pre-disturbance or other reference state, i.e. the ecological recovery, may depend on various factors related to the affected taxon, the ecosystem of concern and the type of stressor with consequences for the assessment and management of risks associated with chemical contaminants. Whereas the effects caused by short-term exposure might be acceptable to some extent, the conditions under which ecological recovery can serve as a decision criterion in the environmental risk assessment of chemical stressors remains to be evaluated. For a generic consideration of recovery in the risk assessment of chemicals, we reviewed case studies of natural and artificial aquatic systems and evaluate five aspects that might cause variability in population recovery time: (1) taxonomic differences and life-history variability, (2) factors related to ecosystem type and community processes, (3) type of disturbance, (4) comparison of field and semi-field studies, and (5) effect magnitude, i.e., the decline in population size following disturbance. We discuss our findings with regard to both retrospective assessments and prospective risk assessment. PMID:26423077

  7. Baseline aquatic ecological risk assessment at a zinc smelter site

    SciTech Connect

    Sexton, J.E.; Becker, D.S.; Pastorok, R.A.; Ginn, T.C.; Shields, W.J.

    1995-12-31

    A baseline ecological risk assessment was conducted at the National Zinc smelter site (Bartlesville, Oklahoma). Surface water, sediments, and aquatic biota (whole fish and crayfish) in the North Tributary, West Tributary, Eliza Creek, and Sand Creek were analyzed for selected metals. Water toxicity tests (fathead minnow and cladoceran) and sediment toxicity tests (amphipod and chironomid) were also conducted. Metals in water and sediments in most of the North Tributary, West Tributary, and parts of Eliza Creek were elevated above reference values. Metal distributions in surface water showed no influence of the releases from the Site on Sand Creek, with the exception of a slight elevation of cadmium concentration relative to reference area values. In all cases, concentrations of metals in Sand Creek sediments were similar to or lower than mean reference values. Spatial distribution patterns for metals of concern in surface water were similar to those in sediments. Analyses of dissolved metals in surface water, SEM/AVS ratios for sediments, and tissue residues demonstrated that metals were bioavailable. No adverse effects were detected in the fathead minnow test for any of the site stations. A low level of toxicity was observed in the cladoceran test for several site stations. Little sediment toxicity was observed at the study area based on the amphipod survival endpoint. Sublethal effects were detected when chironomid growth at several site stations was compared with reference conditions. The ecological risks posed by surface water and sediment throughout most of the study area were not significant and bioaccumulation of metals of concern was restricted to a limited portion of the study area close to the Site.

  8. Risk communication discourse among ecological risk assessment professionals and its implications for communication with nonexperts.

    PubMed

    Hunka, Agnieszka D; Palmqvist, Annemette; Thorbek, Pernille; Forbes, Valery E

    2013-10-01

    Risk communication, especially to the general public and end users of plant protection products, is an important challenge. Currently, much of the risk communication the general public receives is via the popular press, and risk managers face the challenge of presenting their decisions and their scientific basis to the general public in an understandable way. Therefore, we decided to explore the obstacles in risk communication, as done by expert risk assessors and managers. Using the discourse analysis framework and readability tests, we studied perspectives of 3 stakeholder groups-regulators, industry representatives, and academics across Europe. We conducted 30 confidential interviews (10 participants in each group), with part of the interview guide focused on communication of pesticide risk to the general public and the ideas experts in the field of risk assessment and management hold of the public perception of pesticides. We used the key informant approach in recruiting our participants. They were first identified as key stakeholders in ecological risk assessment of pesticides and then sampled by means of a snowball sampling technique. In the analysis, first we identified main motifs (themes) in each group, and then we moved to studying length of the sentences and grammar and to uncovering discourses present in the text data. We also used the Flesch Reading Ease test to determine the comprehension difficulty of transcribed interviews. The test is commonly used as a standard for estimating the readability of technical documents. Our results highlight 3 main obstacles standing in the way of effective communication with wider audiences. First of all, ecological risk assessment as a highly technical procedure uses the specific language of ecological risk assessment, which is also highly specialized and might be difficult to comprehend by nonexperts. Second, the idea of existing "expert-lay discrepancy," a phenomenon described in risk perception studies is visibly

  9. Plant characterization of Roundup Ready 2 Yield ® soybean, MON 89788, for use in ecological risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Horak, Michael J; Rosenbaum, Eric W; Kendrick, Daniel L; Sammons, Bernard; Phillips, Samuel L; Nickson, Thomas E; Dobert, Raymond C; Perez, Tim

    2015-04-01

    During the development of a genetically modified (GM) crop product, extensive phenotypic and agronomic data are collected to characterize the plant in comparison to a conventional control with a similar genetic background. The data are evaluated for potential differences resulting from the genetic modification process or the GM trait, and the differences--if any--are subsequently considered in the context of contributing to the pest potential of the GM crop. Ultimately, these study results and those of other studies are used in an ecological risk assessment of the GM crop. In the studies reported here, seed germination, vegetative and reproductive growth, and pollen morphology of Roundup Ready 2 Yield(®) soybean, MON 89788, were compared to those of A3244, a conventional control soybean variety with the same genetic background. Any statistically significant differences were considered in the context of the genetic variation known to occur in soybean and were evaluated as indicators of an effect of the genetic modification process and assessed for impact on plant pest (weed) characteristics and adverse ecological impact (ecological risk). The results of these studies revealed no effects attributable to the genetic modification process or to the GM trait in the plant that would result in increased pest potential or adverse ecological impact of MON 89788 compared with A3244. These results and the associated risk assessments obtained from diverse geographic and environmental conditions in the United States and Argentina can be used by regulators in other countries to inform various assessments of ecological risk. PMID:25248506

  10. FIFTH NHEERL SYMPOSIUM FLYER -- INDICATORS IN HEALTH AND ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Announcement for NHEERL Fifth Symposium - Indicators in Health and Ecological Risk Assessment. The purpose of the symposium is to address assessment of risk to public health or environmental resources which requires competent characterization of stressors and corresponding effec...

  11. Conceptual Framework for Trait-Based Ecological Risk Assessment for Wildlife Populations Exposed to Pesticides

    EPA Science Inventory

    Between screening level risk assessments and complex ecological models, a need exists for practical identification of risk based on general information about species, chemicals, and exposure scenarios. Several studies have identified demographic, biological, and toxicological fa...

  12. FIFTH NHEERL SYMPOSIUM POSTER -- INDICATORS IN HEALTH AND ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Poster for announcing NHEERL Fifth Symposium - Indicators in Health and Ecological Risk Assessment. The purpose of the symposium is to address assessment of risk to public health or environmental resources which requires competent characterization of stressors and corresponding ...

  13. NEW APPROACHES IN RISK ANALYSIS OF ENVIRONMENTAL STRESSORS TO HUMAN AND ECOLOGICAL SYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    We explore the application of novel techniques for improving and integrating risk analysis of environmental stressors to human and ecological systems. Environmental protection decisions are guided by risk assessments serving as tools to develop regulatory policy and other relate...

  14. USE OF ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT FOR DEVELOPING AND COORDINATING RESEARCH AT REGIONAL AND WATERSHED SCALES

    EPA Science Inventory

    A series of studies were undertaken to develop quantitative methods that could be used for ecological risk assessments at a watershed scale. This work contributed to the newly published ecological risk assessment guidelines (USEPA, 1998) and focused attention on the need for a pr...

  15. SURVEY OF METHODOLOGIES FOR DEVELOPING MEDIA SCREENING VALUES FOR ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Barron, Mace G. and Steve Wharton. Submitted. Survey of Methodologies for Developing Media Screening Values for Ecological Risk Assessment. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 44 p. (ERL,GB 1200).

    Concurrent with the increase in the number of ecological risk assessments over the past...

  16. IF ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT IS THE ANSWER, WHAT IS THE QUESTION?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological risk assessment has become a commonly used tool in policy analysis, but its use is controversial. Opinions are diverse; they range from enthusiastic support to caustic dismissal. Much of the controversy with using risk assessment in ecological policy analysis revolves ...

  17. Ecological risk assessment at a hazardous waste site on Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland

    SciTech Connect

    Iohowskyi, I.; Hayse, J.W.; Kuperman, R.; Lonkhuyzen, R. van

    1995-12-31

    The Toxic Burning Pits (TBP) area of the J-Field site, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, was used in the past for disposal and destruction of munitions and chemical agents. The TBP area, located at the end of a large peninsula on Chesapeake Bay, covers about 9 acres adjacent to a marsh containing a large freshwater pond. An ecological risk assessment (ERA) was conducted at the site to determine whether current levels of contamination at the site are producing demonstrable ecological effects, whether contaminated media are toxic to biota, and to estimate potential risks to biota from direct and indirect contaminant uptake from site media. The ERA incorporated field studies, tissue residue analyses, media toxicity tests, and uptake modeling for wildlife species. Areas with contaminated soil had lower abundance, diversity, and biomass of terrestrial vegetation and soil-dwelling invertebrates; altered trophic structure of nematode communities; reduced soil respiration and litter decomposition rates; and reduced soil microbial enzyme activities. Test showed that contaminated soils were toxic to vegetation, insect eggs, and earthworms. Contamination and toxicity of aquatic media were limited to adjacent portions of the marsh that receive surface runoff from the TBP area. Uptake modeling indicated current contamination levels at the TBP area may pose unacceptable risks to several wildlife species and that the risks are associated primarily with soil-based uptake pathways. The ERA results identified soil to be the medium posing the greatest risk to ecological receptors, and the assessment results are currently being used to assist in the development and evaluation of remedial alternatives for the contaminated soil.

  18. Effects of Urbanization Expansion on Landscape Pattern and Region Ecological Risk in Chinese Coastal City: A Case Study of Yantai City

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Di; Shi, Ping; Wu, Xiaoqing; Ma, Jinwei

    2014-01-01

    Applied with remote sensing, GIS, and mathematical statistics, the spatial-temporal evolution characteristics of urbanization expansion of Yantai city from 1974 to 2009 was studied. Based on landscape pattern metrics and ecological risk index, the landscape ecological risk from the landscape pattern dynamics was evaluated. The results showed that the area of urban land increased by 189.77 km2 with average expansion area of 5.42 km2 y−1 from 1974 to 2009. The urbanization intensity index during 2004–2009 was 3.92 times of that during 1974–1990. The land use types of urban land and farmland changed greatly. The changes of landscape pattern metrics for land use patterns indicated that the intensity of human activities had strengthened gradually in study period. The landscape ecological risk pattern of Yantai city shaped half-round rings along the coastline. The ecological risk index decreased with increase of the distance to the coastline. The ratio of high ecological risk to subhigh ecological risk zones in 2009 was 2.23 times of that in 1990. The significant linear relationship of urbanization intensity index and regional ecological risk indicated that the anthropological economic activities were decisive factors for sustainable development of costal ecological environment. PMID:24983003

  19. Using Ecological Momentary Assessment to Evaluate Current Physical Activity

    PubMed Central

    Marszalek, Jolanta; Morgulec-Adamowicz, Natalia; Rutkowska, Izabela; Kosmol, Andrzej

    2014-01-01

    Objective. The purpose of this study was to assess the value of ecological momentary assessment in evaluating physical activity among children, adolescents, and adults. It also determines whether ecological momentary assessment fulfills the criteria of validity, reliability, objectivity, norms, and standardization applied to the tools used for the evaluation of physical activity. Methods. The EBSCO-CINHAL, Medline, PsycINFO, PubMed, and SPORTDiscuss databases were reviewed in December 2012 for articles associated with EMA. Results. Of the 20 articles examined, half (10) used electronic methods for data collection, although various methods were used, ranging from pen and paper to smartphone applications. Ten studies used objective monitoring equipment. Nineteen studies were performed over 4 days. While the validity of the EMA method was discussed in 18 studies, only four found it to be objective. In all cases, the EMA procedures were precisely documented and confirmed to be feasible. Conclusions. Ecological momentary assessment is a valid, reliable, and feasible approach to evaluate activity and sedentary behavior. Researchers should be aware that while ecological momentary assessment offers many benefits, it simultaneously imposes many limitations which should be considered when studying physical activity. PMID:25126580

  20. Heavy Metal Pollution, Fractionation, and Potential Ecological Risks in Sediments from Lake Chaohu (Eastern China) and the Surrounding Rivers

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Lei; Liao, Qianjiahua; Shao, Shiguang; Zhang, Nan; Shen, Qiushi; Liu, Cheng

    2015-01-01

    Heavy metal (Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd, and Pb) pollution, fractionation, and ecological risks in the sediments of Lake Chaohu (Eastern China), its eleven inflowing rivers and its only outflowing river were studied. An improved BCR (proposed by the European Community Bureau of Reference) sequential extraction procedure was applied to fractionate heavy metals within sediments, a geoaccumulation index was used to assess the extent of heavy metal pollution, and a risk assessment code was applied to evaluate potential ecological risks. Heavy metals in the Shuangqiao and Nanfei Rivers were generally higher than the other studied sites. Of the three Lake Chaohu sites, the highest concentrations were identified in western Chaohu. Heavy metal pollution and ecological risks in the lake’s only outflowing river were similar to those in the eastern region of the lake, to which the river is connected. Heavy metal concentrations occurred in the following order: Cd > Zn > Cu > Pb ≈ Ni ≈ Cr. Cr, Ni, and Cu made up the largest proportion of the residual fraction, while Cd was the most prominent metal in the exchangeable and carbonate-included fraction. Cd posed the greatest potential ecological risk; the heavy metals generally posed risks in the following order: Cd > Zn > Cu > Ni > Pb > Cr. PMID:26561822

  1. Heavy Metal Pollution, Fractionation, and Potential Ecological Risks in Sediments from Lake Chaohu (Eastern China) and the Surrounding Rivers.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lei; Liao, Qianjiahua; Shao, Shiguang; Zhang, Nan; Shen, Qiushi; Liu, Cheng

    2015-11-01

    Heavy metal (Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd, and Pb) pollution, fractionation, and ecological risks in the sediments of Lake Chaohu (Eastern China), its eleven inflowing rivers and its only outflowing river were studied. An improved BCR (proposed by the European Community Bureau of Reference) sequential extraction procedure was applied to fractionate heavy metals within sediments, a geoaccumulation index was used to assess the extent of heavy metal pollution, and a risk assessment code was applied to evaluate potential ecological risks. Heavy metals in the Shuangqiao and Nanfei Rivers were generally higher than the other studied sites. Of the three Lake Chaohu sites, the highest concentrations were identified in western Chaohu. Heavy metal pollution and ecological risks in the lake's only outflowing river were similar to those in the eastern region of the lake, to which the river is connected. Heavy metal concentrations occurred in the following order: Cd > Zn > Cu > Pb ≈ Ni ≈ Cr. Cr, Ni, and Cu made up the largest proportion of the residual fraction, while Cd was the most prominent metal in the exchangeable and carbonate-included fraction. Cd posed the greatest potential ecological risk; the heavy metals generally posed risks in the following order: Cd > Zn > Cu > Ni > Pb > Cr. PMID:26561822

  2. Toxicity Bioassays for Ecological Risk Assessment in Arid and Semiarid Ecosystems. Reviews Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 168:43-98.

    SciTech Connect

    Markwiese, J.T.; Ryti, R.T.; Hooten, M.M.; Michael, D.I.; Hlohowskyj, I.

    2001-02-01

    This paper discusses current limitations for performing ecological risk assessments in dry environments (i.e., ecosystems that are characteristic of many DOE Facilities) and presents novel approaches to addressing ecological risk in such systems.

  3. Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessment Work Plan Mud Pit Release Sites, Amchitka Island, Alaska

    SciTech Connect

    DOE /NV

    2001-03-12

    This Work Plan describes the approach that will be used to conduct human health and ecological risk assessments for Amchitka Island, Alaska, which was utilized as an underground nuclear test site between 1965 and 1971. During this period, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (now the U.S. Department of Energy) conducted two nuclear tests (known as Long Shot and Milrow) and assisted the U.S. Department of Defense with a third test (known as Cannikin). Amchitka Island is approximately 42 miles long and located 1,340 miles west-southwest of Anchorage, Alaska, in the western end of the Aleutian Island archipelago in a group of islands known as the Rat Islands. Historically including deep drilling operations required large volumes of drilling mud, a considerable amount of which was left on the island in exposed mud pits after testing was completed. Therefore, there is a need for drilling mud pit remediation and risk assessment of historical mud pit releases. The scope of this work plan is to document the environmental objectives and the proposed technical site investigation strategies that will be utilized for the site characterization of the constituents in soil, surface water, and sediment at these former testing sites. Its goal is the collection of data in sufficient quantity and quality to determine current site conditions, support a risk assessment for the site surfaces, and evaluate what further remedial action is required to achieve permanent closure of these three sites that will protect both human health and the environment. Suspected compounds of potential ecological concern for investigative analysis at these sites include diesel-range organics, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls, volatile organic compounds, and chromium. The results of these characterizations and risk assessments will be used to evaluate corrective action alternatives to include no further action, the implementation of institutional controls, capping on site, or off-sit e

  4. Applications of contaminant fate and bioaccumulation models in assessing ecological risks of chemicals: A case study for gasoline hydrocarbons

    SciTech Connect

    MacLeod, Matthew; McKone, Thomas E.; Foster, Karen L.; Maddalena, Randy L.; Parkerton, Thomas F.; Mackay, Don

    2004-02-01

    Mass balance models of chemical fate and transport can be applied in ecological risk assessments for quantitative estimation of concentrations in air, water, soil and sediment. These concentrations can, in turn, be used to estimate organism exposures and ultimately internal tissue concentrations that can be compared to mode-of-action-based critical body residues that correspond to toxic effects. From this comparison, risks to the exposed organism can be evaluated. To illustrate the practical utility of fate models in ecological risk assessments of commercial products, the EQC model and a simple screening level biouptake model including three organisms, (a bird, a mammal and a fish) is applied to gasoline. In this analysis, gasoline is divided into 24 components or ''blocks'' with similar environmental fate properties that are assumed to elicit ecotoxicity via a narcotic mode of action. Results demonstrate that differences in chemical properties and mode of entry into the environment lead to profound differences in the efficiency of transport from emission to target biota. We discuss the implications of these results and insights gained into the regional fate and ecological risks associated with gasoline. This approach is particularly suitable for assessing mixtures of components that have similar modes of action. We conclude that the model-based methodologies presented are widely applicable for screening level ecological risk assessments that support effective chemicals management.

  5. Assessment of Ecological Risk of Heavy Metal Contamination in Coastal Municipalities of Montenegro

    PubMed Central

    Mugoša, Boban; Đurović, Dijana; Nedović-Vuković, Mirjana; Barjaktarović-Labović, Snežana; Vrvić, Miroslav

    2016-01-01

    Assessment of heavy metal concentrations in the soil samples of urban parks and playgrounds is very important for the evaluation of potential risks for residents, especially children. Until recently, there has been very little data about urban parks pollution in Montenegro. To evaluate the sources of potential contamination and concentration of heavy metals, soil samples from coastal urban parks and kindergartens of Montenegro were collected. Based on the heavy metal concentrations, multivariate analysis combined with geochemical approaches showed that soil samples in coastal areas of Montenegro had mean Pb and Cd concentrations that were over two times higher than the background values, respectively. Based on principal component analysis (PCA), soil pollution with Pb, Cd, Cu, and Zn is contributed by anthropogenic sources. Results for Cr in the surface soils were primarily derived from natural sources. Calculation of different ecological contamination factors showed that Cd is the primary contribution to ecological risk index (RI) origins from anthropogenic, industry, and urbanization sources. This data provides evidence about soil pollution in coastal municipalities of Montenegro. Special attention should be paid to this problem in order to continue further research and to consider possible ways of remediation of the sites where contamination has been observed. PMID:27043601

  6. Assessment of Ecological Risk of Heavy Metal Contamination in Coastal Municipalities of Montenegro.

    PubMed

    Mugoša, Boban; Đurović, Dijana; Nedović-Vuković, Mirjana; Barjaktarović-Labović, Snežana; Vrvić, Miroslav

    2016-01-01

    Assessment of heavy metal concentrations in the soil samples of urban parks and playgrounds is very important for the evaluation of potential risks for residents, especially children. Until recently, there has been very little data about urban parks pollution in Montenegro. To evaluate the sources of potential contamination and concentration of heavy metals, soil samples from coastal urban parks and kindergartens of Montenegro were collected. Based on the heavy metal concentrations, multivariate analysis combined with geochemical approaches showed that soil samples in coastal areas of Montenegro had mean Pb and Cd concentrations that were over two times higher than the background values, respectively. Based on principal component analysis (PCA), soil pollution with Pb, Cd, Cu, and Zn is contributed by anthropogenic sources. Results for Cr in the surface soils were primarily derived from natural sources. Calculation of different ecological contamination factors showed that Cd is the primary contribution to ecological risk index (RI) origins from anthropogenic, industry, and urbanization sources. This data provides evidence about soil pollution in coastal municipalities of Montenegro. Special attention should be paid to this problem in order to continue further research and to consider possible ways of remediation of the sites where contamination has been observed. PMID:27043601

  7. Restoration ecology: longterm evaluation as an essential feature of rehabilitation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gannon, John E.

    1993-01-01

    In its brief existence as a recognized scientific discipline, restoration ecology has focused almost exclusively on terrestrial and wetland habitat. As a consequence, aquatic restoration and rehabilitation, an important component of restoration ecology is a relatively new discipline. This article examines the ecosystem approach to rehabilitation of the Great Lakes Basin and proposes that waterfront redevlopment and terrestrial and wetland habitat restoration should be accompanied by aquatic habitat restoration. Furthermore, aquatic habitat restoration must include rehabilitation of hard-bottom substrates and structures as well as pollution cleanup and management of soft sediments. Lastly, the article suggests that longterm evaluation is indispensable for aquatic habitat restoration and rehabiliation to be truly successful in the Great Lakes region. Only through longterm evaluation can we determine whether habitat restoration goals have been met at specific sites and transfer successful lessons learned at other locations.

  8. [Ecological risk assessment of organophosphorus pesticides in aquatic ecosystems of Pearl River Estuary].

    PubMed

    Guo, Qiang; Tian, Hui; Mao, Xiao-Xuan; Huang, Tao; Gao, Hong; Ma, Jian-Min; Wu, Jun-Nian

    2014-03-01

    The risk quotient method and a probabilistic risk assessment method were applied for assessing aquatic ecological risk of nine organophosphorus pesticides, including thimet, dichlorovos, disulfoton, dimethoate, dimethyl parathion, chlorpyrifos, ethoprophos, sumithion and malathion on eight aquatic organisms in the Pearl River Estuary. Results using the risk quotient method revealed that the risk level of opossum shrimp was the highest among eight aquatic organisms of the Pearl River Estuary. The risk of water flea and midge was in medium level, followed by the rest six aquatic organisms, including diatom, oyster, carp, catfish and eel, which were in the low risk by the examined organophosphorus pesticides. It was found that thimet made the largest contribution to total aquatic ecological risk among nine organophosphorus pesticides to every organism. The results from probabilistic risk assessment showed that the total ecological risk in high water period was higher than that in low water period determined by the HC5 under the 95% confidence level. The largest contribution of thimet to total aquatic ecological risk subject to the HC5 in 50% confidence level was regarded as the toxic reference value. The probabilistic risk of a single contaminant showed that thimet and disulfoton were harmful to exceeded 10% organisms in the estuarine. The probabilistic risk of nine pesticides mixture in high water period was also higher than that in low water period, and both risks were greater than 5% which exceeded safety threshold for 95% organisms in the Pearl River Estuary. PMID:24881393

  9. Socio-Ecological Risk Factors for Prime-Age Adult Death in Two Coastal Areas of Vietnam

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Deok Ryun; Ali, Mohammad; Thiem, Vu Dinh; Wierzba, Thomas F.

    2014-01-01

    Background Hierarchical spatial models enable the geographic and ecological analysis of health data thereby providing useful information for designing effective health interventions. In this study, we used a Bayesian hierarchical spatial model to evaluate mortality data in Vietnam. The model enabled identification of socio-ecological risk factors and generation of risk maps to better understand the causes and geographic implications of prime-age (15 to less than 45 years) adult death. Methods and Findings The study was conducted in two sites: Nha Trang and Hue in Vietnam. The study areas were split into 500×500 meter cells to define neighborhoods. We first extracted socio-demographic data from population databases of the two sites, and then aggregated the data by neighborhood. We used spatial hierarchical model that borrows strength from neighbors for evaluating risk factors and for creating spatially smoothed risk map after adjusting for neighborhood level covariates. The Markov chain Monte Carlo procedure was used to estimate the parameters. Male mortality was more than twice the female mortality. The rates also varied by age and sex. The most frequent cause of mortality was traffic accidents and drowning for men and traffic accidents and suicide for women. Lower education of household heads in the neighborhood was an important risk factor for increased mortality. The mortality was highly variable in space and the socio-ecological risk factors are sensitive to study site and sex. Conclusion Our study suggests that lower education of the household head is an important predictor for prime age adult mortality. Variability in socio-ecological risk factors and in risk areas by sex make it challenging to design appropriate intervention strategies aimed at decreasing prime-age adult deaths in Vietnam. PMID:24587031

  10. Ecological status classification of the Taizi River Basin, China: a comparison of integrated risk assessment approaches.

    PubMed

    Fan, Juntao; Semenzin, Elena; Meng, Wei; Giubilato, Elisa; Zhang, Yuan; Critto, Andrea; Zabeo, Alex; Zhou, Yun; Ding, Sen; Wan, Jun; He, Mengchang; Lin, Chunye

    2015-10-01

    Integrated risk assessment approaches allow to achieve a sound evaluation of ecological status of river basins and to gain knowledge about the likely causes of impairment, useful for informing and supporting the decision-making process. In this paper, the integrated risk assessment (IRA) methodology developed in the EU MODELKEY project (and implemented in the MODELKEY Decision Support System) is applied to the Taizi River (China), in order to assess its Ecological and Chemical Status according to EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) requirements. The available dataset is derived by an extensive survey carried out in 2009 and 2010 across the Taizi River catchment, including the monitoring of physico-chemical (i.e. DO, EC, NH3-_N, chemical oxygen demand (COD), biological oxygen demand in 5 days (BOD5) and TP), chemical (i.e. polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and metals), biological (i.e. macroinvertebrates, fish, and algae), and hydromorphological parameters (i.e. water quantity, channel change and morphology diversity). The results show a negative trend in the ecological status from the highland to the lowland of the Taizi River Basin. Organic pollution from agriculture and domestic sources (i.e. COD and BOD5), unstable hydrological regime (i.e. water quantity shortage) and chemical pollutants from industry (i.e. PAHs and metals) are found to be the main stressors impacting the ecological status of the Taizi River Basin. The comparison between the results of the IRA methodology and those of a previous study (Leigh et al. 2012) indicates that the selection of indicators and integrating methodologies can have a relevant impact on the classification of the ecological status. The IRA methodology, which integrates information from five lines of evidence (i.e., biology, physico-chemistry, chemistry, ecotoxicology and hydromorphology) required by WFD, allows to better identify the biological communities that are potentially at risk and the stressors that are most

  11. Ecological Risk Assessment with MCDM of Some Invasive Alien Plants in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, Guowen; Chen, Weiguang; Lin, Meizhen; Zheng, Yanling; Guo, Peiguo; Zheng, Yisheng

    Alien plant invasion is an urgent global issue that threatens the sustainable development of the ecosystem health. The study of its ecological risk assessment (ERA) could help us to prevent and reduce the invasion risk more effectively. Based on the theory of ERA and methods of the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) of multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM), and through the analyses of the characteristics and processes of alien plant invasion, this paper discusses the methodologies of ERA of alien plant invasion. The assessment procedure consisted of risk source analysis, receptor analysis, exposure and hazard assessment, integral assessment, and countermeasure of risk management. The indicator system of risk source assessment as well as the indices and formulas applied to measure the ecological loss and risk were established, and the method for comprehensively assessing the ecological risk of alien plant invasion was worked out. The result of ecological risk analysis to 9 representative invasive alien plants in China shows that the ecological risk of Erigeron annuus, Ageratum conyzoides, Alternanthera philoxeroides and Mikania midrantha is high (grade1-2), that of Oxalis corymbosa and Wedelia chinensis comes next (grade3), while Mirabilis jalapa, Pilea microphylla and Calendula officinalis of the last (grade 4). Risk strategies are put forward on this basis.

  12. Selected vaginal bacteria and risk of preterm birth: an ecological perspective.

    PubMed

    Wen, Ai; Srinivasan, Usha; Goldberg, Deborah; Owen, John; Marrs, Carl F; Misra, Dawn; Wing, Deborah A; Ponnaluri, Sreelatha; Miles-Jay, Arianna; Bucholz, Brigette; Abbas, Khadija; Foxman, Betsy

    2014-04-01

    We examined the community ecology of vaginal microbial samples taken from pregnant women with previous preterm birth experience to investigate whether targeted pathogenic and commensal bacteria are related to risk of preterm birth in the current pregnancy. We found a significant correlation between the community structure of selected bacteria and birth outcome, but the correlation differed among self-reported racial/ethnic groups. Using a community ordination analysis, we observed infrequent co-occurrence of Mycoplasma and bacteria vaginosis associated bacteria 3 (BVAB3) among black and Hispanic participants. In addition, we found that the vaginal bacteria responded differently in different racial/ethnic groups to modifications of maternal behavioral (ie, douching and smoking) and biological traits (ie, body mass index [BMI]). Even after accounting for these maternal behaviors and traits, the selected vaginal bacteria was significantly associated with preterm birth among black and Hispanic participants. By contrast, white participants did not exhibit significant correlation between microbial community and birth outcome. Findings from this study affirm the necessity of considering women's race/ethnicity when evaluating the correlation between vaginal bacteria and preterm birth. The study also illustrates the importance of studying the vaginal microbiota from an ecological perspective, and demonstrates the power of ecological community analysis to improve understanding of infectious disease. PMID:24273044

  13. Evaluation of ecological instream flow using multiple ecological indicators with consideration of hydrological alterations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Qiang; Gu, Xihui; Singh, Vijay P.; Chen, Xiaohong

    2015-10-01

    Dam-induced hydrological alterations and related ecological problems have been arousing considerable concern from hydrologists, ecologists, and policy-makers. The East River basin in China is the major provider of water resources for mega-cities within the Pearl River Delta and meets 80% of annual water demand of Hong Kong. In this study, ecodeficit and ecosurplus were analyzed to determine the ecological impact of water impoundments. Also, Do and DHRAM were employed to evaluate the degree of alteration of hydrological regimes, and ERHIs were analyzed to evaluate the influence of hydrological alterations on ecological diversity. Results indicate that: (1) the magnitude and frequency of high flows decrease and those of low flows increase due to the regulation of reservoirs; (2) variations of annual ecosurplus are mainly the result of precipitation changes and the annual ecodeficit is significantly influenced by reservoirs. However, ecodeficit and ecosurplus in other seasons, particularly autumn and winter, are more influenced by reservoir regulation; (3) impacts of reservoirs on hydrological regimes and eco-flow regimes are different from one station to another due to different degrees of influence of reservoirs on hydrological processes at different stations. The longer the distance between a reservoir and a hydrological station is, the weaker the influence the water reservoir has on the hydrological processes; (4) ecodeficit and ecosurplus can be accepted in the evaluation of alterations of hydrological processes at annual and seasonal time scales. Results of Shannon Index indicate decreasing biological diversity after the construction of water reservoirs, implying negative impacts of water reservoirs on biological diversity of a river basin and this should arouse considerable human concerns. This study provides a theoretical background for water resources management with consideration of eco-flow variations due to reservoir regulation in other highly

  14. Ecological risks associated with the application of sewage sludge to non-agricultural ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Efroymson, R.A.; Sample, B.E.; Luxmoore, R.J.; Tharp, M.L.; Barnthouse, L.W.; Daniel, F.B.

    1995-12-31

    The Clean Water Act of 1977 directed EPA to establish standards for use and disposal of sewage sludge (biosolids). The application of biosolids to non-agricultural lands is becoming increasingly important as a method of waste disposal. Ecological endpoints at the population, community, and/or ecosystem level have not previously been emphasized in the development of regulatory standards for municipal sewage sludge. This risk assessment focuses on terrestrial endpoints in four ecosystem types to which substantial quantities of sludge have been applied or are expected to be applied in the future: northwest Douglas-fir forest, southeastern loblolly pine plantation, eastern deciduous forest, and semi-arid rangeland. Conceptual models suitable for all ecosystems were developed that depict the links among assessment endpoints. Estimates of risks to wildlife from contaminants and simulations of impacts of nitrogen in sewage sludge on the structure and function of forest communities are presented in detail elsewhere at this conference. This project overview integrates these two assessment components and adds contaminant risks to plants, soil invertebrates, and microbial processes and risk of leaching and erosion altered by biosolids application. Management practices and empirical measures of bioavailability are considered for each ecosystem. Concentrations of constitutents of sewage sludge used for the analyses have been obtained from the 1988 USEPA National Sewage Sludge Survey. Existing regulatory standards that are primarily human health-based are also evaluated for the adequacy of protection of ecological systems and populations. Predicted impacts of sewage sludge applications are presented, even if they may be regarded as benefits rather than risks.

  15. Developing ecosystem services-based assessment endpoints for determining ecological risks to estuarine environments

    EPA Science Inventory

    Current U.S. EPA ecological risk assessment (ERA) guidance defines an assessment endpoint (AE) as an explicit expression of the environmental value that is to be protected, and recommends that AEs are selected based on ecological relevance, susceptibility to known or potential st...

  16. An Ecological Risk/Protective Factor Approach to Understanding Depressive Symptoms in Adolescents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olson, Jonathan; Goddard, H. Wallace

    2010-01-01

    We applied an ecological multiple risk/protective factor model to study factors related to depressive symptoms among adolescents. Participants were 39,740 adolescents who self-reported risk factors, protective factors, and depressive symptoms on a school-based survey. Results indicate that an index of multiple risk was related to increased…

  17. An Ecological Risk Model for Early Childhood Anxiety: The Importance of Early Child Symptoms and Temperament

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mian, Nicholas D.; Wainwright, Laurel; Briggs-Gowan, Margaret J.; Carter, Alice S.

    2011-01-01

    Childhood anxiety is impairing and associated with later emotional disorders. Studying risk factors for child anxiety may allow earlier identification of at-risk children for prevention efforts. This study applied an ecological risk model to address how early childhood anxiety symptoms, child temperament, maternal anxiety and depression symptoms,…

  18. Application of WATERSHED ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT Methods to Watershed Management

    EPA Science Inventory

    Watersheds are frequently used to study and manage environmental resources because hydrologic boundaries define the flow of contaminants and other stressors. Ecological assessments of watersheds are complex because watersheds typically overlap multiple jurisdictional boundaries,...

  19. Application of Watershed Ecological Risk Assessment Methods to Watershed Management

    EPA Science Inventory

    Watersheds are frequently used to study and manage environmental resources because hydrologic boundaries define the flow of contaminants and other stressors. Ecological assessments of watersheds are complex because watersheds typically overlap multiple jurisdictional boundaries,...

  20. Ecological risk assessment and sources of heavy metals in sediment from Daling River basin.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Lei; Mi, Dong; Chen, Yifu; Wang, Luo; Sun, Yeqing

    2015-04-01

    To investigate the distribution, source, and ecological risk of heavy metals in Daling River basin, 28 surface sediments collected in this region were analyzed by experimental and theoretical methods. Seven heavy metals, including Pb, Cr, Hg, Cu, As, Cd, and Zn, were detected in all samples. Monte Carlo simulation was used to assess the ecological risks of these heavy metals. It was found that the pollution of Cd was the most serious; the ecological risks in Daling River and Bohai Bay were significantly higher than those in estuary, Bohai Sea, and wetland, but overall, the ecological risks of these heavy metals were low to aquatic organisms in Daling River basin at present. Correlation analysis, principal component analysis, and cluster analysis showed that these heavy metals might originate from the same pollution sources located near Daling River and Bohai Bay. PMID:25378031

  1. Ecological risk assessment of heavy metals in sediment in the upper reach of the Yangtze River.

    PubMed

    Yi, Yu-Jun; Sun, Jie; Tang, Cai-Hong; Zhang, Shang-Hong

    2016-06-01

    Heavy metal pollution in China's Yangtze River basin has been of high concern. The concentrations of heavy metals (Cr, Cd, Hg, Cu, Zn, Pb, and As) in the sediment were investigated in the upper reaches of the river, China. Sediment quality guidelines (SQGs), an enrichment factor (EF), an index of geo-accumulation (I geo), and potential ecological risk were used to evaluate the extent of contamination from the heavy metal concentrations in the sediment. Among the seven metals, a noticeable degree of pollution was seen only in the case of Cd and Cd posed a considerable ecological risk at some sample sites. The Pearson correlation analysis was implemented to determine the relationships among the heavy metals, and principal component analysis (PCA) was performed to determine the most common pollution sources. The elements As, Cd, Pb, and Zn were grouped together, and the anthropogenic sources of these heavy metals were closely related. The sites with higher Cd concentrations were mainly confined to the river's reach near industrial areas. Controlling the pollution sources will effectively reduce the pollutant concentrations in the sediment. PMID:26903129

  2. Importance of environmental and biomass dynamics in predicting chemical exposure in ecological risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Morselli, Melissa; Semplice, Matteo; De Laender, Frederik; Van den Brink, Paul J; Di Guardo, Antonio

    2015-09-01

    In ecological risk assessment, exposure is generally modelled assuming static conditions, herewith neglecting the potential role of emission, environmental and biomass dynamics in affecting bioavailable concentrations. In order to investigate the influence of such dynamics on predicted bioavailable concentrations, the spatially-resolved dynamic model "ChimERA fate" was developed, incorporating macrophyte and particulate/dissolved organic carbon (POC/DOC) dynamics into a water-sediment system. An evaluation against three case studies revealed a satisfying model performance. Illustrative simulations then highlighted the potential spatio-temporal variability of bioavailable concentrations after a pulsed emission of four chemicals in a system composed of a pond connected to its inflow and outflow streams. Changes in macrophyte biomass and POC/DOC levels caused exposure variations which were up to a factor of 4.5 in time and even more significant (several orders of magnitude) in space, especially for highly hydrophobic chemicals. ChimERA fate thus revealed to be a useful tool to investigate such variations and to identify those environmental and ecological conditions in which risk is expected to be highest. PMID:25967479

  3. Modelling public risk evaluation of natural hazards: a conceptual approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plattner, Th.

    2005-04-01

    In recent years, the dealing with natural hazards in Switzerland has shifted away from being hazard-oriented towards a risk-based approach. Decreasing societal acceptance of risk, accompanied by increasing marginal costs of protective measures and decreasing financial resources cause an optimization problem. Therefore, the new focus lies on the mitigation of the hazard's risk in accordance with economical, ecological and social considerations. This modern proceeding requires an approach in which not only technological, engineering or scientific aspects of the definition of the hazard or the computation of the risk are considered, but also the public concerns about the acceptance of these risks. These aspects of a modern risk approach enable a comprehensive assessment of the (risk) situation and, thus, sound risk management decisions. In Switzerland, however, the competent authorities suffer from a lack of decision criteria, as they don't know what risk level the public is willing to accept. Consequently, there exists a need for the authorities to know what the society thinks about risks. A formalized model that allows at least a crude simulation of the public risk evaluation could therefore be a useful tool to support effective and efficient risk mitigation measures. This paper presents a conceptual approach of such an evaluation model using perception affecting factors PAF, evaluation criteria EC and several factors without any immediate relation to the risk itself, but to the evaluating person. Finally, the decision about the acceptance Acc of a certain risk i is made by a comparison of the perceived risk Ri,perc with the acceptable risk Ri,acc.

  4. Distribution and ecological risk assessment of heavy metals in surface sediments along southeast coast of the Caspian Sea.

    PubMed

    Bastami, Kazem Darvish; Bagheri, Hossein; Kheirabadi, Vahid; Zaferani, Ghasem Ghorbanzadeh; Teymori, Mohammad Bagher; Hamzehpoor, Ali; Soltani, Farzaneh; Haghparast, Sarah; Harami, Sayyed Reza Moussavi; Ghorghani, Nasrin Farzaneh; Ganji, Sahar

    2014-04-15

    The present study aimed to evaluate heavy metal concentrations of Arsenic (As), Copper (Cu), Nickel (Ni), Lead (Pb) and Zinc (Zn), their spatial distribution, enrichment factor index (EF), the pollution load index (PLI) and potential ecological risk (PER) in two different seasons of the year (winter and summer) in surface sediments along southeast coast of the Caspian Sea. The results indicated that there were significant differences between concentrations of As, Ni and Pb in two different seasons. Considering PER, sediments from southeast Caspian coast had low ecological risk. According to PLI, sediment from the southeast coast had no pollution. Risk assessment showed that As threshold concentrations to occasionally be exceeded in the study area. PMID:24606766

  5. Ecological risk characterization based on exposure to contaminants through the Rocky Mountain Arsenal aquatic food chains

    SciTech Connect

    Toll, J.E.; Cothern, K.A.; Pavlou, S.; Tate, D.J.; Armstrong, J.P.

    1994-12-31

    This paper describes ecological risk characterization methods and results for characterizing potential risk from exposure to bioaccumulative contaminants of concern (aldrin, dieldrin, endrin, DDT, DDE, and mercury) through the lake food chains at Rocky Mountain Arsenal (RMA). Aquatic risks were estimated for the bald eagle, great blue heron, shorebird, and water bird using a prey-tissue-concentration-based food web model. Methods for estimating missing tissue concentration data were developed on a case-by-case basis and will be described. A sediment-based food web model was also considered and the reasons for its rejection will be described. Generalizable insights from the aquatic ecological risk characterization will be discussed.

  6. Veterinary antibiotic resistance, residues, and ecological risks in environmental samples obtained from poultry farms, Egypt.

    PubMed

    Dahshan, Hesham; Abd-Elall, Amr Mohamed Mohamed; Megahed, Ayman Mohamed; Abd-El-Kader, Mahdy A; Nabawy, Ehab Elsayed

    2015-02-01

    In Egypt, poultry production constitutes one of the main sources of pollution with veterinary antibiotics (VAs) into the environment. About 80 % of meat production in Egypt is of poultry origin, and the potential environmental risks associated with the use of VAs in these farms have not yet been properly evaluated. Thus, the main purpose of this research was to evaluate the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant enteric key bacteria and the incidence of residual antibiotics in poultry farm environmental samples and to determine whether fertilizing soils with poultry litter from farms potentially brings ecological risks. From December 2011 to September 2012, a total of 225 litter, bird dropping, and water samples were collected from 75 randomly selected boiler poultry farms. A high prevalence of Escherichia coli (n = 179; 79.5 %) in contrast to the low prevalence of Salmonella spp. (n = 7; 3.1 %) was detected. Amongst E. coli isolates, serotypes O142:K86, O125:K70, O91:K, and O119:K69 were the most common. Meanwhile, Salmonella enterica serotypes emek and enteritidis were recovered. The antibiograms using the disc diffusion method revealed significantly more common resistant and multi-resistant isolates in broiler poultry farms. Residues of tetracycline and ciprofloxacin were detected at 2.125 and 1.401 mg kg(-1) mean levels, respectively, in environmental samples contaminated with E. coli-resistant strains by HPLC. The risk evaluations highlighted that tetracycline residues in poultry litter significantly display environmental risks with a hazard quotient value above 1 (1.64). Our study implies that ineffective implementation of veterinary laws which guide and guard against incorrect VA usage may potentially bring health and environmental risks. PMID:25600402

  7. [GIS Spatial Distribution and Ecological Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in Surface Sediments of Shallow Lakes in Jiangsu Province].

    PubMed

    Li, Ying-jie; Zhang, Lie-yu; Wu, Yi-wen; Li, Cao-le; Yang, Tian-xue; Tang, Jun

    2016-04-15

    To understand pollution of heavy metals in surface sediments of shallow lakes, surface sediments samples of 11 lakes in Jiangsu province were collected to determine the content of six heavy metals including As, Cr, Cu, Pb, Zn and Ni. GIS was used to analyze the spatial distribution of heavy metals, and geological accumulation index (Igeo), modified contamination index (mCd) pollution load index (PLI) and potential ecological risk index (RI) were used to evaluate heavy metal contamination in the sediments. The results showed that: in the lakes' surface sediments, the average content of As, Cu, Zn, Cr, Pb, Ni in multiples of soil background of Jiangsu province were 1.74-3.85, 0.65-2.66, 0.48-3.56, 0.43-1.52, 0.02-1.49 and 0.12-1.42. According to the evaluation results of Igeo and RI, As, which had high degree of enrichment and great potential ecological risk, was the main pollutant, followed by Cu, and pollution of the rest of heavy metals was relatively light. Combining the results of several evaluation methods, in surface sediments of Sanjiu Lake, Gaoyou Lake and Shaobo Lake, these heavy metals had the most serious pollution, the maximum pollution loading and moderate potential ecological risk; in surface sediments of Gehu Lake, Baima Lake and Hongze Lake, some regions were polluted by certain metals, the overall trend of pollution was aggravating, the pollution loading was large, and the potential ecological risk reached moderate; in the other 5 lakes, the risk of sediments polluted by heavy metals, as well as the pollution loading, was small, and the overall was not polluted. PMID:27548952

  8. Calculating background levels for ecological risk parameters in toxic harbor sediment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Leadon, C.J.; McDonnell, T.R.; Lear, J.; Barclift, D.

    2007-01-01

    Establishing background levels for biological parameters is necessary in assessing the ecological risks from harbor sediment contaminated with toxic chemicals. For chemicals in sediment, the term contaminated is defined as having concentrations above background and significant human health or ecological risk levels. For biological parameters, a site could be considered contaminated if levels of the parameter are either more or less than the background level, depending on the specific parameter. Biological parameters can include tissue chemical concentrations in ecological receptors, bioassay responses, bioaccumulation levels, and benthic community metrics. Chemical parameters can include sediment concentrations of a variety of potentially toxic chemicals. Indirectly, contaminated harbor sediment can impact shellfish, fish, birds, and marine mammals, and human populations. This paper summarizes the methods used to define background levels for chemical and biological parameters from a survey of ecological risk investigations of marine harbor sediment at California Navy bases. Background levels for regional biological indices used to quantify ecological risks for benthic communities are also described. Generally, background stations are positioned in relatively clean areas exhibiting the same physical and general chemical characteristics as nearby areas with contaminated harbor sediment. The number of background stations and the number of sample replicates per background station depend on the statistical design of the sediment ecological risk investigation, developed through the data quality objective (DQO) process. Biological data from the background stations can be compared to data from a contaminated site by using minimum or maximum background levels or comparative statistics. In Navy ecological risk assessments (ERA's), calculated background levels and appropriate ecological risk screening criteria are used to identify sampling stations and sites with contaminated

  9. Preliminary systems engineering evaluations for the National Ecological Observatory Network.

    SciTech Connect

    Robertson, Perry J.; Kottenstette, Richard Joseph; Crouch, Shannon M.; Brocato, Robert Wesley; Zak, Bernard Daniel; Osborn, Thor D.; Ivey, Mark D.; Gass, Karl Leslie; Heller, Edwin J.; Dishman, James Larry; Schubert, William Kent; Zirzow, Jeffrey A.

    2008-11-01

    The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is an ambitious National Science Foundation sponsored project intended to accumulate and disseminate ecologically informative sensor data from sites among 20 distinct biomes found within the United States and Puerto Rico over a period of at least 30 years. These data are expected to provide valuable insights into the ecological impacts of climate change, land-use change, and invasive species in these various biomes, and thereby provide a scientific foundation for the decisions of future national, regional, and local policy makers. NEON's objectives are of substantial national and international importance, yet they must be achieved with limited resources. Sandia National Laboratories was therefore contracted to examine four areas of significant systems engineering concern; specifically, alternatives to commercial electrical utility power for remote operations, approaches to data acquisition and local data handling, protocols for secure long-distance data transmission, and processes and procedures for the introduction of new instruments and continuous improvement of the sensor network. The results of these preliminary systems engineering evaluations are presented, with a series of recommendations intended to optimize the efficiency and probability of long-term success for the NEON enterprise.

  10. Waste area grouping 2 Phase I task data report: Ecological risk assessment and White Oak Creek watershed screening ecological risk assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Efroymson, R.A.; Jackson, B.L.; Jones, D.S.

    1996-05-01

    This report presents an ecological risk assessment for Waste Area Grouping (WAG) 2 based on the data collected in the Phase I remedial investigation (RI). It serves as an update to the WAG 2 screening ecological risk assessment that was performed using historic data. In addition to identifying potential ecological risks in WAG 2 that may require additional data collection, this report serves to determine whether there are ecological risks of sufficient magnitude to require a removal action or some other expedited remedial process. WAG 2 consists of White Oak Creek (WOC) and its tributaries downstream of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) main plant area, White Oak Lake (WOL), the White Oak Creek Embayment of the Clinch River, associated flood plains, and the associated groundwater. The WOC system drains the WOC watershed, an area of approximately 16.8 km{sup 2} that includes ORNL and associated WAGs. The WOC system has been exposed to contaminants released from ORNL and associated operations since 1943 and continues to receive contaminants from adjacent WAGs.

  11. Environmental release, environmental concentrations, and ecological risk of N,N-Diethyl-m-toluamide (DEET).

    PubMed

    Aronson, Dallas; Weeks, John; Meylan, Bill; Guiney, Patrick D; Howard, Philip H

    2012-01-01

    N,N-Diethyl-m-toluamide's (DEET) commercial use as an insect repellent and other reported uses are reviewed. Evidence that DEET is reaching the environment mainly from consumer use of DEET-containing insect repellent includes studies reporting higher concentrations of DEET in surface water and wastewater samples during the summer months, the presence of DEET in on-site septic tank effluent at concentrations similar to that reported in wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) influent, and changes in WWTP effluent concentrations before and after the introduction of a DEET replacement in Germany. Its detected concentrations in influent and effluent of WWTP and surface water worldwide are reviewed and correlations between DEET usage and wastewater effluent concentrations are analyzed. The removability during wastewater treatment is also evaluated. A correlation between commercial DEET use in a metropolitan area and concentrations in WWTP effluents was assessed, and 2 different models were used to predict DEET concentrations in rivers and streams throughout the United States. Ecological toxicity data are reviewed for acute studies and for chronic values that are available for Daphnia magna and algae. The ecological risk of DEET usage is evaluated by examining the relationship of the expected dose/response to observed concentrations. PMID:21913321

  12. [Method of ecological risk assessment for risk pollutants under short-term and high dose exposure in water pollution accident].

    PubMed

    Lei, Bing-Li; Sun, Yan-Feng; Liu, Qian; Yu, Zhi-Qiang; Zeng, Xiang-Ying

    2011-11-01

    In recent years, water pollution accidents resulting in acute aquatic ecological risk and security issues become a research focus. However, in our country, the surface water quality standards and drinking water health standards were used to determine the safety of waters or not in pollution incidents due to lacking safety effect threshold or risk value for protection of aquatic life. In foreign countries, although predicted no effect concentration (PNEC) or risk value (R) of pollutants were provided for protection of aquatic organisms, the PNECs or risk values were derived based on long-term exposure toxicity data NOECs (no observed effect concentrations) and lack of short-term exposure risk or threshold values. For the short-term and high dose exposure in pollution incident, ecological risk assessment methods were discussed according to the procedures of the conventional ecological risk assessment and the water quality criteria establishment of the U.S. EPA for the protection of aquatic organisms in short-term exposure, and had a case study. At the same time, we provide some suggestions for the establishment of ecological risk assessment system in water pollution incidents. PMID:22295619

  13. The Impact of Ecological Risk and Perceived Discrimination on the Psychological Adjustment of African American and European American Youth

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prelow, Hazel M.; Danoff-Burg, Sharon; Swenson, Rebecca R.; Pulgiano, Dana

    2004-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to examine the role of cumulative ecological risk (i.e., neighborhood disadvantage and ecologically salient stressful events) and perceived discrimination on the psychological adjustment of urban African American and European American youth. Findings indicated that both cumulative ecological risk and perceived…

  14. [Risk assessment of ecological disasters in Jilin Province based on GIS].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ji-Quan; Liang, Jing-Dan; Zhou, Dao-Wei

    2007-08-01

    Based on the principles of natural disasters risk formation, and considering the natural and social features of Jilin Province, relevant indices were selected from the aspects of hazard, exposure, vulnerability and emergency responses, and recovery capability, and Natural Disaster Risk Index method, Weighted Comprehensive Analysis, and Analytic Hierarchy Process were used to build the risk assessment model of ecological disasters in this Province. The contribution of each index was assessed, and the regionalization map of the ecological disasters risk in Jilin Province was built based on GIS, which would provide scientific references in accurately understanding the risk level of ecological disasters and in decision-making of eco-environment restoration and management in Jilin Province. PMID:17974242

  15. A framework for assessing ecological risks of petroleum-derived materials in soil

    SciTech Connect

    Suter, G.W. II

    1997-05-01

    Ecological risk assessment estimates the nature and likelihood of effects of human actions on nonhuman organisms, populations, and ecosystems. It is intended to be clearer and more rigorous in its approach to estimation of effects and uncertainties than previously employed methods of ecological assessment. Ecological risk assessment is characterized by a standard paradigm that includes problem formulation, analysis of exposure and effects, risk characterization, and communication with a risk manager. This report provides a framework that applies the paradigm to the specific problem of assessing the ecological risks of petroleum in soil. This type of approach requires that assessments be performed in phases: (1) a scoping assessment to determine whether there is a potential route of exposure for potentially significant ecological receptors; (2) a screening assessment to determine whether exposures could potentially reach toxic levels; and (3) a definitive assessment to estimate the nature, magnitude, and extent of risks. The principal technical issue addressed is the chemically complex nature of petroleum--a complexity that may be dealt with by assessing risks on the basis of properties of the whole material, properties of individual chemicals that are representative of chemical classes, distributions of properties of the constituents of chemical classes, properties of chemicals detected in the soil, and properties of indicator chemicals. The advantages and feasibility of these alternatives are discussed. The report concludes with research recommendations for improving each stage in the assessment process.

  16. Ecological risk assessment for Mather Air Force Base, California: Phase 1, screening assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Meyers-Schoene, L.; Fischer, N.T.; Rabe, J.J.

    1994-12-31

    Mather Air Force Base (AFB) is among the numerous facilities scheduled for closure under the US Air Force (USAF) Installation Restoration Program (IRP). A component of the Mather AFB IRP is to prepare risk assessments for each of the chemically contaminated sites. Because no previous ecological risk related studies have been conducted on Mather AFB, the authors proposed a phased approach to assessing ecological risks at the base. Phase 1 consisted of baseline ecological surveys that collected data over a 12-month period. In addition, benchmark screening criteria were used in conjunction with modeling results that utilized measured concentrations of chemical analytes in abiotic samples. Phase 2 may consist of the collection of more site-specific data and toxicity testing, if warranted by the Phase 1 screening analysis. This approach was in agreement with the USAF`s ecological risk assessment guidance and met the approval of the Air Force and USEPA Region 9. The authors found the use of established and derived screening values to effectively aid in the focusing of the ecological risk assessment on those chemicals most likely to be hazardous to ecological receptors at the base. Disadvantages in the use of screening values include the uncertainties associated with the conservative assumptions inherent in the derivation of benchmark values and the difficulty in extrapolating from laboratory determined benchmark values to impacts in the field.

  17. Environmental management: Integrating ecological evaluation, remediation, restoration, natural resource damage assessment and long-term stewardship on contaminated lands

    PubMed Central

    Burger, Joanna

    2014-01-01

    Ecological evaluation is essential for remediation, restoration, and Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA), and forms the basis for many management practices. These include determining status and trends of biological, physical, or chemical/radiological conditions, conducting environmental impact assessments, performing remedial actions should remediation fail, managing ecosystems and wildlife, and assessing the efficacy of remediation, restoration, and long-term stewardship. The objective of this paper is to explore the meanings of these assessments, examine the relationships among them, and suggest methods of integration that will move environmental management forward. While remediation, restoration, and NRDA, among others, are often conducted separately, it is important to integrate them for contaminated land where the risks to ecoreceptors (including humans) can be high, and the potential damage to functioning ecosystems great. Ecological evaluations can range from inventories of local plants and animals, determinations of reproductive success of particular species, levels of contaminants in organisms, kinds and levels of effects, and environmental impact assessments, to very formal ecological risk assessments for a chemical or other stressor. Such evaluations can range from the individual species to populations, communities, ecosystems or the landscape scale. Ecological evaluations serve as the basis for making decisions about the levels and kinds of remediation, the levels and kinds of restoration possible, and the degree and kinds of natural resource injuries that have occurred because of contamination. Many different disciplines are involved in ecological evaluation, including biologists, conservationists, foresters, restoration ecologists, ecological engineers, economists, hydrologist, and geologists. Since ecological evaluation forms the basis for so many different types of environmental management, it seems reasonable to integrate management options

  18. Ecological risk of heavy metals in sediments of the luan river source water

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Liu, J.; Li, Y.; Zhang, B.; Cao, J.; Cao, Z.; Domagalski, J.

    2009-01-01

    Distribution and characteristics of heavy metals enrichment in sediment were surveyed including the bio-available form analyzed for assessment of the Luan River source water quality. The approaches of sediment quality guidelines (SQG), risk assessment code and Hakanson potential ecological risk index were used for the ecological risk assessment. According to SQG, The results show that in animal bodies, Hg at the sampling site of Wuliehexia was 1.39 mg/kg, Cr at Sandaohezi was 152.37 mg/kg and Cu at Hanjiaying was 178.61 mg/kg exceeding the severe effect screening level. There were 90% of sampling sites of Cr and Pb and 50% sites of Cu exceeded the lowest effect screening level. At Boluonuo and Wuliehexia, the exchangeable and carbonate fractions for above 50% of sites were at high risk levels and that for above 30% of sites at Xiahenan and Wulieheshang were also at high risk levels. Other sites were at medium risk level. Compared to soil background values of China, Hg and Cd showed very strong ecological risk, and the seven heavy metals of Hg, Cd, Cu, As, Pb, Cr, Zn at ecological risk levels were in the descending order. The results could give insight into risk assessment of environmental pollution and decision-making for water source security. ?? 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  19. An ecological risk assessment of heavy metal contamination in the surface sediments of Bosten Lake, northwest China.

    PubMed

    Mamat, Zulpiya; Haximu, Sadiguli; Zhang, Zhao Yong; Aji, Rouzi

    2016-04-01

    Bosten Lake, a typical rump lake in an oasis in northwest China, was chosen to evaluate the distribution, sources, pollution status, and potential ecological risk of heavy metals. Sediment samples were collected from the lake, and results showed that the values of the eight heavy metals all fell within the Second Soil National Standard, while the average and maximum values of the metals were higher than the background values of the study. Multivariate statistical analysis showed that sediment concentrations of Cd, Pb, Hg, and Zn were mainly influenced by man sources. In comparison, Cu, Ni, Cr, and As were primarily natural in origin. Enrichment factor analysis (EF) and the geo-accumulation index evaluation method (I geo) showed that Cd, Hg, and Pb fell under low and partial serious pollution levels, while Zn, As, Cr, Ni, and Cu mainly were characterized under no pollution and low pollution levels. The potential ecological hazards index (RI) showed that among the eight heavy metals, Pb, Hg, and Cd posed the highest potential ecological risk, with potential ecological hazards indices (RI) of 29.06, 27.71, and 21.54 %, respectively. These findings demonstrated that recent economic development in the area of the basin has led to heavy metal accumulation in the surface sediments of the lake. PMID:26769477

  20. Ecosystem services as assessment endpoints for ecological risk assessment

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecosystem services (ES) are defined as the outputs of ecological processes that contribute to human welfare or have the potential to do so in the future, and include the production of food and drinking water, purification of air and water, pollination, and nutrient cycling. The n...

  1. COMMUNICATING AND CHARACTERIZING ECOLOGICAL RISK AT THE WATERSHED SCALE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Since the biggest environmental problems in the United States now stem from nonpoint sources of pollution that are not regulated by Federal laws, a watershed approach to environmental decision making that uses partnerships and sound science is being used more frequently. Ecologi...

  2. Assessing ecological risk at a hazardous waste site containing vernal pools

    SciTech Connect

    DeLong, T.; Millard, J.; Timmer, E.; Dobroski, C.

    1995-12-31

    An ecological risk assessment was conducted for a Superfund site in central California. As part of this assessment an evaluation of vernal pools was conducted. Vernal pools are amphibious ecosystems that support unique biotic communities. Many of the endemic species associated with vernal pools in central California are currently listed as state or Federally endangered, threatened, or rare species and include: Contra Costa goldfields (Lasthenia conjugens), vernal pool fairy shrimp (Branchinecta lynchl), vernal pool tadpole shrimp (Lepidurus packardi) and the California tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum califomiense). The protection of these habitats is essential for the preservation of the special status species dependent on them for survival. As part of the risk assessment, vernal pools in the study area were identified and surveyed for special status flora and fauna for two consecutive years. Information regarding the relative quality of each pool was also collected. In order to assess potential impacts from chemical exposures to communities inhabiting these vernal pools, a weight-of-evidence approach was employed that included: evaluation of vernal pool biological composition; assessment of physical and chemical conditions; invertebrate sediment toxicity evaluations, and Frog Embryo Teratogenesis Analysis -- Xenopus (FETAX) testing.

  3. Determining significant endpoints for ecological risk analyses. 1998 annual progress report

    SciTech Connect

    Hinton, T.G.; Congdon, J.; Scott, D.; Rowe, C.; Bedford, J.; Whicker, W.

    1998-06-01

    'The goal of this report is to establish a protocol for assessing risks to non-human populations exposed to environmental stresses typically found on many DOE sites. The authors think that they can achieve this by using novel biological dosimeters in controlled, manipulative dose/effects experiments, and by coupling changes in metabolic rates and energy allocation patterns to meaningful population response variables (such as age-specific survivorship, reproductive output, age at maturity and longevity). This research is needed to determine the relevancy of sublethal cellular damage to the performance of individuals and populations exposed to chronic, low-level radiation, and radiation with concomitant exposure to chemicals. They believe that a scientifically defensible endpoint for measuring ecological risks can only be determined once its understood the extent to which molecular damage from contaminant exposure is detrimental at the individual and population levels of biological organization. The experimental facility will allow them to develop a credible assessment tool for appraising ecological risks, and to evaluate the effects of radionuclide/chemical synergisms on non-human species. This report summarizes work completed midway of a 3-year project that began in November 1996. Emphasis to date has centered on three areas: (1) developing a molecular probe to measure stable chromosomal aberrations known as reciprocal translocations, (2) constructing an irradiation facility where the statistical power inherent in replicated mesocosms can be used to address the response of non-human organisms to exposures from low levels of radiation and metal contaminants, and (3) quantifying responses of organisms living in contaminated mesocosms and field sites.'

  4. Ecological Risk of Heavy Metals and a Metalloid in Agricultural Soils in Tarkwa, Ghana

    PubMed Central

    Bortey-Sam, Nesta; Nakayama, Shouta M. M.; Akoto, Osei; Ikenaka, Yoshinori; Baidoo, Elvis; Mizukawa, Hazuki; Ishizuka, Mayumi

    2015-01-01

    Heavy metals and a metalloid in agricultural soils in 19 communities in Tarkwa were analyzed to assess the potential ecological risk. A total of 147 soil samples were collected in June, 2012 and analyzed for As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb and Zn. Mean concentrations (mg/kg dw) of heavy metals in the communities decreased in order of Zn (39) ˃ Cr (21) ˃ Pb (7.2) ˃ Cu (6.2) ˃ As (4.4) ˃ Ni (3.7) ˃ Co (1.8) ˃ Hg (0.32) ˃ Cd (0.050). Correlations among heavy metals and soil properties indicated that soil organic matter could have substantial influence on the total contents of these metals in soil. From the results, integrated pollution (Cdeg) in some communities such as, Wangarakrom (11), Badukrom (13) and T–Tamso (17) indicated high pollution with toxic metals, especially from As and Hg. Potential ecological risk (RI) indices indicated low (Mile 7) to high risks (Wangarakrom; Badukrom) of metals. Based on pollution coefficient (Cif), Cdeg, monomial ecological risk (Eir) and RI, the investigated soils fall within low to high contamination and risk of heavy metals to the ecological system especially plants, soil invertebrates and/or mammalian wildlife. This represented moderate potential ecological risk in the study area, and mining activities have played a significant role. PMID:26378563

  5. Hulun Lake's ecological health and evaluation of its' eutrophication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, W.; Yang, W.; Wang, X.; Huang, J.; Sun, B.; Li, X.

    2013-12-01

    Hulun Lake is the largest lake in the north of china. The special geological location determines its important position in regional environmental protection. In terms of Hulun Lake's current situation, this paper chooses the indexes of lake system, lake structure and lake condition. Based on the calculation of these indexes and related theory , the evaluation standards of Hulun Lake's ecological healthy system are worked out. The author used Analytic Hierarchy Process to determine the weight of each indicator layer and criteria layer, and then applied fuzzy-pattern recognition model to calculate, finally, identifying the status of Hulun Lake according to the degrees of all levels. At the same time, the author used an integrated nutrition state index method to do the eutrophication assessment. Evaluation results show that the current status of Hulun Lake is healthy and it is in the moderate level of eutrophication.

  6. Preliminary assessment of the ecological risks to wide-ranging wildlife species on the Oak Ridge Reservation

    SciTech Connect

    Sample, B.E.; Baron, L.A.; Jackson, B.L.

    1995-08-01

    Historically, ecological risk assessment at CERCLA sites [such as the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR)], has focused on species that may be definitively associated with a contaminated area or source operable unit. Consequently the species that are generally considered are those with home ranges small enough such that multiple individuals or a distinct population can be expected to reside within the boundaries of the contaminated site. This approach is adequate for sites with single, discrete areas of contamination that only provide habitat for species with limited requirements. This approach is not adequate however for large sites with multiple, spatially separated contaminated areas that provide habitat for wide-ranging wildlife species. Because wide-ranging wildlife species may travel between and use multiple contaminated sites they may be exposed to and be at risk from contaminants from multiple locations. Use of a particular contaminated site by wide-ranging species will be dependent upon the amount of suitable habitat available at that site. Therefore to adequately evaluate risks to wide-ranging species at the ORR-wide scale, the use of multiple contaminated sites must be weighted by the amount of suitable habitat on OUs. This reservation-wide ecological risk assessment is intended to identify which endpoints are significantly at risk; which contaminants are responsible for this risk; and which OUs significantly contribute to risk.

  7. The occurrence and ecological risk assessment of phthalate esters (PAEs) in urban aquatic environments of China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lulu; Liu, Jingling; Liu, Huayong; Wan, Guisheng; Zhang, Shaowei

    2015-07-01

    Phthalate esters (PAEs) are widely used in the manufacturing of plastics, and the demand for PAEs has grown rapidly, especially in China. This trend will lead to much more environmental PAE contamination. PAEs are listed as priority substances in the European Union and are therefore subject to ecological risk assessments. This paper reviews the literature concerning the pollution status of PAEs and their ecological risk to aquatic environments. Risk quotients (RQs) based on the predicted no effect concentration and PAE concentrations in aquatic environments demonstrated significant (10 ≤ RQ < 100) or expected (RQ ≥ 100) potential adverse effects for algae, Daphnia, and fish in aquatic environments near PAE-based industrial and urban areas. Thus, the ecological risk of PAEs in Chinese aquatic environments should be considered, especially in areas where commercial plastics are produced. PMID:25847103

  8. Assessing ecological risks to the fish community from residual coal fly ash in Watts Bar Reservoir, Tennessee

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Rigg, David K.; Wacksman, Mitch N.; Iannuzzi, Jacqueline; Baker, Tyler F.; Adams, Marshall; Greeley, Jr., Mark Stephen

    2014-12-18

    For this research, extensive site-specific biological and environmental data were collected to support an evaluation of risks to the fish community in Watts Bar Reservoir from residual ash from the December 2008 Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Kingston ash release. This paper describes the approach used and results of the risk assessment for the fish community, which consists of multiple measurement endpoints (measures of exposure and effects) for fish. The lines of evidence included 1) comparing postspill annual fish community assessments with nearby prespill data and data from other TVA reservoirs, 2) evaluating possible effects of exposures of fish eggs andmore » larval fish to ash in controlled laboratory toxicity tests, 3) evaluating reproductive competence of field-exposed fish, 4) assessing individual fish health through physical examination, histopathology, and blood chemistry, 5) comparing fish tissue concentrations with literature-based critical body residues, and 6) comparing concentrations of ash-related contaminants in surface waters with US Environmental Protection Agency's (USEPA) Ambient Water Quality Standards for Fish and Aquatic Life. These measurement endpoints were treated as independent lines of evidence that were integrated into an overall weight-of-evidence estimate of risk to the fish community. Collectively, the data and analysis presented here indicate that ash and ash-related constituents pose negligible risks to the fish communities in Watts Bar Reservoir. This conclusion contradicts the predictions by some researchers immediately following the ash release of devastating effects on the aquatic ecology of Watts Bar Reservoir. The information presented in this article reaffirms the wisdom of carefully evaluating the evidence before predicting probable ecological effects of a major event such as the TVA Kingston ash release. Lastly, this study demonstrates that a thorough and detailed investigation using multiple measurement endpoints

  9. Assessing ecological risks to the fish community from residual coal fly ash in Watts Bar Reservoir, Tennessee

    SciTech Connect

    Rigg, David K.; Wacksman, Mitch N.; Iannuzzi, Jacqueline; Baker, Tyler F.; Adams, Marshall; Greeley, Jr., Mark Stephen

    2014-12-18

    For this research, extensive site-specific biological and environmental data were collected to support an evaluation of risks to the fish community in Watts Bar Reservoir from residual ash from the December 2008 Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Kingston ash release. This paper describes the approach used and results of the risk assessment for the fish community, which consists of multiple measurement endpoints (measures of exposure and effects) for fish. The lines of evidence included 1) comparing postspill annual fish community assessments with nearby prespill data and data from other TVA reservoirs, 2) evaluating possible effects of exposures of fish eggs and larval fish to ash in controlled laboratory toxicity tests, 3) evaluating reproductive competence of field-exposed fish, 4) assessing individual fish health through physical examination, histopathology, and blood chemistry, 5) comparing fish tissue concentrations with literature-based critical body residues, and 6) comparing concentrations of ash-related contaminants in surface waters with US Environmental Protection Agency's (USEPA) Ambient Water Quality Standards for Fish and Aquatic Life. These measurement endpoints were treated as independent lines of evidence that were integrated into an overall weight-of-evidence estimate of risk to the fish community. Collectively, the data and analysis presented here indicate that ash and ash-related constituents pose negligible risks to the fish communities in Watts Bar Reservoir. This conclusion contradicts the predictions by some researchers immediately following the ash release of devastating effects on the aquatic ecology of Watts Bar Reservoir. The information presented in this article reaffirms the wisdom of carefully evaluating the evidence before predicting probable ecological effects of a major event such as the TVA Kingston ash release. Lastly, this study demonstrates that a thorough and detailed investigation using multiple measurement endpoints is needed

  10. [Uncertainty analysis of ecological risk assessment caused by heavy-metals deposition from MSWI emission].

    PubMed

    Liao, Zhi-Heng; Sun, Jia-Ren; Wu, Dui; Fan, Shao-Jia; Ren, Ming-Zhong; Lü, Jia-Yang

    2014-06-01

    The CALPUFF model was applied to simulate the ground-level atmospheric concentrations of Pb and Cd from municipal solid waste incineration (MSWI) plants, and the soil concentration model was used to estimate soil concentration increments after atmospheric deposition based on Monte Carlo simulation, then ecological risk assessment was conducted by the potential ecological risk index method. The results showed that the largest atmospheric concentrations of Pb and Cd were 5.59 x 109-3) microg x m(-3) and 5.57 x 10(-4) microg x m(-3), respectively, while the maxima of soil concentration incremental medium of Pb and Cd were 2.26 mg x kg(-1) and 0.21 mg x kg(-1), respectively; High risk areas were located next to the incinerators, Cd contributed the most to the ecological risk, and Pb was basically free of pollution risk; Higher ecological hazard level was predicted at the most polluted point in urban areas with a 55.30% probability, while in rural areas, the most polluted point was assessed to moderate ecological hazard level with a 72.92% probability. In addition, sensitivity analysis of calculation parameters in the soil concentration model was conducted, which showed the simulated results of urban and rural area were most sensitive to soil mix depth and dry deposition rate, respectively. PMID:25158505

  11. Probabilistic ecological risk assessment of effluent toxicity of a wastewater reclamation plant based on process modeling.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Siyu; Huang, Yunqing; Sun, Fu; Li, Dan; He, Miao

    2016-09-01

    The growing use of reclaimed wastewater for environmental purposes such as stream flow augmentation requires comprehensive ecological risk assessment and management. This study applied a system analysis approach, regarding a wastewater reclamation plant (WRP) and its recipient water body as a whole system, and assessed the ecological risk of the recipient water body caused by the WRP effluent. Instead of specific contaminants, two toxicity indicators, i.e. genotoxicity and estrogenicity, were selected to directly measure the biological effects of all bio-available contaminants in the reclaimed wastewater, as well as characterize the ecological risk of the recipient water. A series of physically based models were developed to simulate the toxicity indicators in a WRP through a typical reclamation process, including ultrafiltration, ozonation, and chlorination. After being validated against the field monitoring data from a full-scale WRP in Beijing, the models were applied to simulate the probability distribution of effluent toxicity of the WRP through Latin Hypercube Sampling to account for the variability of influent toxicity and operation conditions. The simulated effluent toxicity was then used to derive the predicted environmental concentration (PEC) in the recipient stream, considering the variations of the toxicity and flow of the upstream inflow as well. The ratio of the PEC of each toxicity indicator to its corresponding predicted no-effect concentration was finally used for the probabilistic ecological risk assessment. Regional sensitivity analysis was also performed with the developed models to identify the critical control variables and strategies for ecological risk management. PMID:27219046

  12. Regional multi-compartment ecological risk assessment: Establishing cadmium pollution risk in the northern Bohai Rim, China.

    PubMed

    Shi, Yajuan; Wang, Ruoshi; Lu, Yonglong; Song, Shuai; Johnson, Andrew C; Sweetman, Andrew; Jones, Kevin

    2016-09-01

    Ecological risk assessment (ERA) has been widely applied in characterizing the risk of chemicals to organisms and ecosystems. The paucity of toxicity data on local biota living in the different compartments of an ecosystem and the absence of a suitable methodology for multi-compartment spatial risk assessment at the regional scale has held back this field. The major objective of this study was to develop a methodology to quantify and distinguish the spatial distribution of risk to ecosystems at a regional scale. A framework for regional multi-compartment probabilistic ecological risk assessment (RMPERA) was constructed and corroborated using a bioassay of a local species. The risks from cadmium (Cd) pollution in river water, river sediment, coastal water, coastal surface sediment and soil in northern Bohai Rim were examined. The results indicated that the local organisms in soil, river, coastal water, and coastal sediment were affected by Cd. The greatest impacts from Cd were identified in the Tianjin and Huludao areas. The overall multi-compartment risk was 31.4% in the region. The methodology provides a new approach for regional multi-compartment ecological risk assessment. PMID:27286039

  13. Distribution, bioavailability, and potential ecological risk of Cu, Pb, and Zn in soil in a potential groundwater source area.

    PubMed

    Teng, Yanguo; Feng, Dan; Wu, Jin; Zuo, Rui; Song, Liuting; Wang, Jinsheng

    2015-05-01

    In this study, we examined three horizontal and vertical soil profiles along a sewage drainage ditch in order to determine the spatial distribution of Cu, Pb, and Zn in soils and to assess the bioavailability and potential ecological risks associated with these metals in a potential groundwater source area. Results showed that the concentrations of Cu, Pb, and Zn were approximately at background level, suggesting that human activities (industrial and agricultural pollution) had a negligible influence on these metals in soil, and that the concentrations reflected the natural background levels in the study area. Cu, Pb, and Zn concentrations were slightly higher in topsoil (0-20 cm) than deeper in the soil profile. Using a modified BCR sequential extraction method to evaluate the mobility and bioavailability of metals showed that the potential bioavailability sequence of Cu, Pb, and Zn at three depths in the soil profile was in the order Cu ≈ Pb < Zn. The potential ecological risk from the metals was evaluated using risk assessment code, and the results suggest that Cu and Zn pose no or low risk, while there is a low or medium risk from Pb. Results from groundwater monitoring showed that the groundwater was not polluted by leaching from soil. PMID:25910722

  14. Risk, Resilience, and Development: The Multiple Ecologies of Black Adolescents.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nettles, Saundra Murray; Pleck, Joseph H.

    This report examines protective factors and the process of resilience as they apply to Black adolescents. The report reviews risk factors at the individual level and at the community level, and reviews the incidence of health- and life-compromising risk outcomes in Black adolescents. It then discusses protective factors and resilience and their…

  15. Predicted distribution and ecological risk assessment of a "segregated" hydrofluorrother in the Japanese environment.

    PubMed

    Newsted, John L; Nakanishi, Junko; Cousins, Ian; Werner, Kurt; Giesy, John P

    2002-11-15

    An assessment of HFE-7500, a 'segregated' hydrofluoroether, was conducted to evaluate the potential for exposure to and subsequent effects on humans and wildlife in Japan. The segregated hydrofluoroethers belong to a class of fluorochemicals currently being proposed as replacements for traditional fluorochemicals (CFCs and PFCs) that are currently being used in several industries, in particular, the semiconductor industry. These traditional compounds have been implicated as ozone-depleting or potent "greenhouse gases". The segregated hydrofluoroethers have useful physical and chemical properties, but do not contribute to ozone depletion and have lower "global warming potential" (GWP) indices. Although the physical properties of these materials (low H2O solubility and high vapor pressure) suggest there would be a very low level of risk to aquatic systems, a thorough analysis had not been previously performed. Predicted environmental concentrations (PECs) of HFE-7500 in Japan were determined with the Higashino model, a Gausian puff and plume model that used an approximation of environmental releases to the atmosphere as input to the model. Allowable concentrations to protect aquatic life, wildlife, and humans from noncancer effects were determined as detailed in USEPA's final Water Quality Guidance for the Great Lakes Systems. Potential risk to ecological receptors and humans was determined by calculating hazard quotients and margins of safety. The results of the risk assessment indicate that HFE-7500 poses no significant risk to either aquatic or terrestrial wildlife species or humans living in the Japanese environment. The least margin of safety for any ecological receptor was 100,000, and a margin of safety greater than 100,000,000 for most receptors indicated that HFE-7500 poses no threat to human health. Because of a scarcity of toxicity and exposure data, the risk assessment was based on very conservative assumptions. Therefore, the actual margins of safety for

  16. Ecology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

    This set of teaching aids consists of nine Audubon Nature Bulletins, providing teachers and students with informational reading on various ecological topics. The bulletins have these titles: Schoolyard Laboratories, Owls and Predators, The Forest Community, Life in Freshwater Marshes, Camouflage in the Animal World, Life in the Desert, The…

  17. Emerging pollutants in the environment: present and future challenges in biomonitoring, ecological risks and bioremediation.

    PubMed

    Gavrilescu, Maria; Demnerová, Kateřina; Aamand, Jens; Agathos, Spiros; Fava, Fabio

    2015-01-25

    Emerging pollutants reach the environment from various anthropogenic sources and are distributed throughout environmental matrices. Although great advances have been made in the detection and analysis of trace pollutants during recent decades, due to the continued development and refinement of specific techniques, a wide array of undetected contaminants of emerging environmental concern need to be identified and quantified in various environmental components and biological tissues. These pollutants may be mobile and persistent in air, water, soil, sediments and ecological receptors even at low concentrations. Robust data on their fate and behaviour in the environment, as well as on threats to ecological and human health, are still lacking. Moreover, the ecotoxicological significance of some emerging micropollutants remains largely unknown, because satisfactory data to determine their risk often do not exist. This paper discusses the fate, behaviour, (bio)monitoring, environmental and health risks associated with emerging chemical (pharmaceuticals, endocrine disruptors, hormones, toxins, among others) and biological (bacteria, viruses) micropollutants in soils, sediments, groundwater, industrial and municipal wastewaters, aquaculture effluents, and freshwater and marine ecosystems, and highlights new horizons for their (bio)removal. Our study aims to demonstrate the imperative need to boost research and innovation for new and cost-effective treatment technologies, in line with the uptake, mode of action and consequences of each emerging contaminant. We also address the topic of innovative tools for the evaluation of the effects of toxicity on human health and for the prediction of microbial availability and degradation in the environment. Additionally, we consider the development of (bio)sensors to perform environmental monitoring in real-time mode. This needs to address multiple species, along with a more effective exploitation of specialised microbes or enzymes

  18. Ecological Risk Assessment of EDTA-Assisted Phytoremediation of Cd Under Different Cultivation Systems.

    PubMed

    Luo, Jie; Qi, Shihua; Gu, X W Sophie; Hou, Tao; Lin, Lihong

    2016-02-01

    A long-term field experiment was designed to assess remediation efficiency and ecological risk of phytoremediation of Cd under different cultivation systems with or without ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA). EDTA can significantly improve the phytoremediation effectiveness of a historically polluted e-waste dismantling site through enhancing Cd uptake by plants in all cultivation systems along with higher ecological risks to different receptors especially in the presence of Cicer arietinum (chickpea). Moisture content at each layer of soil profile under Eucalyptus globules L. cultivated sites was consistently lower than under chickpea monoculture as a result of E. globules' high water use efficiency. Besides low soil moisture, E. globules can intercept more Cd-rich leachate than chickpea regardless of the presence of EDTA. E. globules could be used for Cd phytoremediation as they can take full advantage of EDTA and decrease ecological risk caused by the chelator. PMID:26499324

  19. [Pollution Characteristics and Potential Ecological Risk of Heavy Metals in Urban Surface Water Sediments from Yongkang].

    PubMed

    Qi, Peng; Yu, Shu-quan; Zhang, Chao; Liang, Li-cheng; Che, Ji-lu

    2015-12-01

    In order to understand the pollution characteristics of heavy metals in surface water sediments of Yongkang, we analyzed the concentrations of 10 heavy metals including Ti, Cr, Mn, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Pb and Fe in 122 sediment samples, explored the underlying source of heavy metals and then assessed the potential ecological risks of those metals by methods of the index of geo-accumulation and the potential ecological risk. The study results showed that: 10 heavy metal contents followed the order: Fe > Ti > Mn > Zn > Cr > Cu > Ph > Ni > As > Co, all heavy metals except for Ti were 1. 17 to 3.78 times higher than those of Zhejiang Jinhua- Quzhou basin natural soils background values; The concentrations of all heavy metals had a significantly correlation between each other, indicating that those heavy metals had similar sources of pollution, and it mainly came from industrial and vehicle pollutions; The pollution extent of heavy metals in sediments by geo-accumulation index (Igeo) followed the order: Cr > Zn > Ni > Cu > Fe > As > Pb >Mn > Ti, thereinto, Cr, Zn, Cu and Ni were moderately polluted or heavily polluted at some sampling sites; The potential ecological risk of 9 heavy metals in sediments were in the following order: Cu > As > Ni > Cr > Pb > Co > Zn > Mn > Ti, Cu and As contributed the most to the total potential ecological risk, accounting for 22.84% and 21. 62% , others had a total of 55.54% , through the ecological risk assessment, 89. 34% of the potential ecological risk indexes ( RI) were low and 10. 66% were higher. The contamination level of heavy metals in Yongkang was slight in total, but was heavy in local areas. PMID:27011984

  20. Designing impact assessments for evaluating ecological effects of agricultural conservation practices on streams

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Conservation practices are regularly implemented within agricultural watersheds throughout the United States without evaluating their ecological impacts. Scientific evaluations documenting how habitat and aquatic biota within streams respond to these practices are needed for evaluating the effects o...

  1. Derivation of Ecological Protective Concentration using the Probabilistic Ecological Risk Assessment applicable for Korean Water Environment: (I) Cadmium

    PubMed Central

    Nam, Sun-Hwa; Lee, Woo-Mi

    2012-01-01

    Probabilistic ecological risk assessment (PERA) for deriving ecological protective concentration (EPC) was previously suggested in USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Netherland. This study suggested the EPC of cadmium (Cd) based on the PERA to be suitable to Korean aquatic ecosystem. First, we collected reliable ecotoxicity data from reliable data without restriction and reliable data with restrictions. Next, we sorted the ecotoxicity data based on the site-specific locations, exposure duration, and water hardness. To correct toxicity by the water hardness, EU’s hardness corrected algorithm was used with slope factor 0.89 and a benchmark of water hardness 100. EPC was calculated according to statistical extrapolation method (SEM), statistical extrapolation methodAcute to chronic ratio (SEMACR), and assessment factor method (AFM). As a result, aquatic toxicity data of Cd were collected from 43 acute toxicity data (4 Actinopterygill, 29 Branchiopoda, 1 Polychaeta, 2 Bryozoa, 6 Chlorophyceae, 1 Chanophyceae) and 40 chronic toxicity data (2 Actinopterygill, 23 Branchiopoda, 9 Chlorophyceae, 6 Macrophytes). Because toxicity data of Cd belongs to 4 classes in taxonomical classification, acute and chronic EPC (11.07 μg/l and 0.034 μg/l, respectively) was calculated according to SEM technique. These values were included in the range of international EPCs. This study would be useful to establish the ecological standard for the protection of aquatic ecosystem in Korea. PMID:24278601

  2. Probabilistic Approaches for Evaluating Space Shuttle Risks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vesely, William

    2001-01-01

    The objectives of the Space Shuttle PRA (Probabilistic Risk Assessment) are to: (1) evaluate mission risks; (2) evaluate uncertainties and sensitivities; (3) prioritize contributors; (4) evaluate upgrades; (5) track risks; and (6) provide decision tools. This report discusses the significance of a Space Shuttle PRA and its participants. The elements and type of losses to be included are discussed. The program and probabilistic approaches are then discussed.

  3. Ecological risk assessment of genetically modified crops based on cellular automata modeling.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jun; Wang, Zhi-Rui; Yang, De-Li; Yang, Qing; Yan, Jun; He, Ming-Feng

    2009-01-01

    The assessment of ecological risk in genetically modified (GM) biological systems is critically important for decision-making and public acceptance. Cellular automata (CA) provide a potential modeling and simulation framework for representing relationships and interspecies interactions both temporally and spatially. In this paper, a simple subsystem contains only four species: crop, target pest, non-target pest and enemy insect, and a three layer arrangement of LxL stochastic cellular automata with a periodic boundary were established. The simulation of this simplified system showed abundant and sufficient complexity in population assembly and densities, suggesting a prospective application in ecological risk assessment of GM crops. PMID:19477260

  4. Evaluation of the ecological relevance of mysid toxicity tests using population modeling techniques

    SciTech Connect

    Kuhn-Hines, A.; Munns, W.R. Jr.; Lussier, S.; Champlin, D.; Poucher, S.

    1995-12-31

    A number of acute and chronic bioassay statistics are used to evaluate the toxicity and risks of chemical stressors to the mysid shrimp, Mysidopsis bahia. These include LC{sub 50}S from acute tests, NOECs from 7-day and life-cycle tests, and the US EPA Water Quality Criteria Criterion Continuous Concentrations (CCC). Because these statistics are generated from endpoints which focus upon the responses of individual organisms, their relationships to significant effects at higher levels of ecological organization are unknown. This study was conducted to evaluate the quantitative relationships between toxicity test statistics and a concentration-based statistic derived from exposure-response models describing population growth rate ({lambda}) to stressor concentration. This statistic, C{sup {sm_bullet}} (concentration where {lambda} = I, zero population growth) describes the concentration above which mysid populations are projected to decline in abundance as determined using population modeling techniques. An analysis of M. bahia responses to 9 metals and 9 organic contaminants indicated the NOEC from life-cycle tests to be the best predictor of C{sup {sm_bullet}}, although the acute LC{sub 50} predicted population-level response surprisingly well. These analyses provide useful information regarding uncertainties of extrapolation among test statistics in assessments of ecological risk.

  5. Applicability of toxicity bioassays to ecological risk assessment in arid and semiarid ecosystems.

    SciTech Connect

    Markwiese, J. T.; Ryti, R. T.; Hooten, M. M.; Michael, D. I.; Hlohowskyj, I.; Environmental Assessment; Neptune and Company, Inc.

    2001-01-01

    Substantial tracts of land in the southwestern and western U.S. are undergoing or will require ERA. Toxicity bioassays employed in baseline ERAs are, for the most part. representative of mesic systems, and highly standardized test species (e.g., lettuce, earthworm) are generally not relevant to arid system toxicity testing. Conversely, relevant test species are often poorly characterized with regard to toxicant sensitivity and culture conditions. The applicability of toxicity bioassays to ecological risk assessment in arid and semiarid ecosystems was reviewed for bacteria and fungi, plants, terrestrial invertebrates, and terrestrial vertebrates. Bacteria and fungi are critical to soil processes, and understanding their ecology is important to understanding the ecological relevance of bioassays targeting either group. Terrestrial bacteria require a water film around soil particles to be active, while soil fungi can remain active in extremely dry soils. It is therefore expected that fungi will be of greater importance to arid and semiarid systems (Whitford 1989). If microbial processes are to be measured in soils of arid environments, it is recommended that bioassays target fungi. Regardless of the taxa studied, problems are associated with the standardization and interpretability of microbial tests, and regulatory acceptance may hinder widespread incorporation of microbial toxicity bioassays in arid system risk assessments. Plant toxicity bioassays are gaining recognition as sensitive indicators of soil conditions because they can provide a cost-effective and relatively rapid assessment of soil quality for both pre- and postremediation efforts. Although the choices of suitable plant species for assessing mesic system soils are numerous, the choices for arid system soils are limited. Guidance is provided for evaluating plant species with regard to their suitability for serving as representative arid system flora. Terrestrial invertebrates can survive and flourish in

  6. Toward Guidelines for Population-level Ecological Risk Assessment: Results of a U.S. EPA Risk Assessment Forum Workshop

    EPA Science Inventory

    The choice of levels of biological organization reflected in ecological risk assessment (ERA) is receiving increasing attention. Most ERAs conducted for chemicals by the U.S. EPA, and indeed by most organizations worldwide, focus on organism-level attributes (e.g., survival, gro...

  7. Spatial ecology of refuge selection by an herbivore under risk of predation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wilson, Tammy L.; Rayburn, Andrew P.; Edwards, Thomas C., Jr.

    2012-01-01

    Prey species use structures such as burrows to minimize predation risk. The spatial arrangement of these resources can have important implications for individual and population fitness. For example, there is evidence that clustered resources can benefit individuals by reducing predation risk and increasing foraging opportunity concurrently, which leads to higher population density. However, the scale of clustering that is important in these processes has been ignored during theoretical and empirical development of resource models. Ecological understanding of refuge exploitation by prey can be improved by spatial analysis of refuge use and availability that incorporates the effect of scale. We measured the spatial distribution of pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis) refugia (burrows) through censuses in four 6-ha sites. Point pattern analyses were used to evaluate burrow selection by comparing the spatial distribution of used and available burrows. The presence of food resources and additional overstory cover resources was further examined using logistic regression. Burrows were spatially clustered at scales up to approximately 25 m, and then regularly spaced at distances beyond ~40 m. Pygmy rabbit exploitation of burrows did not match availability. Burrows used by pygmy rabbits were likely to be located in areas with high overall burrow density (resource clusters) and high overstory cover, which together minimized predation risk. However, in some cases we observed an interaction between either overstory cover (safety) or understory cover (forage) and burrow density. The interactions show that pygmy rabbits will use burrows in areas with low relative burrow density (high relative predation risk) if understory food resources are high. This points to a potential trade-off whereby rabbits must sacrifice some safety afforded by additional nearby burrows to obtain ample forage resources. Observed patterns of clustered burrows and non-random burrow use improve

  8. Environmental Risk of Climate Change and Groundwater Abstraction on Ecological Conditions in a Danish Catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seaby, L. P.; Boegh, E.; Jensen, N. H.

    2014-12-01

    The Danish drinking water supply is sourced almost entirely from groundwater. Balancing water abstraction demands and the ecological conditions in streams is one of the major challenges for water resource managers. With projected climate change, characterised by increased annual temperature, precipitation, and evapotranspiration rates for Denmark, the impact to low flows and groundwater levels are especially of interest, as they relate to aquatic habitat and nitrate leaching, respectively. On the island Sjælland, which includes urban and agricultural regions, a doubling of groundwater abstraction rates has been proposed in selected areas to meet water resource demands. This study evaluates the risk to stream ecological conditions for a lowland Danish catchment under multiple scenarios of climate change and groundwater abstraction. Projections of future climate (i.e. precipitation, temperature, reference evapotranspiration) come from the ENSEMBLES climate modelling project. Climate variables from 11 climate models are first bias corrected with a distribution based scaling (DBS) method (Seaby et al., 2013) and then used to force hydrological simulations of stream discharge, groundwater recharge, and nitrate leaching from the root zone under present (1991-2010) and future (2071-2100) climate conditions. Hydrological modelling utilises a sequential coupling methodology with DAISY, a one dimensional crop model describing soil water dynamics in the root zone, and MIKE SHE, a distributed groundwater-surface water model which the National Water Resources Model (DK-model) is set up in (Henriksen et al., 2003). We find low flow and annual discharge to be most impacted by scenarios of climate change, with high variation across climate models (+/- 40% change). Doubling of current groundwater abstraction rates reduces annual discharge by approximately 20%, with higher reductions to low flows seen around 40%. The combined effects of climate change and increased groundwater

  9. Contamination characteristics, ecological risk and source identification of trace metals in sediments of the Le'an River (China).

    PubMed

    Chen, Haiyang; Chen, Ruihui; Teng, Yanguo; Wu, Jin

    2016-03-01

    Recognizing the pollution characteristics of trace metals in river sediments and targeting their potential sources are of key importance for proposing effective strategies to protect watershed ecosystem health. In this study, a comprehensive investigation was conducted to identify the contamination and risk characteristics of trace metals in sediments of Le'an River which is a main tributary of the largest freshwater lake in China, Poyang Lake. To attain this objective, several tools and models were considered. Geoaccumulation index and enrichment factor were used to understand the general pollution characteristic of trace metals in sediments. Discriminant analysis was applied to identify the spatial variability of sediment metals. Sediment quality guidelines and potential ecological risk index were employed for ecological risk evaluation. Multivariate curve resolution-alternating least square was proposed to extract potential pollution sources, as well as the application of Monte-Carlo simulation for uncertainty analysis of source identification. Results suggested that the sediments in Le'an River were considerably polluted by the investigated trace metals (Cd, Cr, As, Hg, Pb, Cu, Zn and Ni). Sediment concentrations of these metals showed significant spatial variations. The potential ecological risk lay in high level. Comparatively speaking, the metals of Cd, Cu and Hg were likely to result in more harmful effects. Mining activities and the application of fertilizers and agrochemicals were identified as the main anthropogenic sources. To protect the ecological system of Le'an River and Poyang Lake watershed, industrial mining and agricultural activities in this area should to be strictly regulated. PMID:26685780

  10. [Ecological risk assessment of sediment pollution based on triangular fuzzy number].

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xiao-Wei; Wang, Li-Ping; Zheng, Bing-Hui

    2008-11-01

    Based on the characteristics of random and fuzziness, and the shortage and imprecision of datum information of water environmental system, environment background value of sediments and concentration of pollution is calculated by means of triangle fuzzy number and fuzzy risk assessment model of the potential ecological risk index is established. Using this method heavy metal pollution and ecological risk in the Yangtze Estuary and its adjacent waters were analyzed. The result shows that the environment of the foundation of the study area is subject to varying degrees of pollution. The pollution extents are correspondingly Cu, Hg, Zn, Pb, As, Cd. RI by that method and the Hakanson ecological risk method is in similar trend. RI of the estuary, turbidity maximum zone and Hangzhou bay is greater than that at outside of the estuary and sea area nearby Zhousan, and the potential ecological risk rate increases one. The assessment result is good in the validation based on the corresponding period macrobenthic community parameters. PMID:19186829