Science.gov

Sample records for probalistic ecological risk

  1. Probalistic Assessment of Radiation Risk for Solar Particle Events

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kim, Myung-Hee Y.; Cucinotta, Francis A.

    2008-01-01

    For long duration missions outside of the protection of the Earth's magnetic field, exposure to solar particle events (SPEs) is a major safety concern for crew members during extra-vehicular activities (EVAs) on the lunar surface or Earth-to-moon or Earth-to-Mars transit. The large majority (90%) of SPEs have small or no health consequences because the doses are low and the particles do not penetrate to organ depths. However, there is an operational challenge to respond to events of unknown size and duration. We have developed a probabilistic approach to SPE risk assessment in support of mission design and operational planning. Using the historical database of proton measurements during the past 5 solar cycles, the functional form of hazard function of SPE occurrence per cycle was found for nonhomogeneous Poisson model. A typical hazard function was defined as a function of time within a non-specific future solar cycle of 4000 days duration. Distributions of particle fluences for a specified mission period were simulated ranging from its 5th to 95th percentile. Organ doses from large SPEs were assessed using NASA's Baryon transport model, BRYNTRN. The SPE risk was analyzed with the organ dose distribution for the given particle fluences during a mission period. In addition to the total particle fluences of SPEs, the detailed energy spectra of protons, especially at high energy levels, were recognized as extremely important for assessing the cancer risk associated with energetic particles for large events. The probability of exceeding the NASA 30-day limit of blood forming organ (BFO) dose inside a typical spacecraft was calculated for various SPE sizes. This probabilistic approach to SPE protection will be combined with a probabilistic approach to the radiobiological factors that contribute to the uncertainties in projecting cancer risks in future work.

  2. 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...

  3. Framework for Ecological Risk Assessment

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This is the first step in a long-term effort to develop risk assessment guidelines for ecological effects. Its primary purpose is to offer a simple, flexible structure for conducting and evaluating ecological risk assessment within EPA.

  4. ECOLOGICAL INDICATORS IN RISK ASSESSMENT: WORKSHOP SUMMARY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological indicators can be defined as relatively simple measurements that relay scientific information about complex ecosystems. Such indicators are used to characterize risk in ecological risk assessment and to mark progress toward resource management goals. In late 1997 scien...

  5. ECOLOGICAL INDICATORS IN RISK ASSESSMENT WORKSHOP SUMMARY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological indicators can be defined as relatively simple measurements that relay scientific information about complex ecosystems. Such indicators are used to characterize risk in ecological risk assessment (ERA) and to mark progress toward resource management goals. In late 1997...

  6. [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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. Ecological risk assessment, prediction, and assessing risk predictions.

    PubMed

    Gibbs, Mark

    2011-11-01

    Ecological risk assessment embodied in an adaptive management framework is becoming the global standard approach for formally assessing and managing the ecological risks of technology and development. Ensuring the continual improvement of ecological risk assessment approaches is partly achieved through the dissemination of not only the types of risk assessment approaches used, but also their efficacy. While there is an increasing body of literature describing the results of general comparisons between alternate risk assessment methods and models, there is a paucity of literature that post hoc assesses the performance of specific predictions based on an assessment of risk and the effectiveness of the particular model used to predict the risk. This is especially the case where risk assessments have been used to grant consent or approval for the construction of major infrastructure projects. While postconstruction environmental monitoring is increasingly commonplace, it is not common for a postconstruction assessment of the accuracy and performance of the ecological risk assessment and underpinning model to be undertaken. Without this "assessment of the assessment," it is difficult for other practitioners to gain insight into the performance of the approach and models used and therefore, as argued here, this limits the rate of improvement of risk assessment approaches.

  12. Enhancing the Ecological Risk Assessment Process

    SciTech Connect

    Dale, Virginia H

    2008-01-01

    The Ecological Processes and Effects Committee of the US Environmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board conducted a self-initiated study and convened a public workshop to characterize the state of the ecological risk assessment (ERA), with a view toward advancing the science and application of the process. That survey and analysis of ERA in decision making shows that such assessments have been most effective when clear management goals were included in the problem formulation; translated into information needs; and developed in collaboration with decision makers, assessors, scientists, and stakeholders. This process is best facilitated when risk managers, risk assessors, and stakeholders are engaged in an ongoing dialogue about problem formulation. Identification and acknowledgment of uncertainties that have the potential to profoundly affect the results and outcome of risk assessments also improves assessment effectiveness. Thus we suggest (1) thorough peer review of ERAs be conducted at the problem formulation stage and (2) the predictive power of risk-based decision making be expanded to reduce uncertainties through analytical and methodological approaches like life cycle analysis. Risk assessment and monitoring programs need better integration to reduce uncertainty and to evaluate risk management decision outcomes. Postdecision audit programs should be initiated to evaluate the environmental outcomes of risk-based decisions. In addition, a process should be developed to demonstrate how monitoring data can be used to reduce uncertainties. Ecological risk assessments should include the effects of chemical and nonchemical stressors at multiple levels of biological organization and spatial scale, and the extent and resolution of the pertinent scales and levels of organization should be explicitly considered during problem formulation. An approach to interpreting lines of evidence and weight of evidence is critically needed for complex assessments, and it

  13. Ecological Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund: Process for Designing and Conducting Ecological Risk Assessments - Interim Final

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This document provides guidance to site managers and Remedial Project Managers who are legally responsible for the management of a site on how to design and conduct technically defensible ecological risk assessments for the Superfund program.

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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 ...

  17. Determining Significant Endpoints for Ecological risk Analyses

    SciTech Connect

    Hinton, Thimas G.; Bedford, Joel

    1999-06-01

    Our interest is in obtaining a scientifically defensible endpoint for measuring ecological risks to populations exposed to chronic, low-level radiation, and radiation with concomitant exposure to chemicals. To do so, we believe that we must understand the extent to which molecular damage is detrimental at the individual and population levels of biological organization. Ecological risk analyses based on molecular damage, without an understanding of the impacts to higher levels of biological organization, could cause cleanup strategies on DOE sites to be overly conservative and unnecessarily expensive. Our goal is to determine the relevancy of sublethal cellular damage to the performance of individuals and populations. We think that we 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Translating ecological risk to ecosystem service loss.

    PubMed

    Munns, Wayne R; Helm, Roger C; Adams, William J; Clements, William H; Cramer, Martin A; Curry, Mark; DiPinto, Lisa M; Johns, D Michael; Seiler, Richard; Williams, Lisa L; Young, Dale

    2009-10-01

    Hazardous site management in the United States includes remediation of contaminated environmental media and restoration of injured natural resources. Site remediation decisions are informed by ecological risk assessment (ERA), whereas restoration and compensation decisions are informed by the natural resource damage assessment (NRDA) process. Despite similarities in many of their data needs and the advantages of more closely linking their analyses, ERA and NRDA have been conducted largely independently of one another. This is the 4th in a series of papers reporting the results of a recent workshop that explored how ERA and NRDA data needs and assessment processes could be more closely linked. Our objective is to evaluate the technical underpinnings of recentmethods used to translate natural resource injuries into ecological service losses and to propose ways to enhance the usefulness of data obtained in ERAs to the NRDA process. Three aspects are addressed: 1) improving the linkage among ERA assessment endpoints and ecological services evaluated in the NRDA process, 2) enhancing ERA data collection and interpretation approaches to improve translation of ERA measurements in damage assessments, and 3) highlighting methods that can be used to aggregate service losses across contaminants and across natural resources. We propose that ERA and NRDA both would benefit by focusing ecological assessment endpoints on the ecosystem services that correspond most directly to restoration and damage compensation decisions, and we encourage development of generic ecosystem service assessment endpoints for application in hazardous site investigations. To facilitate their use in NRDA, ERA measurements should focus on natural resource species that affect the flow of ecosystem services most directly, should encompass levels of biological organization above organisms, and should be made with the use of experimental designs that support description of responses to contaminants as

  1. Ecological Risk Assessment Process under the Endangered Species Act

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This document provides an overview of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ecological risk assessment process for the evaluation of potential risk to endangered and threatened (listed) species from exposure to pesticides.

  2. 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…

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. Summary Report: Risk Assessment Forum Technical Workshop on Population-level Ecological Risk Assessment

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    2008 technical workshop regarding development of additional guidelines or best practices for planning, implementing and interpreting ecological risk assessments that involve population-level assessment endpoints.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. Wetland biogeochemistry and ecological risk assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bai, Junhong; Huang, Laibin; Gao, Haifeng; Zhang, Guangliang

    2017-02-01

    Wetlands are an important ecotone between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and can provide great ecological service functions. Soils/sediments are one of the important components of wetland ecosystems, which support wetland plants and microorganisms and influence wetland productivity. Moreover, wetland soils/sediments serve as sources, sinks and transfers of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and chemical contaminants such as heavy metals. In natural wetland ecosystems, wetland soils/sediments play a great role in improving water quality as these chemical elements can be retained in wetland soils/sediments for a long time. Moreover, the biogeochemical processes of the abovementioned elements in wetland soils/sediments can drive wetland evolution and development, and their changes will considerably affect wetland ecosystem health. Therefore, a better understanding of wetland soil biogeochemistry will contribute to improving wetland ecological service functions.

  15. 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.

  16. The ecological risks of genetically engineered organisms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolfenbarger, Lareesa

    2001-03-01

    Highly publicized studies have suggested environmental risks of releasing genetically engineered organisms (GEOs) and have renewed concerns over the evaluation and regulation of these products in domestic and international arenas. I present an overview of the risks of GEOs and the available evidence addressing these and discuss the challenges for risk assessment. Main categories of risk include non-target effects from GEOs, emergence of new viral diseases, and the spread of invasive (weedy) characteristics. Studies have detected non-target effects in some cases but not all; however, much less information exists on other risks, in part due to a lack of conceptual knowledge. For example, general models for predicting invasiveness are not well developed for any introduced organism. The risks of GEOs appear comparable to those for any introduced species or organism, but the magnitude of the risk or the pathway of exposure to the risk can differ among introduced organisms. Therefore, assessing the risks requires a case-by-case analysis so that any differences can be identified. Challenges to assessing risks to valued ecosystems include variability in effects and ecosystem complexity. Ecosystems are a dynamic and complex network of biological and physical interactions. Introducing a new biological entity, such as a GEO, may potentially alter any of these interactions, but evaluating all of these is unrealistic. Effects on a valued ecosystem could vary greatly depending on the geographical location of the experimental site, the GEO used, the plot size of the experiment (scaling effects), and the biological and physical parameters used in the experiment. Experiments that address these sources of variability will provide the most useful information for risk assessments.

  17. 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

  18. Integrated presentation of ecological risk from multiple stressors

    PubMed Central

    Goussen, Benoit; Price, Oliver R.; Rendal, Cecilie; Ashauer, Roman

    2016-01-01

    Current environmental risk assessments (ERA) do not account explicitly for ecological factors (e.g. species composition, temperature or food availability) and multiple stressors. Assessing mixtures of chemical and ecological stressors is needed as well as accounting for variability in environmental conditions and uncertainty of data and models. Here we propose a novel probabilistic ERA framework to overcome these limitations, which focusses on visualising assessment outcomes by construct-ing and interpreting prevalence plots as a quantitative prediction of risk. Key components include environmental scenarios that integrate exposure and ecology, and ecological modelling of relevant endpoints to assess the effect of a combination of stressors. Our illustrative results demonstrate the importance of regional differences in environmental conditions and the confounding interactions of stressors. Using this framework and prevalence plots provides a risk-based approach that combines risk assessment and risk management in a meaningful way and presents a truly mechanistic alternative to the threshold approach. Even whilst research continues to improve the underlying models and data, regulators and decision makers can already use the framework and prevalence plots. The integration of multiple stressors, environmental conditions and variability makes ERA more relevant and realistic. PMID:27782171

  19. Integrated presentation of ecological risk from multiple stressors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goussen, Benoit; Price, Oliver R.; Rendal, Cecilie; Ashauer, Roman

    2016-10-01

    Current environmental risk assessments (ERA) do not account explicitly for ecological factors (e.g. species composition, temperature or food availability) and multiple stressors. Assessing mixtures of chemical and ecological stressors is needed as well as accounting for variability in environmental conditions and uncertainty of data and models. Here we propose a novel probabilistic ERA framework to overcome these limitations, which focusses on visualising assessment outcomes by construct-ing and interpreting prevalence plots as a quantitative prediction of risk. Key components include environmental scenarios that integrate exposure and ecology, and ecological modelling of relevant endpoints to assess the effect of a combination of stressors. Our illustrative results demonstrate the importance of regional differences in environmental conditions and the confounding interactions of stressors. Using this framework and prevalence plots provides a risk-based approach that combines risk assessment and risk management in a meaningful way and presents a truly mechanistic alternative to the threshold approach. Even whilst research continues to improve the underlying models and data, regulators and decision makers can already use the framework and prevalence plots. The integration of multiple stressors, environmental conditions and variability makes ERA more relevant and realistic.

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  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 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...

  4. 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 ...

  5. 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...

  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. 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…

  8. PROBABILITY SURVEYS , CONDITIONAL PROBABILITIES 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 ...

  9. 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 ...

  10. Applying ecological risk principles to watershed assessment and management.

    PubMed

    Serveiss, Victor B

    2002-02-01

    Considerable progress in addressing point source (end of pipe) pollution problems has been made, but it is now recognized that further substantial environmental improvements depend on controlling nonpoint source pollution. A watershed approach is being used more frequently to address these problems because traditional regulatory approaches do not focus on nonpoint sources. The watershed approach is organized around the guiding principles of partnerships, geographic focus, and management based on sound science and data. This helps to focus efforts on the highest priority problems within hydrologically-defined geographic areas. Ecological risk assessment is a process to collect, organize, analyze, and present scientific information to improve decision making. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sponsored three watershed assessments and found that integrating the watershed approach with ecological risk assessment increases the use of environmental monitoring and assessment data in decision making. This paper describes the basics of the watershed approach, the ecological risk assessment process, and how these two frameworks can be integrated. The three major principles of watershed ecological risk assessment found to be most useful for increasing the use of science in decision making are (1) using assessment endpoints and conceptual models, (2) holding regular interactions between scientists and managers, and (3) developing a focus for multiple stressor analysis. Examples are provided illustrating how these principles were implemented in these assessments.

  11. Uncertainty in ecological risk assessment: A statistician`s view

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, E.P.

    1995-12-31

    Uncertainty is a topic that has different meanings to researchers, modelers, managers and policy makers. The perspective of this presentation will be on the modeling view of uncertainty and its quantitative assessment. The goal is to provide some insight into how a statistician visualizes and addresses the issue of uncertainty in ecological risk assessment problems. In ecological risk assessment, uncertainty arises from many sources and is of different type depending on what is studies, where it is studied and how it is studied. Some major sources and their impact are described. A variety of quantitative approaches to modeling uncertainty are characterized and a general taxonomy given. Examples of risk assessments of lake acidification, power plant impact assessment and the setting of standards for chemicals will be used discuss approaches to quantitative assessment of uncertainty and some of the potential difficulties.

  12. Ecological risk assessment of pesticide runoff from grass surfaces.

    PubMed

    Haith, Douglas A

    2010-08-15

    An ecological risk assessment was performed for runoff of 37 pesticides registered for use on grass surfaces (lawns and golf courses) in the U.S. The assessment was based on 100-yr simulations using TPQPond, a newly developed model of pesticide runoff and subsequent accumulation in a receiving pond. One-in-10 yr pond concentrations were compared with acute toxicity end points for fish, invertebrates, and algae. Simulations were performed for pesticides applied at label rates on lawns, fairways, and greens using weather data for nine U.S. locations. Runoff of 4 of the 37 pesticides produced potential acute risk to invertebrates or fish. Two chemicals posed a comparable danger to plants. Risk was highest with fairways and lowest for greens. Locations with long growing seasons and large amounts of precipitation produced the highest risks. The risk assessment followed the general protocols recommended by USEPA, but with different models, weather data, and scenarios. In spite of the differences, the results confirmed that most but not all of the pesticides which had survived the USEPA registration process were also demonstrated safe, with respect to acute risks, by this independent assessment. The five exceptions were explained by differences in models, simulation scenarios, and input data. These results do not mean that the studied pesticides are free of any ecological dangers. In particular, no attempt was made to evaluate chronic risk.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Determination of the Biologically Relevant Sampling Depth for Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecological Risk Assessments (Final Report)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Ecological Risk Assessment Support Center (ERASC) announced the release of the final report, Determination of the Biologically Relevant Sampling Depth for Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecological Risk Assessments. This technical paper provides defensible approximations fo...

  16. A New Approach to Ecological Risk Assessment: Simulating Effects of Global Warming on Complex Ecological Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Yun; Brose, Ulrich; Kastenberg, William; Martinez, Neo D.

    The field of Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA) has been under development since the 1970s. Early ERA borrowed basic concepts from human health risk assessment (HRA) methodology [NAS 1983]. However, because of the nature of an ecosystem, there is a fundamental difference between HRA and ERA. In an HRA, the only receptor is a single human being and the concerned endpoints are always associated with human health issues, such as the risk of cancer. In ERA, however, entire populations, communities and ecosystems are at risk, and ERA must rigorously assess these more complex and larger scaled concerns. Many investigators have attempted to develop a new paradigm for ERA that can deal with this intrinsic distinction. Currently, a six-step framework is now widely used by the U.S. EPA and its contractors. This new paradigm is characterized by: (1) receptor identification, (2) hazard identification, (3) endpoint identification, (4) exposure assessment, (5) doseresponse assessment and (6) risk characterization [Lipton et al. 1993, Suter 1993]. The six-step framework identifies receptors at risk, possible hazards related to certain receptors, and chooses appropriate assessment and measurement endpoints [Suter 1990]. While the additional receptor and endpoint identifications improve on the traditional framework, single-species laboratory toxicity tests typically estimate ecological responses simply by predicting an environmental concentration associated with a certain stressor divided by the no-observed effect concentration (NOEC) for that stressor. This "Hazard Quotient" (HQ) approach ignores interactions between species that are critical to the functioning of communities and ecosystems.

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. DETERMINING SIGNIFICANT ENDPOINTS FOR ECOLOGICAL RISK ANALYS ES

    SciTech Connect

    Hinton, Thomas G.

    2000-12-31

    Our interest is in obtaining a scientifically defensible endpoint for measuring ecological risks to populations exposed to chronic, low-level radiation, and radiation with concomitant exposure to chemicals. To do so, we believe that we must understand the extent to which molecular damage is detrimental at the individual and population levels of biological organization. Ecological risk analyses based on molecular damage, without an understanding of the impacts to higher levels of biological organization, could cause cleanup strategies on DOE sites to be overly conservative and unnecessarily expensive. Our goal is to determine the relevancy of sublethal cellular damage to the performance of individuals and populations. We think that we 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).

  20. 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.

  1. [Ecological risk evaluation of heavy metals of the typical dredged mud in Shanghai].

    PubMed

    Tang, Qing-Li; Cheng, Jin-Ping; Gao, Hao-Min; Yao, Lei; Jiang, Zhen-Yi; Wu, Yang; Xie, Cui-Song; Liang, Hai; Wang, He; Pi, Shuai-Shuai; Yu, Zhao-Yi

    2013-04-01

    In order to discuss the potential ecological risk of heavy metals of the typical dredged mud in Shanghai, the Hakanson potential ecological risks method was used to analyse and assess the potential ecological risks of heavy metals, including Hg, Cd, Cu, Pb, As,Cr and Zn in dredged mud from the following three areas-the dock apron of Huangpu River, the mouth of the Yangtze River and inland waterways. The results showed that the mean values of ecological risk index (Er(i)) of the seven heavy metals are 20.05, 17.49, 8.82, 5.71, 4.68, 1.74 and 1.13, respectively, all of which belonged to the low ecological risk; Cd (one location in inland waterways) and Hg (three locations in the mouth of the Yangtze River and one location in inland waterways) are the most hazardous elements, with the Er(i) > 40, which belonged to the medium ecological risk or the high ecological risk, and other elements belonged to the low ecological risk. From the results of ecological risk indices(ERI) of the heavy metals in Shanghai dredged mud, the risk of the heavy metals belonged to the low ecological risk. The ERI of inland waterways, the mouth of the Yangtze River and the dock apron of the Huangpu River were 81.4, 57.7 and 52.5, respectively, which all belong to the low ecological risk.

  2. 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.

  3. The evaluation of natural attenuation processes in ecological risk assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Swindoll, C.M.; Dziuk, L.J. |

    1994-12-31

    The intent of the ecological risk assessment (ERA) process is to provide the scientific basis for making remediation decisions that are protective of the environment. In some instances, remedial actions may result in more damage to area flora and fauna than is warranted based on the long-term risk of the chemical stressor; this is particularly true of wetlands. To minimize the potential for putting the site`s ecosystem at greater risk because of remediation, the ERA should include an evaluation of ``no action`` and ``nondestructive`` scenarios. An essential component of this evaluation is an assessment of the natural attenuation of the chemical stressor. Natural processes including biodegradation, hydrolysis, photodegradation, speciation, and complexation can be important to the mitigation of long-term ecological impact of chemical substances. The importance of natural processes for the attenuation of contaminants in aquifers is recognized by both the regulatory and scientific communities and has been adopted by several states as a viable remedial alternative. The potential for natural attenuation to reduce environmental risk is greater for surface environments than for the subsurface. The rationale, methodology, and tools available for evaluating natural attenuation in the context of the ERA process will be presented. Specific examples of implementing this approach at several industrial sites and benefits, including the effective utilization of limited regulatory and industrial resources, will be discussed.

  4. 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.

  5. Potential ecological risk assessment and predicting zinc accumulation in soils.

    PubMed

    Baran, Agnieszka; Wieczorek, Jerzy; Mazurek, Ryszard; Urbański, Krzysztof; Klimkowicz-Pawlas, Agnieszka

    2017-02-22

    The aims of this study were to investigate zinc content in the studied soils; evaluate the efficiency of geostatistics in presenting spatial variability of zinc in the soils; assess bioavailable forms of zinc in the soils and to assess soil-zinc binding ability; and to estimate the potential ecological risk of zinc in soils. The study was conducted in southern Poland, in the Malopolska Province. This area is characterized by a great diversity of geological structures and types of land use and intensity of industrial development. The zinc content was affected by soil factors, and the type of land use (arable lands, grasslands, forests, wastelands). A total of 320 soil samples were characterized in terms of physicochemical properties (texture, pH, organic C content, total and available Zn content). Based on the obtained data, assessment of the ecological risk of zinc was conducted using two methods: potential ecological risk index and hazard quotient. Total Zn content in the soils ranged from 8.27 to 7221 mg kg(-1) d.m. Based on the surface semivariograms, the highest variability of zinc in the soils was observed from northwest to southeast. The point sources of Zn contamination were located in the northwestern part of the area, near the mining-metallurgical activity involving processing of zinc and lead ores. These findings were confirmed by the arrangement of semivariogram surfaces and bivariate Moran's correlation coefficients. The content of bioavailable forms of zinc was between 0.05 and 46.19 mg kg(-1) d.m. (0.01 mol dm(-3) CaCl2), and between 0.03 and 71.54 mg kg(-1) d.m. (1 mol dm(-3) NH4NO3). Forest soils had the highest zinc solubility, followed by arable land, grassland and wasteland. PCA showed that organic C was the key factor to control bioavailability of zinc in the soils. The extreme, very high and medium zinc accumulation was found in 69% of studied soils. There is no ecological risk of zinc to living organisms in the study area, and in 90

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. [Study on ecological risk assessment technology of fluoride pollution from arid oasis soil].

    PubMed

    Xue, Su-Yin; Li, Ping; Wang, Sheng-Li; Nan, Zhong-Ren

    2014-03-01

    According to translocation regulation of fluoride in the typical oasis soil-plant system under field, an ecological risk assessment model of fluoride was established, and this model was used to assess ecological risk to fluoride pollution from suburban oasis soils in Baiyin City, which was specifically expressed with the potential ecological risk of bioavailability (ER(bc)) model to assess ecological risk of fluoride pollution in oasis regions. Results showed that the ecological risk indices of fluoride pollution from this region were 1.37-24.81, the level of risk at most sites was high to very high, the average ecological risk index was 11.28, belonged to very high risk. This indicated that in the suburb soil of Baiyin City needs to be concerned about the remediation of fluoride pollution.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Application of Computational Toxicology to Prospective and Diagnostic Ecological Risk Assessment

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Application of Computational Toxicology to Prospective and Diagnostic Ecological Risk Assessment (Presented by: Dan Villeneuve, Ph.D., Research Toxicologist, US-EPA Mid-Continent Ecology Division) (1/24/2013)

  12. Prospective ecological risk assessment of sediment resuspension in an estuary.

    PubMed

    Rial, Diego; Beiras, Ricardo

    2012-08-01

    This study assesses potential ecological risk of resuspended sediment in the water column during the construction of a viaduct in the estuary of the Ulla river (Galicia, NW Iberian Peninsula), a shellfish production area. Chemical analyses and toxicity bioassays with elutriates were performed with sediments from the area where the three pillars of the viaduct will be located (CT1, CT2 and CT3) and a reference sediment (A2). Acute toxicity of the elutriate was evaluated in five species of three trophic levels (Isochrysis galbana, Paracentrotus lividus, Mytilus galloprovincialis, Venerupis pullastra and Siriella armata). The sediments of the pillars showed moderate levels of contamination by trace elements (Cu, Cr). Clam and sea urchin embryo-larval toxicity tests showed slightly higher sensitivity than mussel embryo tests, and toxicity was not detected for phytoplankton and mysid bioassays. The predicted no-effect environmental concentration (PNEC) was calculated from the arithmetic mean of the lowest calculated EC(50)s for each sampling site. The predicted environmental concentration (PEC) was estimated from a simple dilution model and the PEC/PNEC ratio was calculated according to different scenarios of resuspension. Negligible ecological risk in the water column is expected during construction of the pillars.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Ecological risk assessment in the context of global climate change.

    PubMed

    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.

  16. Evaluating Ecological Risk to Invertebrate Receptors from PAHs in Sediments at Hazardous Waste Sites (Final Report)

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA's Ecological Risk Assessment Support Center (ERASC) announced the release of the final report, Evaluating Ecological Risk to Invertebrate Receptors from PAHs in Sediments at Hazardous Waste Sites. The report provides an overview of an approach for assessing risk to ...

  17. [Ecological risk assessment and its management of Bailongjiang watershed, southern Gansu based on landscape pattern].

    PubMed

    Gong, Jie; Zhao, Cai-Xia; Xie, Yu-Chu; Gao, Yan-Jing

    2014-07-01

    Watershed ecological risk assessment is an important research subject of watershed ecological protection and environmental management. Research on the ecological risk focuses on addressing the influence of human activities and its spatial variation at watershed scale is vital to policy-making to control the impact of human activity and protocols for sustainable economic and societal development. A comprehensive ecological environment index, incorporating a landscape index and an assessment of ecological vulnerability, was put forward to assess the spatio-temporal characteristics of ecological risk of the Bailongjiang watershed, southern Gansu Province, Northwest China. Using ArcGIS and Fragstats software and a land use map of 2010, an ecological risk map was obtained through spatial sampling and disjunctive Kriging interpolation. The results indicated that there were some obvious spatial differences of ecological risk levels in the watershed. The ecological risk level of the north and northwest of the Bailongjiang was higher than that of the western and southern extremities of the watershed. Ecological risk index (ERI) of Wudu and Tanchang was higher than that of Wenxian and Diebu. Some measures for ecological risk management were put forward on the basis of ERI of Bailongjiang watershed. To strengthen the integrated management of human activities and land use in the watershed, to carry out the vegetation restoration and ecological reconstruction, and to reduce the ecological risks and hazards of irrational human disturbance, are vital to the realization 'multiple-win' of the economic, social and ecological protection and for the sustainable development in the hilly area in southern Gansu.

  18. Ecological Risk Assessment of Munitions Compounds on Coral and Coral Reef Health

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-01-01

    FINAL REPORT Ecological Risk Assessment of Munitions Compounds on Coral and Coral Reef Health SERDP Project ER-2125 January 2014...COVERED 00-10-2011 to 00-01-2014 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Ecological Risk Assessment of Munitions Compounds on Coral and Coral Reef Health 5a. CONTRACT...impact corals , and to determine the ecological risk they may pose to coral and coral reef health. At the outset of this project, we were asked by the

  19. 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.

  20. Refuse and the 'Risk Society': The Political Ecology of Risk in Inter-war Britain.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Timothy; Bulmer, Sarah

    2013-05-01

    This article responds to current critiques of Ulrich Beck's 'risk society' thesis by historians of science and medicine. Those who have engaged with the concept of risk society have been content to accept the fundamental categories of Beck's analysis. In contrast, we argue that Beck's risk society thesis underplays two key themes. First, the role of capitalist social relations as the driver of technological change and the transformation of everyday life; and second, the ways in which hegemonic discourses of risk can be appropriated and transformed by counter-hegemonic forces. In place of 'risk society', we propose an approach based upon a 'political ecology of risk', which emphasises the social relations that are fundamental to the everyday politics of environmental health.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Ecological risk assessment of TBT in Ise Bay.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Joji; Yonezawa, Yoshitaka; Nakata, Kisaburo; Horiguchi, Fumio

    2009-02-01

    An ecological risk assessment of tributyltin (TBT) in Ise Bay was conducted using the margin of exposure (MOE) method. The assessment endpoint was defined to protect the survival, growth and reproduction of marine organisms. Sources of TBT in this study were assumed to be commercial vessels in harbors and navigation routes. Concentrations of TBT in Ise Bay were estimated using a three-dimensional hydrodynamic model, an ecosystem model and a chemical fate model. Estimated MOEs for marine organisms for 1990 and 2008 were approximately 0.1-2.0 and over 100 respectively, indicating a declining temporal trend in the probability of adverse effects. The chemical fate model predicts a much longer persistence of TBT in sediments than in the water column. Therefore, it is necessary to monitor the harmful effects of TBT on benthic organisms.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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 ...

  9. 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...

  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. Valuing ecosystem services in terms of ecological risks and returns.

    PubMed

    Abson, David J; Termansen, Mette

    2011-04-01

    The economic valuation of ecosystem services is a key policy tool in stemming losses of biological diversity. It is proposed that the loss of ecosystem function and the biological resources within ecosystems is due in part to the failure of markets to recognize the benefits humans derive from ecosystems. Placing monetary values on ecosystem services is often suggested as a necessary step in correcting such market failures. We consider the effects of valuing different types of ecosystem services within an economic framework. We argue that provisioning and regulating ecosystem services are generally produced and consumed in ways that make them amenable to economic valuation. The values associated with cultural ecosystem services lie outside the domain of economic valuation, but their worth may be expressed through noneconomic, deliberative forms of valuation. We argue that supporting ecosystem services are not of direct value and that the losses of such services can be expressed in terms of the effects of their loss on the risk to the provision of the directly valued ecosystem services they support. We propose a heuristic framework that considers the relations between ecological risks and returns in the provision of ecosystem services. The proposed ecosystem-service valuation framework, which allows the expression of the value of all types of ecosystem services, calls for a shift from static, purely monetary valuation toward the consideration of trade-offs between the current flow of benefits from ecosystems and the ability of those ecosystems to provide future flows.

  13. Ranking ecological risks of multiple chemical stressors on amphibians.

    PubMed

    Fedorenkova, Anastasia; Vonk, J Arie; Lenders, H J Rob; Creemers, Raymond C M; Breure, Anton M; Hendriks, A Jan

    2012-06-01

    Populations of amphibians have been declining worldwide since the late 1960s. Despite global concern, no studies have quantitatively assessed the major causes of this decline. In the present study, species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) were developed to analyze the sensitivity of anurans for ammonium, nitrate, heavy metals (cadmium, copper), pesticides (18 compounds), and acidification (pH) based on laboratory toxicity data. Ecological risk (ER) was calculated as the probability that a measured environmental concentration of a particular stressor in habitats where anurans were observed would exceed the toxic effect concentrations derived from the species sensitivity distributions. The assessment of ER was used to rank the stressors according to their potential risk to anurans based on a case study of Dutch freshwater bodies. The derived ERs revealed that threats to populations of anurans decreased in the sequence of pH, copper, diazinon, ammonium, and endosulfan. Other stressors studied were of minor importance. The method of deriving ER by combining field observation data and laboratory data provides insight into potential threats to species in their habitats and can be used to prioritize stressors, which is necessary to achieve effective management in amphibian conservation.

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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 ...

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. Comprehensive analysis of an ecological risk assessment of the Daliao River estuary, China.

    PubMed

    Yu, Ge; Chen, Jing; Zhang, Xueqing; Li, Zhengyan

    2013-08-01

    At present, most estuarine ecological risk studies are based on terrestrial ecosystem models, which ignore spatial heterogeneity. The Daliao River estuary has representative characteristics of many estuaries in China, and we used this estuary as the study area to formulate an estuarine ecological risk evaluation model. Targeting the estuary's special hydrodynamic condition, this model incorporated variables that were under the influence of human activities and used them as the major factors for partitioning sections of the river according to risk values. It also explored the spatial and temporal distribution laws of estuarine ecological risk. The results showed that, on the whole, the ecological risk of the Daliao River estuary area was relatively high. At a temporal level, runoff was the main factor resulting in differences in ecological risk, while at the spatial level, the ecological risk index was affected by pollutants carried by runoff from upstream, as well as downstream pollution emissions and dilution by seawater at the mouth of the sea. The characteristics of this model make it possible to simulate the spatial and temporal risk distribution in different regions and under different rainfall regimes. This model can thus be applied in other estuarine areas and provides some technical support for analysis and control of ecological destruction in estuary areas.

  1. 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.

  2. Next-generation ecological risk assessment: Predicting risk from molecular initiation to ecosystem service delivery.

    PubMed

    Forbes, Valery E; Galic, Nika

    2016-05-01

    Ecological risk assessment is the process of evaluating how likely it is that the environment may be impacted as the result of exposure to one or more chemicals and/or other stressors. It is not playing as large a role in environmental management decisions as it should be. A core challenge is that risk assessments often do not relate directly or transparently to protection goals. There have been exciting developments in in vitro testing and high-throughput systems that measure responses to chemicals at molecular and biochemical levels of organization, but the linkage between such responses and impacts of regulatory significance - whole organisms, populations, communities, and ecosystems - are not easily predictable. This article describes some recent developments that are directed at bridging this gap and providing more predictive models that can make robust links between what we typically measure in risk assessments and what we aim to protect.

  3. 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.

  4. An integrative approach to assess ecological risks of surface water contamination for fish populations.

    PubMed

    Santos, Raphael; Joyeux, Aude; Besnard, Aurélien; Blanchard, Christophe; Halkett, Cédric; Bony, Sylvie; Sanchez, Wilfried; Devaux, Alain

    2017-01-01

    Contamination of aquatic ecosystems is considered as one of the main threats to global freshwater biodiversity. Within the European Water Framework Directive (EU-WFD) a particular attention is dedicated to assess ecological risks of surface water contamination and mitigation of chemical pressures on aquatic ecosystems. In this work, we evaluated ecological risks of surface water contamination for fish populations in four EU-WFD rivers through an integrative approach investigating three Lines of Evidence (chemical contamination, biomarker responses as early warning signals of contamination impacting individuals and ecological analyses as an indicator of fish community disturbances). This work illustrates through 4 case studies the complementary role of biomarkers, chemical and ecological analyses which, used in combination, provide fundamental information to understand impacts of chemical pressures that can affect fish population dynamics. We discuss the limitations of this approach and future improvements needed within the EU-WFD to assess ecological risk of river contamination for fish populations.

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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,…

  8. 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,...

  9. Organism and population-level ecological models for chemical risk assessment

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological risk assessment typically focuses on animal populations as endpoints for regulatory ecotoxicology. Scientists at USEPA are developing models for animal populations exposed to a wide range of chemicals from pesticides to emerging contaminants. Modeled taxa include aquat...

  10. Ecological risk analysis and genetically modified salmon: management in the face of uncertainty.

    PubMed

    Moreau, Darek T R

    2014-02-01

    The commercialization of growth hormone transgenic Atlantic salmon for aquaculture has become a controversial public policy issue. Concerns exist over the potential ecological effects of this biotechnology should animals escape captivity. From within an ecological risk-analysis framework, science has been sought to provide decision makers with evidence upon which to base regulatory decisions pertaining to genetically modified salmon. Here I review the available empirical information on the potential ecological and genetic effects of transgenic salmon and discuss the underlying eco-evolutionary science behind the topic. I conclude that data gaps and irreducible epistemic uncertainties limit the role of scientific inference in support of ecological risk management for transgenic salmon. I argue that predictive uncertainties are pervasive in complex eco-evolutionary systems and that it behooves those involved in the risk-analysis process to accept and communicate these limitations in the interest of timely, clear, and cautious risk-management options.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

    2015-11-09

    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.

  13. 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

  14. Ecological risk assessment as a watershed management tool -- Case study of middle Snake River, Idaho

    SciTech Connect

    Cirone, P.A.; Yearsley, J.; Filbin, G.J.; Norton, D.; Falter, C.M.; Minshall, W.; Brandt, D.

    1995-12-31

    Ecological risk assessment is a scientific tool designed to evaluate the ecological effects of human activities. Historically, risk assessments have been used as a tool to assess risks to human health from environmental exposures to toxic pollutants, or to assess the ecological effects of toxic releases. The middle Snake River has been used as one of five EPA case studies to demonstrate the applicability of risk assessment at the watershed level for assessing the relative effects of multiple stressors on key ecological components of the aquatic ecosystem. The state and federal resource managers and the public identified restoration and protection of native cold water salmonid species and rare and endangered invertebrate species as a management goal. The risk assessment sought to characterize the significance of reduced water flow, sedimentation, and increased nutrients on these ecological components through a process of problem formulation, stressor-effects analysis, and risk characterization. The desired outcome of the assessment is to identify conditions that must be attained to support the management goal as one step in evaluating management options for ecological protection in the watershed.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Probabilistic ecological risk assessment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in southwestern catchments of the Bohai Sea, China.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Lin; Zeng, Siyu; Dong, Xin; Zhang, Tianzhu; Chen, Jining

    2013-10-01

    A probability risk assessment was undertaken to study the individual and combined ecological risks induced by six polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) both in surface water and sediment from southwestern catchments of the Bohai Sea, China. The actual measured PAH concentrations in water and sediment were compared with toxicity effect data (the 10th percentile of predicted no effect concentration) to calculate the risk quotients (RQs) for an individual PAH. The equilibrium partitioning method was applied to estimate toxicity data in sediment. A method based on the equivalent concentration concept was proposed and applied to assess the combined ecological risk of multiple PAHs. Monte Carlo simulation and bootstrap technique were utilized to calculate the distribution of RQs and associated uncertainties. The ecological safety level was defined by RQ ≤ 1. Results indicated that both in water and sediment, fluoranthene and pyrene posed the highest risks, whereas acenaphthene and fluorene posed negligible risks. Naphthalene and phenanthrene did not pose risks to the ecological community in surface water but had relatively higher risks in sediment. The median RQs of combined risk in surface water and sediment were 0.934 and 2.42, and the probabilities of RQ > 1 were up to 0.473 and 0.599, respectively, which were much higher than the individual compound acting alone. The risk level in sediment was quite higher than in surface water probably owing to the non-equilibrium distribution between two phases, which suggested that local authorities should focus more on sediment quality management.

  19. The role of mesocosm studies in ecological risk analysis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boyle, Terence P.; Fairchild, James 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Health Risks to Ecological Workers on Contaminated Sites - the Department of Energy as a Case Study

    PubMed Central

    Burger, Joanna; Gochfeld, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Background At most contaminated sites the risk to workers focuses on those ‘hazardous waste workers’ directly exposed to chemicals or radionuclides, and to the elaborate approaches implemented to protecting their health and safety. Ecological workers generally are not considered. Objectives To explore the risks to the health and safety of ecological workers on sites with potential chemical and radiological exposures before, during or after remediation of contamination. To use the U.S. Department of Energy as a case study, and to develop concepts that apply generally to sites contaminated with hazardous or nuclear wastes, Methods Develop categories of ecological workers, describe their usual jobs, and provide information on the kinds of risks they face. Ecological activities include continued surveillance and monitoring work on any sites with residual contamination, subject to institutional controls and engineered barriers following closure as well as the restoration. Results The categories of ecological workers and their tasks include 1) Ecological characterization, mapping and monitoring, 2) biodiversity studies, 2) Contaminant fate and transport, 3) On-going industrial activities 4) Remediation activities (environmental management), 5) Environmental restoration, 6) Post-cleanup surveillance and monitoring, and 7) Post-closure future site activities. There are a set of functional activities that can occur with different frequencies and intensities, including visual inspection, collecting biological samples, collecting media physical samples, collecting biological debris, restoration planting, and maintaining ecosystems. Conclusions Ecological workers face different exposures and risks than other environmental cleanup workers. Many of their tasks mimic shift work with long hours leading to fatigue, and they are exposed to biological as well as chemical/radiological hazards. DOE and other entities need to examine the risks to ecological workers on site with an

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. Technical Overview of Ecological Risk Assessment - Analysis Phase: Exposure Characterization

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Exposure Characterization is the second major component of the analysis phase of a risk assessment. For a pesticide risk assessment, the exposure characterization describes the potential or actual contact of a pesticide with a plant, animal, or media.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-11

    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 (C(deg)) 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 (C(i)(f)), C(deg), monomial ecological risk (E(i)(r)) 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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?"

  9. 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.

  10. Ecological risk assessment report, submerged quench incinerator, task IRA-2, basin F liquids treatment design. Version 3. 0. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1991-03-01

    The objective of this ecological risk assessment is to evaluate the potential impacts of on-site incineration of Basin F liquids. Twenty-nine chemicals were evaluated for potential adverse effects to terrestrial and aquatic wildlife and vegetation on RMA. Based on this assessment, it is concluded that the operation of the submerged quench incinerator poses no quantifiable risks to the wildlife and vegetation. The assessment is divided into the following sections: description of the area - terrestrial and aquatic ecology; contaminants of concern; ecological exposure - description of contaminant transport from incinerator to environment; ecological risk - development of risk criteria, risk characterization; assumptions and uncertainties.

  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.

  12. Development of a relative risk model for evaluating ecological risk of water environment in the Haihe River Basin estuary area.

    PubMed

    Chen, Qiuying; Liu, Jingling; Ho, Kin Chung; Yang, Zhifeng

    2012-03-15

    Ecological risk assessment for water environment is significant to water resource management of basin. Effective environmental management and systems restoration such as the Haihe River Basin require holistic understanding of the relative importance of various stressor-related impacts throughout the basin. As an effective technical tool for evaluating the ecological risk, relative risk model (RRM) was applied in regional scale successfully. In this study, the risk transfer from upstream of basin was considered and the RRM was developed through 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 includes water quality, water quantity and aquatic ecosystems was selected as the assessment endpoints. We created a conceptual model which depicting potential and effect pathways from source to stressor to habitat to endpoint. The Haihe River Basin estuary (HRBE) was selected as the model case. The results showed that there were two low risk regions, one medium risk region and two high risk regions in the HRBE. The results also indicated that urbanization was the biggest source, the second was shipping and the third was industry, their risk scores are 5.65, 4.71 and 3.68 respectively. Furthermore, habitat destruction was the largest stressor with the risk scores (2.66), the second was oxygen consuming organic pollutants (1.75) and the third was pathogens (1.75). So these three stressors were the main influencing factors of the ecological pressure in the study area. For habitats, open waters (9.59) and intertidal mudflat were enduring the bigger pressure and should be taken considerable attention. Ecological service values damaged (30.54) and biodiversity decreased were facing the biggest risk pressure.

  13. The Ecology of a Chicano Student at Risk.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seda, Milagros; Bixler-Marquez, Dennis J.

    1994-01-01

    A case study is reported that identified the individual, aggregate, and interactive effect of socioeconomic status, cultural, psychosocial, and academic factors that shaped the at-risk status of a Chicano fourth grader. The most significant at-risk factors included home violence and lack of continuous positive adult contact in school.…

  14. [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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Population-scale assessment endpoints in ecological risk assessment part II: selection of assessment endpoint attributes.

    PubMed

    Landis, Wayne G; Kaminski, Laurel A

    2007-07-01

    Because ecological services often are tied to specific species, the risk to populations is a critical endpoint and important feature of ecological risk assessments. In Part 1 of this series it was demonstrated that population scale assessment endpoints are important expressions of the valued components of ecological structures. This commentary reviews several of the characteristics of populations that can be evaluated and used in population scale risk assessments. Two attributes are evaluated as promising. The 1st attribute is the change in potential productivity of the population over a specified time period. The 2nd attribute is the change in the age structure of a population, expressed graphically or as a normalized effects vector (NEV). The NEV is a description of the change in age structure due to a toxicant or other stressor and appears to be characteristic of specific stressor effects.

  19. 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.

  20. Using Qualitative Disease Risk Analysis for Herpetofauna Conservation Translocations Transgressing Ecological and Geographical Barriers.

    PubMed

    Bobadilla Suarez, Mariana; Ewen, John G; Groombridge, Jim J; Beckmann, K; Shotton, J; Masters, N; Hopkins, T; Sainsbury, Anthony W

    2017-03-01

    Through the exploration of disease risk analysis methods employed for four different UK herpetofauna translocations, we illustrate how disease hazards can be identified, and how the risk of disease can be analysed. Where ecological or geographical barriers between source and destination sites exist, parasite populations are likely to differ in identity or strain between the two sites, elevating the risk from disease and increasing the number and category of hazards requiring analysis. Simplification of the translocation pathway through the avoidance of these barriers reduces the risk from disease. The disease risk analysis tool is intended to aid conservation practitioners in decision making relating to disease hazards prior to implementation of a translocation.

  1. Reducing uncertainty in regulatory decision-making for transgenic crops: more ecological research or clearer environmental risk assessment?

    PubMed

    Raybould, Alan

    2010-01-01

    Ecological research and environmental risk assessment are similar in that they address interesting problems by formulating and testing hypotheses. They differ in the types of problems that are interesting, the characteristics of good hypotheses to solve those problems, and the methods for rigorous testing of hypotheses. It is important to recognize the differences between environmental risk assessment and basic ecological research because confusing them can lead to ineffective risk assessment and missed opportunities to advance ecological theory. Uncertainty in regulatory decision-making about transgenic crops may be reduced more effectively by clarifying the purpose and structure of environmental risk assessments than by further research on the ecology of the crops.

  2. 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…

  3. [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.

  4. A Bayesian Approach to Integrated Ecological and Human Health Risk Assessment for the South River, Virginia Mercury-Contaminated Site.

    PubMed

    Harris, Meagan J; Stinson, Jonah; Landis, Wayne G

    2017-01-25

    We conducted a regional-scale integrated ecological and human health risk assessment by applying the relative risk model with Bayesian networks (BN-RRM) to a case study of the South River, Virginia mercury-contaminated site. Risk to four ecological services of the South River (human health, water quality, recreation, and the recreational fishery) was evaluated using a multiple stressor-multiple endpoint approach. These four ecological services were selected as endpoints based on stakeholder feedback and prioritized management goals for the river. The BN-RRM approach allowed for the calculation of relative risk to 14 biotic, human health, recreation, and water quality endpoints from chemical and ecological stressors in five risk regions of the South River. Results indicated that water quality and the recreational fishery were the ecological services at highest risk in the South River. Human health risk for users of the South River was low relative to the risk to other endpoints. Risk to recreation in the South River was moderate with little spatial variability among the five risk regions. Sensitivity and uncertainty analysis identified stressors and other parameters that influence risk for each endpoint in each risk region. This research demonstrates a probabilistic approach to integrated ecological and human health risk assessment that considers the effects of chemical and ecological stressors across the landscape.

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

    Nam, Sun-Hwa; Lee, Woo-Mi; An, Youn-Joo

    2012-06-01

    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.

  7. WEIGHING THE EVIDENCE OF ECOLOGICAL RISK OF CHEMICAL CONTAMINATION IN THE ESTUARINE ENVIRONMENT ADJACENT TO THE PORTSMOUTH NAVAL SHIPYARD, KITTERY, MAINE, USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    In characterizing ecological risks, considerable consensus building and professional judgments are required to develop conclusions about risk. This is because how to evaluate all the factors that determine ecological risk is not well defined and is subject to interpretation. Here...

  8. 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...

  9. Ecological risk caused by land use change in the coastal zone: a case study in the Yellow River Delta High-Efficiency Ecological Economic Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di, X. H.; Wang, Y. D.; Hou, X. Y.

    2014-03-01

    China's coastal zone plays an important role in ecological services production and social-economic development; however, extensive and intensive land resource utilization and land use change have lead to high ecological risk in this area during last decade. Regional ecological risk assessment can provide fundamental knowledge and scientific basis for better understanding of the relationship between regional landscape ecosystem and human activities or climate changes, facilitating the optimization strategy of land use structure and improving the ecological risk prevention capability. In this paper, the Yellow River Delta High-Efficiency Ecological Economic Zone is selected as the study site, which is undergoing a new round of coastal zone exploitation and has endured substantial land use change in the past decade. Land use maps of 2000, 2005 and 2010 were generated based on Landsat images by visual interpretation method, and the ecological risk index was then calculated. The index was 0.3314, 0.3461 and 0.3176 in 2000, 2005 and 2010 respectively, which showed a positive transition of regional ecological risk in 2005.

  10. Ecological risk assessment guidance for preparation of remedial investigation/feasibility study work plans

    SciTech Connect

    Pentecost, E.D.; Vinikour, W.S.

    1993-08-01

    This guidance document (1) provides instructions on preparing the components of an ecological work plan to complement the overall site remedial assessment investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS) work plan and (2) directs the user on how to implement ecological tasks identified in the plan. Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), as amended by the Superfired Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA), an RI/FS work plan win have to be developed as part of the site-remediation scoping the process. Specific guidance on the RI/FS process and the preparation of work plans has been developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA 1988a). This document provides guidance to US Department of Energy (DOE) staff and contractor personnel for incorporation of ecological information into environmental remediation planning and decision making at CERCLA sites. An overview analysis of early ecological risk assessment methods (i.e., in the 1980s) at Superfund sites was conducted by the EPA (1989a). That review provided a perspective of attention given to ecological issues in some of the first RI/FS studies. By itself, that reference is of somewhat limited value; it does, however, establish a basis for comparison of past practices in ecological risk with current, more refined methods.

  11. [Heavy metal pollution characteristics and ecological risk analysis for soil around Haining electroplating industrial park].

    PubMed

    Li, Jiong-Hui; Weng, Shan; Fang, Jing; Huang, Jia-Lei; Lu, Fang-Hua; Lu, Yu-Hao; Zhang, Hong-Ming

    2014-04-01

    The pollution status and potential ecological risks of heavy metal in soils around Haining electroplating industrial park were studied. Hakanson index approach was used to assess the ecological hazards of heavy metals in soils. Results showed that average concentrations of six heavy metals (Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn, Cd and Cr) in the soils were lower than the secondary criteria of environmental quality standard for soils, indicating limited harmful effects on the plants and the environment in general. Though the average soil concentrations were low, heavy metal concentrations in six sampling points located at the side of road still exceeded the criteria, with excessive rate of 13%. Statistic analysis showed that concentrations of Cu and Cd in roadside soils were significantly higher than those in non-roadside soils, indicating that the excessive heavy metal accumulations in the soil closely related with traffic transport. The average potential ecological hazard index of soils around Haining electroplating industrial park was 46.6, suggesting a slightly ecological harm. However, the potential ecological hazard index of soils with excessive heavy metals was 220-278, suggesting the medium ecological hazards. Cd was the most seriously ecological hazard factor.

  12. Ecological risk assessment of soil pollution with heavy metals

    SciTech Connect

    Kuperman, R.G.

    1995-12-31

    The structure and function of soil ecosystems in an area with a wide range of concentrations of heavy metals were studied in portions of the US Army`s Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. The objective of this project was to develop and test the efficacy of a comprehensive methodology for assessing ecological impacts of soil contamination. A hierarchical approach which integrated biotic parameters and ecosystem processes was used to give insight into the mechanisms that lead to alterations in the structure and function of soil ecosystems in contaminated areas. This approach involved (1) a thorough survey of the soil biota to establish community structure, (2) laboratory and field tests on critical ecosystem processes, (3) toxicity trials, and (4) the use of spatial analyses to provide input in the decision making process. Soil invertebrate communities showed significant reductions in the abundance of several taxonomic and trophic groups in contaminated areas. The numbers of soil microorganisms were lower in areas of soil contamination. Ten-to-fifty fold reductions in enzyme activities were observed as heavy metal concentrations increased. These results suggest that soil contamination with heavy metals may have detrimental effects on soil biota and the rates of organic matter degradation and subsequent release of nutrients to aboveground communities in the area. The proposed methodology appears to offer an efficient and potentially cost saving tool for remedial investigations at contaminated sites.

  13. [Assessment of heavy metal pollution and potential ecological risks of urban soils in Kaifeng City, China].

    PubMed

    Li, Yi-Meng; Ma, Jian-Hua; Liu, De-Xin; Sun, Yan-Li; Chen, Yan-Fang

    2015-03-01

    Ninety-nine topsoil (0-15 cm) samples were collected from Kaifeng City, China using the grid method, and then the concentrations of As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn in the samples were measured by standard methods. Soil pollution levels and potential ecological risks of the heavy metals were assessed using the pollution load index (PLI) and potential ecological risk index (RI), respectively. Ordinary Kriging interpolation technique was employed to investigate the spatial distribution of PLI and RI of the city. The results showed that high pollution of Cd occurred in Kaifeng urban soils, and there was moderate pollution of Zn, slight pollution of Pb and Cu, and no pollution of Ni, Cr and As. Very high ecological risk was posed by Cd and low risk by other metals. The mean PLI of the 7 metals from all sample points was 2.53, which was categorized as moderate pollution. The average RI was 344.58 which represented a considerable ecological risk. PLI and RI shared a similar spatial distribution with high values centralized in the old industrial area in the southeast and railway stations for passengers and goods in the south of the city, followed by the old town within the ancient city wall, and low values located in the north and west areas. Cadmium was the main factor for both soil pollution and potential ecological risk primarily due to farmland topsoil in the eastern suburb of Kaifeng City with high Cd concentrations resulted from sewage irrigation deposited in the urban area by wind, human activities such as soot discharged from the chemical fertilizer plant of Kaifeng, transportation and coal combustion.

  14. [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.

  15. 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.

  16. Ex-ORISKANY Artificial Reef Project: Ecological Risk Assessment

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-01-25

    from the TDM coupled to PRAM, and for the subsequent years using the results of PRAM under steady state conditions. The characterization method used...higher in the food chain) are more at risk of toxic exposure to PCBs (Barnthouse, Glaser , Young, 2003). Recent evidence suggests that some PCBs have...toxteam/pcbid/ 9-1 9-2 Barnthouse, L. W.; Glaser , D.; Young, J.; 2003; Effects of Historic PCB Exposures on the Reproductive Success of the Hudson

  17. Ecological risk assessment of land use change in the Poyang Lake Eco-economic Zone, China.

    PubMed

    Xie, Hualin; Wang, Peng; Huang, Hongsheng

    2013-01-14

    Land use/land cover change has been attracting increasing attention in the field of global environmental change research because of its role in the social and ecological environment. To explore the ecological risk characteristics of land use change in the Poyang Lake Eco-economic Zone of China, an eco-risk index was established in this study by the combination of a landscape disturbance index with a landscape fragmentation index. Spatial distribution and gradient difference of land use eco-risk are analyzed by using the methods of spatial autocorrelation and semivariance. Results show that ecological risk in the study area has a positive correlation, and there is a decreasing trend with the increase of grain size both in 1995 and 2005. Because the area of high eco-risk value increased from 1995 to 2005, eco-environment quality declined slightly in the study area. There are distinct spatial changes in the concentrated areas with high land use eco-risk values from 1995 to 2005. The step length of spatial separation of land use eco-risk is comparatively long - 58 km in 1995 and 11 km in 2005 - respectively. There are still nonstructural factors affecting the quality of the regional ecological environment at some small-scales. Our research results can provide some useful information for land eco-management, eco-environmental harnessing and restoration. In the future, some measures should be put forward in the regions with high eco-risk value, which include strengthening land use management, avoiding unreasonable types of land use and reducing the degree of fragmentation and separation.

  18. Ecological Risk Assessment of Land Use Change in the Poyang Lake Eco-economic Zone, China

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Hualin; Wang, Peng; Huang, Hongsheng

    2013-01-01

    Land use/land cover change has been attracting increasing attention in the field of global environmental change research because of its role in the social and ecological environment. To explore the ecological risk characteristics of land use change in the Poyang Lake Eco-economic Zone of China, an eco-risk index was established in this study by the combination of a landscape disturbance index with a landscape fragmentation index. Spatial distribution and gradient difference of land use eco-risk are analyzed by using the methods of spatial autocorrelation and semivariance. Results show that ecological risk in the study area has a positive correlation, and there is a decreasing trend with the increase of grain size both in 1995 and 2005. Because the area of high eco-risk value increased from 1995 to 2005, eco-environment quality declined slightly in the study area. There are distinct spatial changes in the concentrated areas with high land use eco-risk values from 1995 to 2005. The step length of spatial separation of land use eco-risk is comparatively long—58 km in 1995 and 11 km in 2005—respectively. There are still nonstructural factors affecting the quality of the regional ecological environment at some small-scales. Our research results can provide some useful information for land eco-management, eco-environmental harnessing and restoration. In the future, some measures should be put forward in the regions with high eco-risk value, which include strengthening land use management, avoiding unreasonable types of land use and reducing the degree of fragmentation and separation. PMID:23343986

  19. 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...

  20. PUBLIC HEALTH RISK ASSESSMENT LINKED TO CLIMATIC AND ECOLOGICAL CHANGE. (R824995)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract

    Disturbances of climatic and ecological systems can present risks to human health, which are becoming more evident from health studies linked to climate variability, landuse change and global climate change. Waterborne disease agents, such as Giardia cy...

  1. [Heavy Metals Pollution in Topsoil from Dagang Industry Area and Its Ecological Risk Assessment].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qian; Chen, Zong-juan; Peng, Chang-sheng; Li, Fa-sheng; Gu, Qing-bao

    2015-11-01

    Based on previous studies and field investigation of Dagang industry area in Tianjin, a total of 128 topsoil samples were collected, and contents of 10 heavy metals (As, Cd, Cr, Co, Cu, Pb, Ni, V, Zn and Hg) were determined. The geoaccumulation index and geostatistics were applied to examine the degree of contamination and spatial distribution of heavy metals in topsoil. The assessment on ecological risk of heavy metals was carried out using Hakanson's method, and the main resources of the heavy metals were analyzed as well. It was found that As, Cd and Co had the highest proportions exceeding Tianjin background value, which were 100%, 97.66% and 96.88%, respectively; the heavy-metal content increased to some extent comparing with that in 2004, and the pollutions of As and Cd were the worst, and other metals were at moderate pollution level or below. The ecological risks of heavy metals were different in topsoil with different land use types, the farmland soil in the southwest as well as soils adjacent to the industrial land were at relatively high potential ecological risk level, and the integrated ecological risk index reached up to 1 437.37. Analysis of correlation and principal component showed that traffic and transportation as well as agricultural activities might be the main resources of heavy metals in the area, besides, the industrial activities in the region might also affect the accumulation of heavy metals.

  2. NONINDIGENOUS PATHOGENIC SHRIMP VIRUS INTRODUCTIONS INTO THE UNITED STATES: DEVELOPING A QUALITATIVE ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Nonindigenous Pathogenic Shrimp Virus Introductions into the United States: Developing a Qualitative Ecological Risk Assessment. Austin, R.K.; van der Schalie, W.R.; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC; Menzie, C.; Menzie-Cura and Associates, Chelmsford, MA; Fair...

  3. 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.

  4. Adolescents' Educational Outcomes in a Social Ecology of Parenting, Family, and Community Risks in Northern Ireland

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goeke-Morey, Marcie C.; Taylor, Laura K.; Merrilees, Christine E.; Cummings, E. Mark; Cairns, Ed; Shirlow, Peter

    2013-01-01

    This study examines the influence of social ecological risks within the domains of parenting, family environment, and community in the prediction of educational outcomes for 770 adolescents (49% boys, 51% girls, "M"?=?13.6 years, "SD"?=?2.0) living in a setting of protracted political conflict, specifically working class areas…

  5. Procedural Guidelines for Ecological Risk Assessments at U.S. Army Sites. Volume 1.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1994-12-01

    Inferring population-level significance from individual- level effects : An extrapolation from fisheries science to ecotoxicology . p. 289-300. In G.W...Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA). Using this approach will provide AEC with cost- effective , tiered procedures...19 2.4 Identifying the Ecosystem Potentially at Risk . . . 22 2.5 Ecological Effects ........... ................ 23 2.6 Endpoint

  6. INTEGRATION OF HEALTH AND ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT - CASE STUDY DEMONSTRATIONS AND IMPLEMENTATION NEEDS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The WHO International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS), together with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, has developed a framework for integrated assessment of human health and ecological risks. Four case stu...

  7. Calcium toxicity in a freshwater stream: Results of an ecological risk assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Jones, D.S.; Stewart, A.J.; Smith, J.G.; Phipps, T.L.

    1995-12-31

    Calcium and other essential elements are often excluded a priori from ecological risk assessments. However, calcium can be a credible contaminant of ecological concern in systems with high concentrations of anions. A baseline ecological risk assessment was performed as part of the CERCLA Remedial Investigation of Bear Creek Valley at the Y-12 Plant in Oak Ridge, TN. Unlined surface impoundments at the headwaters of Bear Creek (BC) received nitric acid waste solutions between 1951 and 1984. The resulting groundwater plume now discharges into BC and contains high concentrations of nitrates and dissolved metals, including calcium. Weight-of-evidence suggests that BC water poses a significant risk to benthic invertebrates. The three available lines of evidence indicate that calcium contributes to these risks: (1) dissolved calcium concentrations in upper BC exceed the chronic value for Daphnia magna and a previous evaluation of the charge balance suggested that the solubility of calcium in BC is high because of high concentrations of nitrate ions; (2) water from BC inhibits Ceriodaphnia dubia reproduction and calcium concentrations explained approximately 80% of the variation in this inhibition; (3) the benthic invertebrate community in upper BC, and in particular the Ephemeroptera, are severely degraded, relative to reference streams. These findings serve as a reminder that contaminants of potential ecological concern need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and that interactions among contaminants may yield unexpected results.

  8. HEALTH AND ECOLOGICAL IMPACTS OF HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS: RISK ASSESSMENT NEEDS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The symposium session, Indicators for Effects and Predictions of Harmful Algal Blooms, explored the current state of indicators used to assess the human health and ecological risks caused by harmful algal blooms, and highlighted future needs and impediments that must be overcome...

  9. HUMAN AND ECOLOIGCAL RISK: CORRELATIONS AMONG HUMAN HEALTH, ECOLOGICAL AND ENVIORNMENTAL 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...

  10. 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...

  11. Social Ecological Model of Illness Management in High-Risk Youths with Type 1 Diabetes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Naar-King, Sylvie; Podolski, Cheryl-Lynn; Ellis, Deborah A.; Frey, Maureen A.; Templin, Thomas

    2006-01-01

    In this study, the authors tested a social ecological model of illness management in high-risk, urban adolescents with Type 1 diabetes. It was hypothesized that management behaviors would be associated with individual adolescent characteristics as well as family, peer, and provider relationships. Questionnaires were collected from 96 adolescents…

  12. DEVELOPMENT AND APPLICATION OF POPULATION MODELS TO SUPPORT EPA'S ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT PROCESSES FOR PESTICIDES

    EPA Science Inventory

    As part of a broader exploratory effort to develop ecological risk assessment approaches to estimate potential chemical effects on non-target populations, we describe an approach for developing simple population models to estimate the extent to which acute effects on individual...

  13. Ecological risk assessment for residual coal fly ash at Watts Bar Reservoir, Tennessee.

    PubMed

    Carriker, Neil E; Jones, Daniel S; Walls, Suzanne J; Stojak, Amber R

    2015-01-01

    The Tennessee Valley Authority conducted a Baseline Ecological Risk Assessment (BERA) for the Kingston Fossil Plant ash release site to evaluate potential effects of residual coal ash on biota in Watts Bar Reservoir, Tennessee. The BERA was in response to a release of 4.1 million m(3) of coal ash on December 22, 2008. It used multiple lines of evidence to assess risks for 17 different ecological receptors to approximately 400000 m(3) of residual ash in the Emory and Clinch rivers. Here, we provide a brief overview of the BERA results and then focus on how the results were used to help shape risk management decisions. Those decisions included selecting monitored natural recovery for remediation of the residual ash in the Emory and Clinch rivers and designing a long-term monitoring plan that includes adaptive management principles for timely adjustment to changing conditions. This study demonstrates the importance of site-specific ecological data (e.g., tissue concentrations for food items, reproductive data, and population data) in complex ecological risk assessments. It also illustrates the value of the US Environmental Protection Agency's (USEPA) data quality objectives process in building consensus and identifying multiple uses of results. The relatively limited adverse effects of this likely worst-case scenario for ash-related exposures in a lotic environment provide important context for the USEPA's new coal combustion residue disposal rules.

  14. Ecological Factors Associated with STD Risk Behaviors among Detained Female Adolescents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Voisin, Dexter R.; DiClemente, Ralph J.; Salazar, Laura F.; Crosby, Richard A.; Yarber, William L.

    2006-01-01

    The authors used Bronfenbrenner's conceptual framework of an ecological systems model to examine factors that are independently associated with sexually transmitted disease (STD) risk behaviors among 280 sexually active detained female adolescents. Using computer-assisted self-interviewing procedures, the authors assessed individual…

  15. THE INTERSECTION OF INDEPENDENT LIES: INCREASING REALISM IN ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    In 1966, Levins presented a philosophical discussion on making inference about populations using clusters of models. In this article we provide an overview of model inference in ecological risk assessment, discuss the benefits and trade-offs of increasing model realism, show the...

  16. A procedure for incorporating spatial variability in ecological risk assessment of Dutch river floodplains.

    PubMed

    Kooistra, L; Leuven, R S; Nienhuis, P H; Wehrens, R; Buydens, L M

    2001-09-01

    Floodplain soils along the river Rhine in the Netherlands show a large spatial variability in pollutant concentrations. For an accurate ecological risk characterization of the river floodplains, this heterogeneity has to be included into the ecological risk assessment. In this paper a procedure is presented that incorporates spatial components of exposure into the risk assessment by linking geographical information systems (GIS) with models that estimate exposure for the most sensitive species of a floodplain. The procedure uses readily available site-specific data and is applicable to a wide range of locations and floodplain management scenarios. The procedure is applied to estimate exposure risks to metals for a typical foodweb in the Afferdensche and Deestsche Waarden floodplain along the river Waal, the main branch of the Rhine in the Netherands. Spatial variability of pollutants is quantified by overlaying appropriate topographic and soil maps resulting in the definition of homogeneous pollution units. Next to that, GIS is used to include foraging behavior of the exposed terrestrial organisms. Risk estimates from a probabilistic exposure model were used to construct site-specific risk maps for the floodplain. Based on these maps, recommendations for future management of the floodplain can be made that aim at both ecological rehabilitation and an optimal flood defense.

  17. BIOLOGICAL RESPONSES OF THE SEA URCHIN, ARBACIA PUNTULATA, TO LEAD CONTAMINATION FOR AN ESTUARINE ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    An estuarine ecological risk assessment for the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNS) Kittery, ME, was conducted utilizing the U.S. EPA's Framework for Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA). As part of the analysis phase of the ERA, laboratory studies were conducted to develop quantitative ...

  18. 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...

  19. Characterization of ecological risks at the Milltown Reservoir-Clark Fork River Sediments Superfund Site, Montana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pascoe, Gary A.; Blanchet, Richard J.; Linder, Greg L.; Palawski, Don; Brumbaugh, William G.; Canfield, Tim J.; Kemble, Nile E.; Ingersoll, Chris G.; Farag, Aida M.; DalSoglio, Julie A.

    1994-01-01

    A comprehensive field and laboratory approach to the ecological risk assessment for the Milltown Reservoir-Clark Fork River Sediments Site, a Superfund site in the Rocky Mountains of Montana, has been described in the preceding reports of this series. The risk assessment addresses concerns over the ecological impacts of upstream releases of mining wastes to fisheries of the upper Clark Fork River (CFR) and the benthic and terrestrial habitats further downstream in Milltown Reservoir. The risk characterization component of the process integrated results from a triad of information sources: (a) chemistry studies of environmental media to identify and quantify exposures of terrestrial and aquatic organisms to site-related contaminants; (b) ecological or population studies of terrestrial vegetation, birds, benthic communities, and fish; and (c) in situ and laboratory toxicity studies with terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates and plants, small mammals, amphibians, and fish exposed to contaminated surface water, sediments, wetland soils, and food sources. Trophic transfer studies were performed on waterfowl, mammals, and predatory birds using field measurement data on metals concentrations in environmental media and lower trophic food sources. Studies with sediment exposures were incorporated into the Sediment Quality Triad approach to evaluate risks to benthic ecology. Overall results of the wetland and terrestrial studies suggested that acute adverse biological effects were largely absent from the wetland; however, adverse effects to reproductive, growth, and physiological end points of various terrestrial and aquatic species were related to metals exposures in more highly contaminated depositional areas. Feeding studies with contaminated diet collected from the upper CFR indicated that trout are at high risk from elevated metals concentrations in surface water, sediment, and aquatic invertebrates. Integration of chemical analyses with toxicological and ecological

  20. Ecological risk assessment of elemental pollution in sediment from Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, Sabah

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elias, Md Suhaimi; Hamzah, Mohd Suhaimi; Rahman, Shamsiah Ab; Salim, Nazaratul Ashifa Abdullah; Siong, Wee Boon; Sanuri, Ezwiza

    2014-02-01

    Eleven (11) surface sediment samples were collected from Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, Sabah. The neutron activation analysis (NAA) and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) techniques were applied for the determinations metal contents and their distributions in sediment samples. The results shown that Arsenic (As) concentrations are enriched at all sampling stations except for station TAR 09, with enrichment factor (EF) values ranged from 1.1 to 7.2. The elements such as Cd, Cr, Sb and U showed enrichment at a few stations and other elements (Cr, Cu, Pb, Th, Zn) shown as background levels in all stations. Degrees of contamination in this study were calculated base on concentrations of six elements (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, and Zn). TAR 11 station can be categorized as very high degree of contamination with degree of contamination value of 43.2. TAR 07 station can be categorized as a considerable degree of contamination (contamination value of 16.9). Six stations (TAR 01, 03, 04, 05, 06, 08, 10) showed moderate degree of contamination, with contamination values ranging from 8.0 to 16.0. TAR 02 and TAR 09 stations showed low degree of contaminations (< 8.0). TAR 11 showed very high ecological risk index (RI) with RI value is 916. TAR 07 and TAR 10 showed moderate ecological risk index with RI value 263 and 213, respectively. Other stations showed low ecological risk with RI values ranging from 42.3 to 117 (< 150). Very high ecological risk index could give an adverse effect to the benthic organism. The data obtained from the enrichment factor, degree of contamination and ecological risk index provided vital information, which can be used for future comparison. Information from the present study will be useful to the relevant government agencies and authorities in preparing preventive action to control direct discharge of heavy metals from industries, agro-base activities and domestic waste to the rivers and the sea.

  1. Fractionation and ecological risk of metals in urban river sediments in Zhongshan City, Pearl River Delta.

    PubMed

    Cai, Jiannan; Cao, Yingzi; Tan, Haijian; Wang, Yanman; Luo, Jiaqi

    2011-09-01

    Surface sediments collected from nine urban rivers located in Zhongshan City, Pearl River Delta, were analyzed for total concentration of metals with digestion and chemical fractionation adopting the modified European Community Bureau of Reference (BCR) sequential extraction procedure. The results showed that concentration and fractionation of metals varied significantly among the rivers. The total concentration of eight metals in most rivers did not exceed the China Environmental Quality Standard for Soil, Grade III. The potential ecological risk of metals to rivers were related to the land use patterns, in the order of manufacturing areas > residential areas > agriculture areas. The concentration of Pb in the reducible fraction was relatively high (60.0-84.3%). The dominant proportions of Cd, Zn and Cu were primary in the non-residual fraction (67.0%, 71.8% and 81.4% on average respectively), while the percentages of the residual fractions of Cr and Ni varied over a wide range (43-85% and 24-71% respectively). The approaches of the Håkanson ecological risk index and Secondary Phase Enrichment Factor were applied for ecological risk assessment and metal enrichment calculation. The results indicated Hg and Cd had posed high potential ecological risk to urban rivers in this region. Meanwhile, there was widespread pollution and high enrichment of Cu in river sediments in this region. Multiple regression analysis showed that five water quality parameters (pH, DO, COD(Mn), NH(4)(+)-N, TP) had little influence on the distribution of metal fractionation. This result revealed that the ecological risk of metals was not eliminated along with the improvement in water quality. Correlation studies showed that among the metals, Group A (Cd, As, Pb, Zn Hg, r = 0.730-0.924) and Group B (Cr, Cu, Ni, r = 0.815-0.948) were obtained, and the metal contaminations were from industrial activities rather than residential.

  2. [Contamination and ecological risk assessment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in surface sediment in karst underground river].

    PubMed

    Lan, Jia-Cheng; Sun, Yu-Chuan; Shi, Yang; Liang, Zuo-Bing

    2015-03-01

    In order to understand pollution characteristics and ecological risk of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in surface sediment from Laolongdong underground river, the concentration and composition of 16 priority PAHs were analyzed. The results showed that the total concentrations of PAHs ranged from 58.2 to 3 598 ng x g(-1), and most of the values were between 100 and 5 000 ng x g(-1). It means that sediments in the river were moderately and heavily polluted by PAHs. The PAH composition were dominated by 2-4 rings (accounted for 75.1%) compounds in Laolongdong, while 4-6 rings PAHs accounted for 56.6% in Xiannvdong. Sediments in Laolongdong mainly came from the transportation of the upstream water and surface soil. 2 - 3 rings PAHs had higher transport capability with farther migration distance, while 4-6 rings PAHs had lower transport capability and shorter migration distance in the conduit, because 4-6 rings PAHs could be easily absorbed by sediments. The result of ecological assessment of PAHs showed that the ecological risk level in Laolongdong was low, leading to little negative ecological impact. However, the level in Xiannvdong was high. Once PAHs migrated from upstream to downstream, it would result in ecological threat for the downstream area.

  3. 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.

  4. Potential bioavailability assessment, source apportionment and ecological risk of heavy metals in the sediment of Brisbane River estuary, Australia.

    PubMed

    Duodu, Godfred Odame; Goonetilleke, Ashantha; Ayoko, Godwin A

    2017-02-12

    A weak acid extraction was used to mobilize the loosely bound metals in estuary sediment samples. More than 30% of Ag, As, Ca, Cd, Co, Cu, Hg, Mn Ni, Pb and Zn were leached from the sediment showing that these metals are significantly present in the bioavailable form. PCA/APCS identified three sources of the metals, namely: lithogenic accounting for 72%, shipping related contributing 15% and traffic related representing 13% of the total load. Application of pollution index (PI) and modified pollution index (MPI) revealed that the sediment range from unpolluted to heavily polluted while ecological risk index (RI) classifies the sediment as posing low ecological risk modified ecological risk index (MRI) suggests considerable to very high ecological risk. To provide holistic insights into the ecological risks posed by metals, enrichment factor, MPI and MRI are recommended for the assessment of sediment in complex environments such as estuaries.

  5. Developing ecological scenarios for the prospective aquatic risk assessment of pesticides.

    PubMed

    Rico, Andreu; Van den Brink, Paul J; Gylstra, Ronald; Focks, Andreas; Brock, Theo Cm

    2016-07-01

    The prospective aquatic environmental risk assessment (ERA) of pesticides is generally based on the comparison of predicted environmental concentrations in edge-of-field surface waters with regulatory acceptable concentrations derived from laboratory and/or model ecosystem experiments with aquatic organisms. New improvements in mechanistic effect modeling have allowed a better characterization of the ecological risks of pesticides through the incorporation of biological trait information and landscape parameters to assess individual, population and/or community-level effects and recovery. Similarly to exposure models, ecological models require scenarios that describe the environmental context in which they are applied. In this article, we propose a conceptual framework for the development of ecological scenarios that, when merged with exposure scenarios, will constitute environmental scenarios for prospective aquatic ERA. These "unified" environmental scenarios are defined as the combination of the biotic and abiotic parameters that are required to characterize exposure, (direct and indirect) effects, and recovery of aquatic nontarget species under realistic worst-case conditions. Ideally, environmental scenarios aim to avoid a potential mismatch between the parameter values and the spatial-temporal scales currently used in aquatic exposure and effect modeling. This requires a deeper understanding of the ecological entities we intend to protect, which can be preliminarily addressed by the formulation of ecological scenarios. In this article we present a methodological approach for the development of ecological scenarios and illustrate this approach by a case-study for Dutch agricultural ditches and the example focal species Sialis lutaria. Finally, we discuss the applicability of ecological scenarios in ERA and propose research needs and recommendations for their development and integration with exposure scenarios. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2016;12:510-521.

  6. Ecological and human health risks associated with abandoned gold mine tailings contaminated soil

    PubMed Central

    Ngole-Jeme, Veronica Mpode; Fantke, Peter

    2017-01-01

    Gold mining is a major source of metal and metalloid emissions into the environment. Studies were carried out in Krugersdorp, South Africa, to evaluate the ecological and human health risks associated with exposure to metals and metalloids in mine tailings contaminated soils. Concentrations of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), cobalt (Co), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni), and zinc (Zn) in soil samples from the area varied with the highest contamination factors (expressed as ratio of metal or metalloid concentration in the tailings contaminated soil to that of the control site) observed for As (3.5x102), Co (2.8x102) and Ni (1.1x102). Potential ecological risk index values for metals and metalloids determined from soil metal and metalloid concentrations and their respective risk factors were correspondingly highest for As (3.5x103) and Co (1.4x103), whereas Mn (0.6) presented the lowest ecological risk. Human health risk was assessed using Hazard Quotient (HQ), Chronic Hazard Index (CHI) and carcinogenic risk levels, where values of HQ > 1, CHI > 1 and carcinogenic risk values > 1×10−4 represent elevated risks. Values for HQ indicated high exposure-related risk for As (53.7), Cr (14.8), Ni (2.2), Zn (2.64) and Mn (1.67). Children were more at risk from heavy metal and metalloid exposure than adults. Cancer-related risks associated with metal and metalloid exposure among children were also higher than in adults with cancer risk values of 3×10−2 and 4×10−2 for As and Ni respectively among children, and 5×10−3 and 4×10−3 for As and Ni respectively among adults. There is significant potential ecological and human health risk associated with metal and metalloid exposure from contaminated soils around gold mine tailings dumps. This could be a potential contributing factor to a setback in the health of residents in informal settlements dominating this mining area as the immune systems of some of these residents are already

  7. Ecological and human health risks associated with abandoned gold mine tailings contaminated soil.

    PubMed

    Ngole-Jeme, Veronica Mpode; Fantke, Peter

    2017-01-01

    Gold mining is a major source of metal and metalloid emissions into the environment. Studies were carried out in Krugersdorp, South Africa, to evaluate the ecological and human health risks associated with exposure to metals and metalloids in mine tailings contaminated soils. Concentrations of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), cobalt (Co), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni), and zinc (Zn) in soil samples from the area varied with the highest contamination factors (expressed as ratio of metal or metalloid concentration in the tailings contaminated soil to that of the control site) observed for As (3.5x102), Co (2.8x102) and Ni (1.1x102). Potential ecological risk index values for metals and metalloids determined from soil metal and metalloid concentrations and their respective risk factors were correspondingly highest for As (3.5x103) and Co (1.4x103), whereas Mn (0.6) presented the lowest ecological risk. Human health risk was assessed using Hazard Quotient (HQ), Chronic Hazard Index (CHI) and carcinogenic risk levels, where values of HQ > 1, CHI > 1 and carcinogenic risk values > 1×10-4 represent elevated risks. Values for HQ indicated high exposure-related risk for As (53.7), Cr (14.8), Ni (2.2), Zn (2.64) and Mn (1.67). Children were more at risk from heavy metal and metalloid exposure than adults. Cancer-related risks associated with metal and metalloid exposure among children were also higher than in adults with cancer risk values of 3×10-2 and 4×10-2 for As and Ni respectively among children, and 5×10-3 and 4×10-3 for As and Ni respectively among adults. There is significant potential ecological and human health risk associated with metal and metalloid exposure from contaminated soils around gold mine tailings dumps. This could be a potential contributing factor to a setback in the health of residents in informal settlements dominating this mining area as the immune systems of some of these residents are already compromised by

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Polychlorinated biphenyls and Hudson River white perch: implications for population-level ecological risk assessment and risk management.

    PubMed

    Barnthouse, Lawrence W; Glaser, David; DeSantis, Liane

    2009-07-01

    Risk assessments and risk management decisions concerning risks to wild fish populations resulting from exposures to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and related chemicals have been based primarily on observations of effects of chemicals on individual organisms. Although the development and application of population-level ecological risk-assessment methods is proceeding at a rapid pace, the organism-level approach is still being justified by arguments that population-level ecological risk assessment is in an early stage of development and has not been shown to be reliable. This article highlights the importance of including population-level effects in risk-management decision-making, by examining the effects of exposures to PCBs on fish populations inhabiting the Hudson River, New York, USA, a system in which data have been collected for approximately 30 y concerning both concentrations of PCBs in sediment and fish tissue and the abundance and reproduction of exposed fish populations. We previously tested hypotheses concerning the effects of PCBs on the striped bass population of the Hudson River, and found that the available data conflicted with all of these hypotheses. Here, we report results of similar analyses of effects of historic PCB exposures on the Hudson River white perch population, using an extended data set that recently became available. As with striped bass, we found no correlation between maternal PCB tissue concentrations and any measure of reproductive success in Hudson River white perch during the 30-y period covered by the data set. Together with results of studies performed on fish populations exposed to PCBs at other sites, our results clearly demonstrate that physiological and genetic adaptation, biological compensation, and other ecological processes influence responses of fish populations to PCB exposures and should be considered in risk management decision-making.

  12. Refuse and the ‘Risk Society’: The Political Ecology of Risk in Inter-war Britain

    PubMed Central

    Cooper, Timothy; Bulmer, Sarah

    2013-01-01

    This article responds to current critiques of Ulrich Beck's ‘risk society’ thesis by historians of science and medicine. Those who have engaged with the concept of risk society have been content to accept the fundamental categories of Beck's analysis. In contrast, we argue that Beck's risk society thesis underplays two key themes. First, the role of capitalist social relations as the driver of technological change and the transformation of everyday life; and second, the ways in which hegemonic discourses of risk can be appropriated and transformed by counter-hegemonic forces. In place of ‘risk society’, we propose an approach based upon a ‘political ecology of risk’, which emphasises the social relations that are fundamental to the everyday politics of environmental health. PMID:24771975

  13. Sediment toxicity and ecological risk of trace metals from streams surrounding a municipal solid waste landfill.

    PubMed

    Sayadi, M H; Rezaei, M R; Rezaei, A

    2015-05-01

    The present study is an attempt to assess the pollution intensity and corresponding ecological risk of heavy metals such as Cd, Ni, Pb, Cu, Zn and Cr using various indices like geo-accumulation index, concentration factor, pollution loading and ecological risk index. In all 21 surface sediments samples were collected from the stream flowing around the solid waste disposal landfill of Qayen city in southeastern Iran. Although Igeo values for Cd varied greatly, sites 18-21 with class 5 show heavy loads of Cd (values between 4.13 and 4.45). PLI values (3.37-12.89) clearly suggest strong contamination with respect to the measured metals. This study clearly indicates that the contamination risk in the downstream reservoir is much higher than upstream sites due to transfer and accumulation of leached metals from upstream to downstream.

  14. Heavy metal contamination and ecological risk in Futian mangrove forest sediment in Shenzhen Bay, South China.

    PubMed

    Li, Rongyu; Li, Ruili; Chai, Minwei; Shen, Xiaoxue; Xu, Hualin; Qiu, Guoyu

    2015-12-15

    Surface sediments in the Futian mangrove forest (South China) were analyzed for heavy metals including cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn). The heavy metal distributions varied greatly in surface sediments, reflecting some sediment heterogeneity. The heavy metal concentrations decreased in the order of Zn>Cr>Pb>Cu>Cd. According to the mean probable effects level quotient, the combination of studied metals had a 21% probability of being toxic. The potential ecological risk index and geo-accumulation index also revealed high metal contamination. Cd was of primary concern due to its higher assessment values and potential for adverse biological effects. Multivariate analysis implied that clay and silt played a significant role in raising the levels of Cr, Cu and Zn. The percentage of mobile heavy metals was relatively higher, without considerable ecological risk to the biota based on the risk assessment code.

  15. Ecological risk of anthropogenic pollutants to reptiles: Evaluating assumptions of sensitivity and exposure.

    PubMed

    Weir, Scott M; Suski, Jamie G; Salice, Christopher J

    2010-12-01

    A large data gap for reptile ecotoxicology still persists; therefore, ecological risk assessments of reptiles usually incorporate the use of surrogate species. This necessitates that (1) the surrogate is at least as sensitive as the target taxon and/or (2) exposures to the surrogate are greater than that of the target taxon. We evaluated these assumptions for the use of birds as surrogates for reptiles. Based on a survey of the literature, birds were more sensitive than reptiles in less than 1/4 of the chemicals investigated. Dietary and dermal exposure modeling indicated that exposure to reptiles was relatively high, particularly when the dermal route was considered. We conclude that caution is warranted in the use of avian receptors as surrogates for reptiles in ecological risk assessment and emphasize the need to better understand the magnitude and mechanism of contaminant exposure in reptiles to improve exposure and risk estimation.

  16. Ecological risk assessment of the impact of a landfill associated with karst terrain

    SciTech Connect

    Farmer, J.J.; Bailey, F.C.; Hollyday, E.F.; Byle, T.D.

    1995-12-31

    An ecological risk assessment is underway on an active sanitary landfill in Bedford County, Tennessee. The overall objective is to determine the probability of risk from landfill-associated toxicants to both the aquatic ecological communities and to human health through drinking water contamination. During the problem formulation phase, an EPA Rapid Bioassessment (Protocol I) of streams around the landfill indicated a lower diversity and abundance of benthic macroinvertebrates in streams adjacent to the landfill compared to reference streams. During the analysis phase, water chemistry analyses were conducted on samples from 176 sites around the landfill, including seeps and springs, and the direction of movement of ground water under the site was determined by potentiometric mapping. Water flowing into Anderton Branch from landfill-associated tributaries, seeps and springs showed elevated specific conductance and elevated levels of chloride, manganese, iron, and nickel. GC-FID analysis indicated the presence of unidentified organic compounds in a small seep adjacent to the landfill. From these data it was concluded that there is potential for exposure of aquatic ecological communities and drinking water supplies to landfill-associated chemicals. In order to more thoroughly characterize ecological and human health risk associated with the landfill, more intensive analyses are underway, including quantitative seasonal macroinvertebrate biomonitoring, laboratory toxicity tests with Daphnia magna using water from selected monitoring sites, and monitoring of drinking water wells.

  17. Screening level ecological risk assessment for phenols in surface water of the Taihu Lake.

    PubMed

    Zhong, Wenjue; Wang, Donghong; Xu, Xiaowei; Luo, Qian; Wang, Bingyi; Shan, Xiaoquan; Wang, Zijian

    2010-08-01

    A number of approaches have been proposed for screening level ecological risk assessment. In this paper, we first established a mass spectrum library including 50 phenols using retention time locking (RTL) technology and deconvolution reporting software (DRS). Distribution of phenols in surface water of the Taihu Lake was screened. Among the 22 identified phenols, 14 phenols were quantified. The concentrations of total phenols ranged 675.2-3346.1 ng L(-1). The distributions of ecological effect quotients (EEQs) of 14 phenols were characterized in terms of the exposure concentration distributions (ECDs) and species sensitivity distributions (SSDs). Those phenols with EEQs exceeding the threshold proposed by Water Environment Research Foundation of Alexandria were selected as priorities. As a result, 2-nitrophenol (2-NP), p-chloro-m-xylenol (PCMX) and pyrocatechol were determined as potential ecological risk stressors in surface water of the Taihu Lake. Results of the present study suggested that the proposed approach is feasible for the screening level ecological risk assessment.

  18. [Socio-psychological and ecological aspects within the system of nuclear radiation risk mitigation].

    PubMed

    Davydov, B I; Ushakov, I B; Zuev, V G

    2004-01-01

    The authors bring into light several aspects of nuclear radiation risks, i.e. physical safety of nuclear technologies and ecology, place of operator within the nuclear radiation safety system (proficiency, protective culture, safety guides) and consider approaches to the human factor quantification within the system of mitigation of risks from nuclear technologies, and IAEA recommendations on probable risk estimation. Future investigations should be aimed at extension of the radiation sensitivity threshold, personnel selection as by psychological so genetic testing for immunity to ionizing radiation, development of pharmachemical and physical protectors and methods of enhancing nonspecific resistance to extreme, including radiation, environments, and building of radiation event simulators for training.

  19. Ecological risk assessment of nonylphenol in coastal waters of China based on species sensitivity distribution model.

    PubMed

    Gao, Pei; Li, Zhengyan; Gibson, Mark; Gao, Huiwang

    2014-06-01

    Nonylphenol (NP) is an endocrine disruptor and causes feminization and carcinogenesis in various organisms. Consequently, the environmental distribution and ecological risks of NP have received wide concern. China accounts for approximately 10% of the total NP usage in the world, but the water quality criteria of NP have not been established in China and the ecological risks of this pollutant cannot be properly assessed. This study thus aims to determine the predicted no effect concentration (PNEC) of NP and to assess the ecological risks of NP in coastal waters of China with the PNEC as water quality criteria. To obtain the HC5 (hazardous concentration for 5% of biological species) and PNEC estimates, the species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) models were built with chronic toxicity data of NP on aquatic organisms screened from the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) ECOTOX database. The results showed that the PNEC for NP in freshwater and seawater was 0.48 μg L(-1) and 0.28 μg L(-1), respectively. The RQ (risk quotient) values of NP in coastal waters of China ranged from 0.01 to 69.7. About 60% of the reported areas showed a high ecological risk with an RQ value ≥ 1.00. NP therefore exists ubiquitously in coastal waters of China and it poses various risks to aquatic ecosystems in the country. This study demonstrates that the SSD methodology can provide a feasible tool for the establishment of water quality criteria for emergent new pollutants when sufficient toxicity data is available.

  20. Site-specific probabilistic ecological risk assessment of a volatile chlorinated hydrocarbon-contaminated tidal estuary.

    PubMed

    Hunt, James; Birch, Gavin; Warne, Michael St J

    2010-05-01

    Groundwater contaminated with volatile chlorinated hydrocarbons (VCHs) was identified as discharging to Penrhyn Estuary, an intertidal embayment of Botany Bay, New South Wales, Australia. A screening-level hazard assessment of surface water in Penrhyn Estuary identified an unacceptable hazard to marine organisms posed by VCHs. Given the limitations of hazard assessments, the present study conducted a higher-tier, quantitative probabilistic risk assessment using the joint probability curve (JPC) method that accounted for variability in exposure and toxicity profiles to quantify risk (delta). Risk was assessed for 24 scenarios, including four areas of the estuary based on three exposure scenarios (low tide, high tide, and both low and high tides) and two toxicity scenarios (chronic no-observed-effect concentrations [NOEC] and 50% effect concentrations [EC50]). Risk (delta) was greater at low tide than at high tide and varied throughout the tidal cycle. Spatial distributions of risk in the estuary were similar using both NOEC and EC50 data. The exposure scenario including data combined from both tides was considered the most accurate representation of the ecological risk in the estuary. When assessing risk using data across both tides, the greatest risk was identified in the Springvale tributary (delta=25%)-closest to the source area-followed by the inner estuary (delta=4%) and the Floodvale tributary (delta=2%), with the lowest risk in the outer estuary (delta=0.1%), farthest from the source area. Going from the screening level ecological risk assessment (ERA) to the probabilistic ERA changed the risk from unacceptable to acceptable in 50% of exposure scenarios in two of the four areas within the estuary. The probabilistic ERA provided a more realistic assessment of risk than the screening-level hazard assessment.

  1. Use of Chesapeake Bay Restoration Goals Index in ecological risk assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Biksey, T.

    1995-12-31

    Restoration goals for Chesapeake Bay benthic infaunal communities have been developed by the USEPA Chesapeake Bay Program Office and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. The Restoration Goals Index (RGI) includes measures that describe characteristics of benthic assemblages expected in habitats having little evidence of environmental stress or disturbance. The RGI includes parameters for biodiversity, life history strategy, subsurface activity, abundance, biomass, and feeding guild. Eight habitat classes were defined by salinity and sediment type to account for natural habitat variability. Ecological risk assessments use measurement endpoints as quantitative expressions of an observed or measured effect of an environmental stressor to evaluate assessment endpoints -- the ecological value to be protected. Many of the same expressions used as measurement endpoints or effect indicators are included in the RGI. The use of the RGI in ecological risk assessments conducted at the Naval Weapons Station Yorktown helped reduced the uncertainty in the risk characterization phase. The RGIs provided a reference condition for refining the natural temporal and spatial variability inherent in benthic infaunal communities. The significance of the risk to aquatic receptors was placed in perspective to the regional conditions in the York River and lower Chesapeake Bay ecosystems.

  2. 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.

  3. Structural complexity, movement bias, and metapopulation extinction risk in dendritic ecological networks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Campbell Grant, Evan H.

    2011-01-01

    Spatial complexity in metacommunities can be separated into 3 main components: size (i.e., number of habitat patches), spatial arrangement of habitat patches (network topology), and diversity of habitat patch types. Much attention has been paid to lattice-type networks, such as patch-based metapopulations, but interest in understanding ecological networks of alternative geometries is building. Dendritic ecological networks (DENs) include some increasingly threatened ecological systems, such as caves and streams. The restrictive architecture of dendritic ecological networks might have overriding implications for species persistence. I used a modeling approach to investigate how number and spatial arrangement of habitat patches influence metapopulation extinction risk in 2 DENs of different size and topology. Metapopulation persistence was higher in larger networks, but this relationship was mediated by network topology and the dispersal pathways used to navigate the network. Larger networks, especially those with greater topological complexity, generally had lower extinction risk than smaller and less-complex networks, but dispersal bias and magnitude affected the shape of this relationship. Applying these general results to real systems will require empirical data on the movement behavior of organisms and will improve our understanding of the implications of network complexity on population and community patterns and processes.

  4. Haloacetic acids in the aquatic environment. Part II: ecological risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Hanson, Mark L; Solomon, Keith R

    2004-08-01

    Haloacetic acids (HAAs) are environmental contaminants found in aquatic ecosystems throughout the world as a result of both anthropogenic and natural production. The ecological risk posed by these compounds to organisms in freshwater environments, with a specific focus on aquatic macrophytes, was characterized. The plants evaluated were Lemna gibba, Myriophyllum spicatum and M. sibiricum and the HAAs screened were monochloroacetic acid (MCA), dichloroacetic acid (DCA), trichloroacetic acid (TCA), trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) and chlorodifluoroacetic acid (CDFA). Laboratory toxicity data formed the basis of the risk assessment, but field studies were also utilized. The estimated risk was calculated using hazard quotients (HQ), as well as effect measure distributions (EMD) in a modified probabilistic ecological risk assessment. EMDs were used to estimate HAA thresholds of toxicity for use in HQ assessments. This threshold was found to be a more sensitive measure of low toxicity than the no observed effect concentrations (NOEC) or the effective concentration (EC10). Using both deterministic and probabilistic methods, it was found that HAAs do not pose a significant risk to freshwater macrophytes at current environmental concentrations in Canada, Europe or Africa for both single compound and mixture exposures. Still, HAAs are generally found as mixtures and their potential interactions are not fully understood, rendering this phase of the assessment uncertain and justifying further effects characterization. TCA in some environments poses a slight risk to phytoplankton and future concentrations of TFA and CDFA are likely to increase due to their recalcitrant nature, warranting continued environmental surveillance of HAAs.

  5. USDOE study: Human health and ecological risk assessment for produced water discharges

    SciTech Connect

    Meinhold, A.F.; Holtzman, S.; DePhillips, M.; Hamilton, L.D.

    1994-12-31

    Produced water generated during the production of oil and gas can contain high concentrations of radionuclides, organics and heavy metals. There are concerns about potential human health and ecological impacts from the discharge of these contaminants to the Gulf of Mexico. Data collected in the United States Department of Energy (USDOE) field study are being used in a series of human health and ecological risk assessments. These assessments will support scientifically-based regulation and risk management. This presentation: summarizes risk assessments performed for produced water discharges; describes how uncertainties in these assessments are guiding data collection efforts in the USDOE field study; and outlines ongoing risk assessment studies. In these studies, risk assessment is treated as an iterative process. An initial screening-level assessment is performed to identify important contaminants, transport and exposure pathways, and parameters. These intermediate results are used to guide data collection efforts and refinements to the analysis. At this stage in the analysis, risk is described in terms of probabilities; the uncertainties in each measured or modeled parameter are considered explicitly.

  6. [Ecological risk assessment of dam construction for terrestrial plant species in middle reach of Lancangjiang River, Southwest China].

    PubMed

    Li, Xiao-Yan; Dong, Shi-Kui; Liu, Shi-Liang; Peng, Ming-Chun; Li, Jin-Peng; Zhao, Qing-He; Zhang, Zhao-Ling

    2012-08-01

    Taking the surrounding areas of Xiaowan Reservoir in the middle reach of Lancangjiang River as study area, and based on the vegetation investigation at three sites including electricity transmission area (site 1), electricity-transfer substation and roadsides to the substation (site 2), and emigration area (site 3) in 1997 (before dam construction), another investigation was conducted on the vegetation composition, plant coverage, and dominant species at the same sites in 2010 (after dam construction), aimed to evaluate the ecological risk of the dam construction for the terrestrial plant species in middle reach of Lancangjiang River. There was an obvious difference in the summed dominance ratio of dominant species at the three sites before and after the dam construction. According the types of species (dominant and non-dominant species) and the changes of plant dominance, the ecological risk (ER) for the plant species was categorized into 0 to IV, i.e., no or extremely low ecological risk (0), low ecological risk (I), medium ecological risk (II), high ecological risk (III), and extremely high ecological risk (IV). As affected by the dam construction, the majority of the species were at ER III, and a few species were at ER IV. The percentage of the plant species at ER III and ER IV at site 3 was higher than that at sites 1 and 2. The decrease or loss of native plants and the increase of alien or invasive plants were the major ecological risks caused by the dam construction. Effective protection strategies should be adopted to mitigate the ecological risk of the dam construction for the terrestrial plants at species level.

  7. Ecological risk assessment: An amalgam of populist politics and science-based technology

    SciTech Connect

    Kapustka, L.A.; Fairbrother, A.; Williams, B.A.; Bennett, R.S.

    1995-12-31

    The United States is embroiled in a contentious political debate over the merits, capabilities, and manipulation of Risk Assessments as part of environmental regulation and management. Much of the debate focuses on the scientific basis of risk assessment as if SCIENCE were the dominant force in the process. But is that assumption valid? The science community continues to improve methods and procedures to characterize exposure and predict consequences. Guidelines for developing exposure models, fate and transport mechanisms, data management systems, and statistical tools are emerging in many professional arenas. These efforts can advance the technical features of risk assessment and will increase the likelihood of getting more uniform and consistent analyses but will the products be relevant? Confusion over social values and compromises of scientific principles can easily confound the risk assessment process in ways that diminish the quality of risk estimates and frustrate risk communication. This paper will examine the parallels between risk assessment and the scientific process to illustrate the boundaries of the scientific-technical aspects of the risk assessment process. Key risk assessment issues including exposure assumptions, assessment (safety) factors, deterministic models, and ecological paradigms will be evaluated against Judge Overton`s criteria of science. Clearly identifying what parts are science versus what parts are political/social constructs should, in the long run, improve risk assessment, management, and communication.

  8. Ecological risk assessment of trace metal accumulation in sediments of Veraval Harbor, Gujarat, Arabian Sea.

    PubMed

    Sundararajan, S; Khadanga, Mukunda Kesari; Kumar, J Prince Prakash Jeba; Raghumaran, S; Vijaya, R; Jena, Basanta Kumar

    2017-01-15

    In this study, different types of indices were used to assess the ecological risk of trace metal contamination in sediments on the basis of sediment quality guidelines at Veraval Fishery Harbor. Sediment samples were collected from three sectors in pre-, post-, and monsoon seasons in 2006. Trace metal concentrations were higher in the inner sector during post-monsoon, and it showed the highest statistical significance (p<0.01) among the stations. Pollution load index was higher than unity, indicating alternation by effluent discharge from industries. Enrichment factor and geo-accumulation index showed that Cd, Pb, and Zn were enriched in the northern part of the harbor and Pb had accumulated in the harbor sediment. The ecological risk assessment index revealed that Ni, Zn, and Pb were higher than the effect range median values, indicating their potential toxicity to the aquatic environment in the Veraval Harbor. Hence, the harbor is dominated by anthropogenic activities rather than natural process.

  9. Produced water discharges to the Gulf of Mexico: Background information for ecological risk assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Meinhold, A.F.; Holtzman, S.; DePhillips, M.P.

    1996-06-01

    This report reviews ecological risk assessment concepts and methods; describes important biological resources in the Gulf of Mexico of potential concern for produced water impacts; and summarizes data available to estimate exposure and effects of produced water discharges. The emphasis is on data relating to produced water discharges in the central and western Gulf of Mexico, especially in Louisiana. Much of the summarized data and cited literature are relevant to assessments of impacts in other regions. Data describing effects on marine and estuarine fishes, mollusks, crustaceans and benthic invertebrates are emphasized. This review is part of a series of studies of the health and ecological risks from discharges of produced water to the Gulf of Mexico. These assessments will provide input to regulators in the development of guidelines and permits, and to industry in the use of appropriate discharge practices.

  10. 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.

  11. Remedial investigation report for J-Field, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. Volume 3: Ecological risk assessment

    SciTech Connect

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

    2000-02-25

    The Environmental Management Division of the U.S. Army Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), Maryland, is conducting a remedial investigation (RI) and feasibility study (FS) of the J-Field area at APG, pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), as amended. As part of that activity, Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) conducted an ecological risk assessment (ERA) of the J-Field site. This report presents the results of that assessment.

  12. Marine Ecological Risk Assessment at Naval Construction Battalion Center, Davisville, Rhode Island. Phase 1.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-05-01

    on Fertilization, Survival, and Development of the Sea Urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus ," in Biological Monitoring of Marine Pollutants (F... developed for each proposed study. Funding by NAVOCEANSYSCEN and EPA-ERL is subject to the U. S . Government appropriation process. No responsibility is...ecological risk assessment is developed . Exposure to and the effects of contamination are measured at both subtidal and intertidal s . %tions. A T-shaped

  13. Use of the ecosystem services concept in ecological risk assessment of chemicals.

    PubMed

    Forbes, Valery E; Calow, Peter

    2013-04-01

    The reason for expressing ecological protection goals in terms of ecosystem services is to make a connection between ecosystems and what people get out of them in terms of marketed goods and nonmarketed welfare. Here our focus will be on how the ecosystem services framework is and can be applied to the ecological risk assessment (ERA) of chemicals. We provide 2 contrasting examples of how the ecosystem services framework is currently being applied in regulatory risk assessment, and we discuss the challenges and knowledge gaps that need to be addressed if such a framework is to substantially improve ERAs and their ability to inform management decisions. We make the point that formulating protection goals in terms of ecosystem services only makes sense if they can be used in managing environmental impacts and if they are useful in informing the risk assessments behind these. Ecosystem services can make a contribution to management by connecting ecosystem structure and process to what is valued, and analyzing risk in this context is a way of making risk assessment more policy- and value-relevant. Using an ecosystem services framework to its fullest potential to support ERA will require the successful development of a suite of coupled Valuation Methods, Ecological Production Functions, and Mechanistic Effect Models that will require the establishment of strong multidisciplinary collaborations among ecologists, computer scientists, social scientists, and possibly others. In addition, buy-in from environmental decision makers and other stakeholders will be crucial. Some progress is being made on the research front, and the implementation of new legislation is providing incentives for developing risk assessment outputs that are much more directly related to environmental protection goals than those used currently.

  14. Where Lies the Risk? An Ecological Approach to Understanding Child Mental Health Risk and Vulnerabilities in Sub-Saharan Africa

    PubMed Central

    Atilola, Olayinka

    2014-01-01

    Efforts at improving child-health and development initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa had focused on the physical health of children due to the neglect of child and adolescent mental health (CAMH) policy initiatives. A thorough and broad-based understanding of the prevalent child mental-health risk and vulnerability factors is needed to successfully articulate CAMH policies. In this discourse, we present a narrative on the child mental-health risk and vulnerability factors in sub-Saharan Africa. Through an ecological point of view, we identified widespread family poverty, poor availability and uptake of childcare resources, inadequate community and institutional childcare systems, and inadequate framework for social protection for vulnerable children as among the risk and vulnerability factors for CAMH in the region. Others are poor workplace policy/practice that does not support work-family life balance, poor legislative framework for child protection, and some harmful traditional practices. We conclude that an ecological approach shows that child mental-health risks are diverse and cut across different layers of the care environment. The approach also provides a broad and holistic template from which appropriate CAMH policy direction in sub-Saharan Africa can be understood. PMID:24834431

  15. 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.

  16. Development of stressor-response models for an ecological risk assessment case study

    SciTech Connect

    Nacci, D.E.; Munns, W.R.; Cayula, S.; Serbst, J.; Johnston, R.K.; Walker, H.A.

    1994-12-31

    An estuarine ecological risk assessment for the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (Kittery, ME) is being conducted following the US EPA`s Framework for Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA). As part of the Analysis phase of the ERA, laboratory studies were conducted to develop stressor-response models for lead, the primary contaminant of concern. Thirty-day exposures to adult sea urchins, Arbacia punctulata, occurred via food or suspended sediment. Exposure media were amended with lead sulfate to 10--100 or 100--300 times uncontaminated levels for the Feeding or Sediment Experiments, respectively. The sea urchin experimental model was selected because it permitted the measurement of biological endpoints with significance at the population level (e.g., adult survival and reproduction success), including those used in standard marine bioassays (i.e., fertilization and larval development). Feeding Experiment treatments produced few effects. Sediment Experiment treatments resulted in reductions in survival, growth and reproductive output of exposed adults and were directly toxic to early lifestages. However, in uncontaminated sea water, gametes from Sediment Experiment adults fertilized and completed larval development normally. Data from these experimental systems will be used to produce models relating lead exposure to specific biological responses and, ultimately, ecological risk.

  17. The development of an ecological approach to manage the pollution risk from highway runoff.

    PubMed

    Crabtree, B; Dempsey, P; Johnson, I; Whitehead, M

    2009-01-01

    In the UK, the Highways Agency is responsible for operating, maintaining and improving the strategic road network in England. One focus of the Highways Agency's ongoing research into the nature and impact of highway runoff is aimed at ensuring that the Highways Agency will meet the requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive. A research programme, undertaken in partnership with the Environment Agency, is in progress to develop a better understanding of pollutants in highway runoff and their ecological impact. The paper presents the outcome of a study to: (1) monitor pollutants in highway runoff under different climate and traffic conditions; (2) develop standards to assess potential ecological risks from soluble pollutants in highway runoff; and (3) develop a model to predict pollutant concentrations in highway runoff. The model has been embedded in a design tool incorporating risk assessment procedures and receiving water standards for soluble and insoluble pollutants--the latter has been developed elsewhere in another project within the research programme. The design tool will be used to support improved guidance on where, and to what level, treatment of runoff is required for highway designers to manage the risk of ecological impact from highway runoff.

  18. 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.

  19. Ecological risk and pollution history of heavy metals in Nansha mangrove, South China.

    PubMed

    Wu, Qihang; Tam, Nora F Y; Leung, Jonathan Y S; Zhou, Xizhen; Fu, Jie; Yao, Bo; Huang, Xuexia; Xia, Lihua

    2014-06-01

    Owing to the Industrial Revolution in the late 1970s, heavy metal pollution has been regarded as a serious threat to mangrove ecosystems in the region of the Pearl River Estuary, potentially affecting human health. The present study attempted to characterize the ecological risk of heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn) in Nansha mangrove, South China, by estimating their concentrations in the surface sediment. In addition, the pollution history of heavy metals was examined by determining the concentrations of heavy metals along the depth gradient. The phytoremediation potential of heavy metals by the dominant plants in Nansha mangrove, namely Sonneratia apetala and Cyperus malaccensis, was also studied. Results found that the surface sediment was severely contaminated with heavy metals, probably due to the discharge of industrial sewage into the Pearl River Estuary. Spatial variation of heavy metals was generally unobvious. The ecological risk of heavy metals was very high, largely due to Cd contamination. All heavy metals, except Mn, decreased with depth, indicating that heavy metal pollution has been deteriorating since 1979. Worse still, the dominant plants in Nansha mangrove had limited capability to remove the heavy metals from sediment. Therefore, we propose that immediate actions, such as regulation of discharge standards of industrial sewage, should be taken by the authorities concerned to mitigate the ecological risk posed by heavy metals.

  20. [Spatial Distribution and Potential Ecological Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in Soils and Sediments in Shunde Waterway, Southern China].

    PubMed

    Cai, Yi-min; Chen, Wei-ping; Peng, Chi; Wang, Tie-yu; Xiao, Rong-bo

    2016-05-15

    Environmental quality of soils and sediments around water source area can influence the safety of potable water of rivers. In order to study the pollution characteristics, the sources and ecological risks of heavy metals Zn, Cr, Pb, Cu, Ni and Cd in water source area, surface soils around the waterway and sediments in the estuary of main tributaries were collected in Shunde, and ecological risks of heavy metals were assessed by two methods of potential ecological risk assessment. The mean contents of Zn, Cr, Pb, Cu, Ni and Cd in the surface soils were 186.80, 65.88, 54.56, 32.47, 22.65 and 0.86 mg · kg⁻¹ respectively, and they were higher than their soil background values except those of Cu and Ni. The mean concentrations of Zn, Cr, Pb, Cu, Ni and Cd in the sediments were 312.11, 111.41, 97.87, 92.32, 29.89 and 1.72 mg · kg⁻¹ respectively, and they were higher than their soil background values except that of Ni. The results of principal component analysis illustrated that the main source of Cr and Ni in soils was soil parent materials, and Zn, Pb, Cu and Cd in soils mainly came from wastewater discharge of local manufacturing industry. The six heavy metals in sediments mainly originated from industry emissions around the Shunde waterway. The results of potential ecological risk assessment integrating environmental bioavailability of heavy metals showed that Zn, Cu, Pb and Ni had a slight potential ecological risk. Cd had a slight potential ecological risk in surface soils, but a moderate potential ecological risk in surfaces sediments. Because the potential ecological risk assessment integrating environmental bioavailability of heavy metals took the soil properties and heavy metal forms into account, its results of risks were lower than those of Hakanson methods, and it could avoid overestimating the potential risks of heavy metals.

  1. Heavy metal pollution and potential ecological risks in rivers: a case study from southern Italy.

    PubMed

    Protano, Carmela; Zinnà, Loredana; Giampaoli, Saverio; Romano Spica, Vincenzo; Chiavarini, Salvatore; Vitali, Matteo

    2014-01-01

    We monitored heavy metal (As, Cd, Hg, and Pb) concentrations in surface water, sediments, and oligochaetes in four major rivers in Calabria (southern Italy) over the course of 1 year. As, Cd, and Pb showed accumulation factors of 10(3)-10(5) for water to sediment and 1-10 for sediment to oligochaetes. Hg showed a water to sediment accumulation factor of 10-100. Finally, Hg concentrations exceeded the Italian quality standard for freshwater in all of the rivers, and As concentrations in sediments exceeded the respective Canadian standard. However, the application of an ecological risk assessment method indicated low risks for all monitored rivers.

  2. Ecological risk assessment of substances with suspected estrogenic activity using standard laboratory fish tests

    SciTech Connect

    Gimeno, S.; Bowmer, C.T.

    1999-07-01

    The assessment of risks to the aquatic environment in the European Union is generally based on a comparison of Predicted Environmental Concentrations (PEC) with Predicted No Effect Concentrations (PNEC) for surrogate, or representative, organisms of the receiving waters. Such risk assessments are required for new and priority existing chemicals, pesticides, and, in the near future, biocides; they are dependent on robust in vivo test data. Current strategies for ecological risk assessment were not designed to assess the risk of endocrine disrupters. The selection of suitable fish species and practical in vivo end points for determining endocrine disruption in fish are discussed, including the adaptation of some existing guidelines. This paper is partly based on a series of experiments conducted at the laboratory to look at the effects of a model alkylphenol (4-tert-pentylphenol), an industrial chemical intermediate, acting as a pseudo-estrogen on an all-male population of the common carp, Cyprinus carpio. Exposure to the test substance occurred at critical life stages for endocrine disruption. Biochemical parameters as well as histological parameters were applied, and their suitability to be used in ecological risk assessment is discussed.

  3. Terrestrial population models for ecological risk assessment: A state-of-the-art review

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Emlen, J.M.

    1989-01-01

    Few attempts have been made to formulate models for predicting impacts of xenobiotic chemicals on wildlife populations. However, considerable effort has been invested in wildlife optimal exploitation models. Because death from intoxication has a similar effect on population dynamics as death by harvesting, these management models are applicable to ecological risk assessment. An underlying Leslie-matrix bookkeeping formulation is widely applicable to vertebrate wildlife populations. Unfortunately, however, the various submodels that track birth, death, and dispersal rates as functions of the physical, chemical, and biotic environment are by their nature almost inevitably highly species- and locale-specific. Short-term prediction of one-time chemical applications requires only information on mortality before and after contamination. In such cases a simple matrix formulation may be adequate for risk assessment. But generally, risk must be projected over periods of a generation or more. This precludes generic protocols for risk assessment and also the ready and inexpensive predictions of a chemical's influence on a given population. When designing and applying models for ecological risk assessment at the population level, the endpoints (output) of concern must be carefully and rigorously defined. The most easily accessible and appropriate endpoints are (1) pseudoextinction (the frequency or probability of a population falling below a prespecified density), and (2) temporal mean population density. Spatial and temporal extent of predicted changes must be clearly specified a priori to avoid apparent contradictions and confusion.

  4. 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.

  5. Tooele Army Depot Revised Final Site-Wide Ecological Risk Assessment. Volume II (Appendices A through D).

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1998-02-01

    Chemical Quality Control - TEAD-N Ecological Risk Assesment Soils Data (All Rinse Blanks) SUe ID Test Name Meas Flag Unit Bool Ceae Value...Ecological 1 lisk Assesment boils D ata (All Rinse Blanks) RaveBiau\\ Meas Flat Unit Flat !*■** Meas Site ID Test Name Bool Ceae

  6. 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

  7. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in water from three estuaries of China: Distribution, seasonal variations and ecological risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Yan, Jinxia; Liu, Jingling; Shi, Xuan; You, Xiaoguang; Cao, Zhiguo

    2016-08-15

    The distribution, seasonal variations and ecological risk assessment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in water from three estuaries in Hai River Basin of China, which has been suffering from different anthropogenic pressures, were investigated. In three estuaries, the average concentration of ΣPAHs was the lowest in Luan River estuary, followed by Hai River estuary, and the highest in Zhangweixin River estuary. There were significant seasonal variations in ΣPAHs, the concentrations of ΣPAHs were higher in November than in May and August. The composition profiles of PAHs in different sites were significantly different, and illustrated seasonal variations. Generally, 2-ring (Nap) and 3-ring PAHs (Acp, Fl and Phe) were the most abundant components at most sampling sites in three estuaries. The PAHs in three estuaries were mainly originated from pyrogenic sources. A method based on toxic equivalency factors (TEFs) and risk quotient (RQ) was proposed to assess the ecological risk of ΣPAHs, with the ecological risk of individual PAHs being considered separately. The results showed that the ecological risks caused by ΣPAHs were high in Hai River estuary and Zhangweixin River estuary, and moderate in Luan River estuary. The mean values of ecological risk in August were lower than those in November. The contributions of individual PAHs to ecological risk were different in May, August and November. 3-ring and 4-ring PAHs accounted for much more ecological risk than 2-ring, 5-ring and 6-ring, although the contributions of 5-ring and 6-ring to ecological risk were higher than these to PAHs concentrations.

  8. Ecological risk assessment of pharmaceuticals in the receiving environment of pharmaceutical wastewater in Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Ashfaq, Muhammad; Nawaz Khan, Khujasta; Saif Ur Rehman, Muhammad; Mustafa, Ghulam; Faizan Nazar, Muhammad; Sun, Qian; Iqbal, Javed; Mulla, Sikandar I; Yu, Chang-Ping

    2017-02-01

    The pharmaceutical industry of Pakistan is growing with an annual growth rate of 10%. Besides this growth, this industry is not complying with environmental standards, and discharging its effluent into domestic wastewater network. Only limited information is available about the occurrence of pharmaceutical compounds (PCs) in the environmental matrices of Pakistan that has motivated us to aim at the occurrence and ecological risk assessment of 11 PCs of different therapeutic classes in the wastewater of pharmaceutical industry and in its receiving environmental matrices such as sludge, solid waste and soil samples near the pharmaceutical formulation units along Shiekhupura road, Lahore, Pakistan. Target PCs (paracetamol, naproxen, diclofenac, ibuprofen, amlodipine, rosuvastatin, ofloxacin, ciprofloxacin, moxifloxacin, sparfloxacin and gemifloxacin) were quantified using in-house developed HPLC-UV. Ibuprofen (1673µg/L, 6046µg/kg, 1229µg/kg and 610µg/kg), diclofenac (836µg/L, 4968µg/kg, 6632µg/kg and 257µg/kg) and naproxen (464µg/L, 7273µg/kg, 4819µg/kg and 199µg/kg) showed the highest concentrations among 11 target PCs in wastewater, sludge, solid waste and soil samples, respectively. Ecological risk assessment, in terms of risk quotient (RQ), was also carried out based on the maximum measured concentration of PCs in wastewater. The maximum RQ values obtained were with paracetamol (64 against daphnia), naproxen (177 against fish), diclofenac (12,600 against Oncorhynchus mykiss), ibuprofen (167,300 against Oryzias latipes), ofloxacin (81,000 against Pseudomonas putida) and ciprofloxacin (440 against Microcystis aeruginosa). These results show a high level of ecological risk due to the discharge of untreated wastewater from pharmaceutical units. This risk may further lead to food web contamination and drug resistance in pathogens. Thus, further studies are needed to detect the PCs in crops as well as the government should strictly enforce environmental

  9. Juvenile Delinquency and Teenage Pregnancy: A Comparison of Ecological Risk Profiles among Midwestern White and Black Female Juvenile Offenders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Khurana, Atika; Cooksey, Elizabeth C.; Gavazzi, Stephen M.

    2011-01-01

    The authors examined ecological risk factors associated with teen pregnancy with a sample of 1,190 court-involved female juvenile offenders between 11 and 18 years of age. Data were obtained from five Midwestern juvenile county courts using a recently developed youth risk assessment instrument called the global risk assessment device (GRAD). In…

  10. Fate, effect, and ecological risk of mercury from historic releases in the Danvers Estuary (Massachusetts)

    SciTech Connect

    Mauahan, J.; Raddatz, A.

    1995-12-31

    High concentrations (up to 400 mg/kg) of mercury were initially detected in intertidal sediments adjacent to a manufacturing area. Based on the potential for ecological risk from exposure to the sediments, a detailed investigation was initiated to determine the distribution, fate and ecological effects of the mercury. The program consisted of collecting undisturbed sediment cores from an area radiating out from the high concentration area approximately 300 meters. The cores were analyzed for total mercury, grain size, total organic carbon, and methylmercury. Blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) were also collected and analyzed for total mercury. Sediments and mussels were also collected from areas of the estuary approximately 1 km away and unaffected by historic mercury releases to serve as an estimate of background concentrations. Concentrations of total mercury, methylmercury and mercury in M. edulis tissue showed very similar distribution patterns and a strong statistical correlation (r{sup 2} of approximately 0.8). The elevated concentrations (10 to 20 mg/kg) were confined to an area with a radius less than 30 meters and dropped off very abruptly. Beyond 30 meters, concentrations were equal to or less than concentrations considered to represent background both from reference samples and sampling reported in the literature. The results were compared to ecological effects levels or benchmarks developed for the investigation. Levels outside the 30 meter radius were determined to pose no imminent hazard or risk or harm (as defined by the Massachusetts Contingency Plan and the benchmarks developed for the project). There was no imminent hazard from the sediments within the 30 meter radius but the comparison to benchmarks within the area indicated risk of ecological harm.

  11. Ecological risk assessment of the presence of pharmaceutical residues in a French national water survey.

    PubMed

    Bouissou-Schurtz, Camille; Houeto, Paul; Guerbet, Michel; Bachelot, Morgane; Casellas, Claude; Mauclaire, Anne-Cécile; Panetier, Pascale; Delval, Cécile; Masset, Dominique

    2014-08-01

    In this study, we focused on the list of 33 chemicals that was established through a French national prioritisation strategy. Assessing the potential risks to the environment was a step-wise procedure: (i) we determined the Predicted Environmental Concentration (PEC) of all molecules measured in the national survey based on the highest recommended dose used, (ii) we used the Measured Environmental Concentration (MEC) and the Predicted No-Effect Concentration (PNEC) to establish the Risk Quotient (RQ) based on either a PEC/PNEC (estimated risk) or MEC/PNEC (real risk) ratio. The risk assessment was performed using a binary ecological classification suggesting that appreciable risk is likely (RQ⩾1). Of the 15 molecules quantified in the survey, 12 had a PEC higher than the action limit value of 0.01μg/L. According to the EU Guideline, environmental risk was estimated as likely for the following five compounds: acetaminophen (RQ=1.6), ibuprofen (RQ=600), diclofenac (RQ=15), oxazepam (RQ=2.1) and carbamazepine (RQ=3.2). Only ibuprofen was identified as posing real environmental risk based on its MEC (RQ=1.9).

  12. [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.

  13. Ecological Risk Assessment in the 21st Century: The Role of Ecotoxicogenomics and the Need for Multi-disciplinary Research

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological risk assessments have traditionally relied on analytical chemistry for exposure assessment and whole animal toxicity testing for hazard/effects assessment. However, these approaches are costly and limited in their applicability to a broad diversity of chemical and non...

  14. A stress ecology framework for comprehensive risk assessment of diffuse pollution.

    PubMed

    van Straalen, Nico M; van Gestel, Cornelis A M

    2008-12-01

    Environmental pollution is traditionally classified as either localized or diffuse. Local pollution comes from a point source that emits a well-defined cocktail of chemicals, distributed in the environment in the form of a gradient around the source. Diffuse pollution comes from many sources, small and large, that cause an erratic distribution of chemicals, interacting with those from other sources into a complex mixture of low to moderate concentrations over a large area. There is no good method for ecological risk assessment of such types of pollution. We argue that effects of diffuse contamination in the field must be analysed in the wider framework of stress ecology. A multivariate approach can be applied to filter effects of contaminants from the many interacting factors at the ecosystem level. Four case studies are discussed (1) functional and structural properties of terrestrial model ecosystems, (2) physiological profiles of microbial communities, (3) detritivores in reedfield litter, and (4) benthic invertebrates in canal sediment. In each of these cases the data were analysed by multivariate statistics and associations between ecological variables and the levels of contamination were established. We argue that the stress ecology framework is an appropriate assessment instrument for discriminating effects of pollution from other anthropogenic disturbances and naturally varying factors.

  15. [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.

  16. Probabilistic ecological risk assessment of copper in Chinese offshore marine environments from 2005 to 2012.

    PubMed

    Jin, Xiaowei; Liu, Fang; Wang, Yeyao; Zhang, Lingsong; Li, Zhao; Wang, Zijian; Giesy, John P; Wang, Zhen

    2015-05-15

    The objective of the present study was to conduct a probabilistic assessment of risk posed by copper found in the coastal marine environment of China from 2005 to 2012. This was achieved by applying a tiered ecological risk assessment (ERA) approach for characterization of risks of concentrations of copper from nationwide marine water monitoring program. The results show that from 2005 to 2012 the overall trend of hazard quotients (HQs) in the coastal marine environment of China the proportion of locations that exceed a HQ of 1.0 decreased from 64% in 2005 to 31% in 2012. While this indicates an overall improvement of the environment, there still have potential ecological risks in the most of the area, especially for the major gulfs of Liaodong and Bohai Bays and Yellow River Estuary. In addition, probabilities of exceeding the toxicity threshold for 5% of species were 27.6%, 5.4%, 4.9%, 0.8%, 0.4%, 1.0%, 1.8% and 0.12% annually between 2005 and 2012, respectively.

  17. Quantifying reduction in ecological risk in Penrhyn Estuary, Sydney, Australia, following groundwater remediation.

    PubMed

    Hunt, James; Birch, Gavin; Warne, Michael

    2012-01-01

    The environmental risk associated with discharge of contaminated groundwater containing a complex mixture of at least 14 volatile chlorinated hydrocarbons (VCHs) to Penrhyn Estuary, Sydney, Australia has previously been assessed. That probabilistic ecological risk assessment (ERA) was undertaken using surface water monitoring data from 2004 to 2005. Subsequently, in 2006, a groundwater remediation system was installed and commissioned to prevent further discharge of VCHs into the estuary. The present study assessed the ecological risk posed to the estuary after 2006 to evaluate the success of the remediation system. The ERA was undertaken using toxicity data derived from direct toxicity assessment (DTA) of preremediation contaminated groundwater using indigenous species, exposure data from surface water monitoring between 2007 and 2008 and the joint probability curve (JPC) methodology. The risk posed was measured in 4 zones of the entire site: source area (2), tributary (2), the inner estuary and outer estuary at high, low, and a combination of high and low tides. In the 2 source areas, risk decreased by over 2 and over 1 orders of magnitude to maximum values of less than 0.5%. In 1 estuary, risk decreased by over 1 order of magnitude, from a maximum of 36% to a maximum of 2.3%. At the other tributary and both the inner and outer estuaries, the risk decreased to less than 1%, regardless of the tide. This analysis revealed that the remediation system was very effective and that the standard level of protection required for slightly to moderately affected ecosystems (95% of species) by the Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality was met postremediation.

  18. An ecological risk assessment for the use of Irgarol 1051 as an algaecide for antifoulant paints.

    PubMed

    Hall, L W; Giddings, J M; Solomon, K R; Balcomb, R

    1999-07-01

    Irgarol 1051 is an algaecide used in copper-based antifoulant paints for controlling fouling organisms on the hulls of recreational and commercial watercraft. Paints containing this algaecide have been used in Europe since the mid-1980s. In 1998, the first antifouling paints containing Irgarol 1051 were registered for use in the U. S. To examine the risk that Irgarol may pose to aquatic ecosystems, a probabilistic ecological risk assessment was conducted using distributions of exposure and toxicity data. Exposure data for this assessment were derived from 11 monitoring studies (146 stations) conducted in marinas, estuaries, and coastal waters from 1992 to 1997 in six European countries. A comparison of 90th percentile concentrations pooled by station types across all regions showed that concentrations in marinas (316 ng/l) were higher than in estuaries and coastal waters (41 and 19 ng/l, respectively). A 90th percentile of 133 ng/l was reported for all pooled stations. Temporal trends showed that Irgarol concentrations typically peaked in early summer after launching of small boats with much lower concentrations occurring during the spring, fall, and winter. Toxicity data used for this risk assessment were derived primarily from unpublished studies submitted to regulatory agencies. Because Irgarol is a photosynthesis-inhibiting herbicide, it is much more toxic to plants than animals. Toxicity values for animals (fish and invertebrates) were much greater than concentrations of Irgarol reported in the environment. Therefore, a conservative approach using a distribution of only plant toxicity data (EC50s for plant growth) was used to derive a 10th percentile of 136 ng/l. This plant toxicity benchmark of 136 ng/l was used for risk characterization. Results from probabilistic analysis showed that ecological risk from Irgarol exposure was low in estuaries, coastal areas, and various open-type marinas. However, 10% or more of the plant species in enclosed marinas with low

  19. Fishing in Dangerous Waters: Ecology, Gender and Economy in HIV Risk

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    This paper focuses on a neglected factor in literature on the HIV epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa: the role of the eco-social environment in shaping HIV risk. I argue that the changing ecological environment of Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest freshwater lake, mapping onto a gendered economy, shaped fisherfolk’s sexual relationships and sexual mixing patterns in ways that were consequential for their HIV risk. Specifically, I show how disrupted lake and fish ecology had an impact on fishermen’s sexual, domestic and economic partnerships, as well as how it contributed to the “sex for fish” economy in Nyanza Province, Kenya. I also show the consequences of fishermen’s relative wealth on transactional relationships with school girls and women in lakeside communities. The paper is based on ethnographic fieldwork over a seven month period among the Luo ethnic group, which has the highest HIV rates in Kenya. The study included 94 individual, focus group and key informant interviews in communities around Lake Victoria. Additionally, literature reviews on fishing and sexual economies as well as on ecological research in Lake Victoria are employed. Exploring linkages between these literatures and fieldwork findings forms the basis of this paper. I argue that solely focusing on individual level HIV prevention strategies is limited without taking into account the eco-social context of individual sexual decision making. PMID:21146910

  20. Fishing in dangerous waters: Ecology, gender and economy in HIV risk.

    PubMed

    Mojola, Sanyu A

    2011-01-01

    This paper focuses on a neglected factor in literature on the HIV epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa: the role of the eco-social environment in shaping HIV risk. I argue that the changing ecological environment of Lake Victoria, Africa's largest freshwater lake, mapping onto a gendered economy, shaped fisherfolk's sexual relationships and sexual mixing patterns in ways that were consequential for their HIV risk. Specifically, I show how disrupted lake and fish ecology had an impact on fishermen's sexual, domestic and economic partnerships, as well as how it contributed to the "sex for fish" economy in Nyanza Province, Kenya. I also show the consequences of fishermen's relative wealth on transactional relationships with school girls and women in lakeside communities. The paper is based on ethnographic fieldwork over a seven month period among the Luo ethnic group, which has the highest HIV rates in Kenya. The study included 74 individual and focus group interviews in communities around Lake Victoria, as well as 20 key informant interviews. Additionally, literature reviews on fishing and sexual economies as well as on ecological research in Lake Victoria are employed. Exploring linkages between these literatures and fieldwork findings forms the basis of this paper. I argue that solely focusing on individual level HIV prevention strategies is limited without taking into account the eco-social context of individual sexual decision making.

  1. Ecological risk assessment of heavy metal (HM) pollution in the ambient air using a new bio-indicator.

    PubMed

    Miri, Mohammad; Allahabadi, Ahmad; Ghaffari, Hamid Reza; Fathabadi, Zeynab Abaszadeh; Raisi, Zahra; Rezai, Mehrab; Aval, Mohsen Yazdani

    2016-07-01

    The aim of this descriptive-analytical study was to measure the concentration of heavy metals (HMs) in the leaf and bark of Ulmus carpinifolia as new biological indicators, and the ecological risk assessment of these metals in the ambient air. To achieve these goals, 48 sampling locations were selected in the city and concentration of four HMs-zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), and cadmium (Cd)-was measured in the mentioned indicator using atomic absorption spectroscopy method. After this, ecological risk assessment, source appointment, and spatial distribution were conducted. In this regard, the enrichment factor (EF), potential ecological risk factor (E r), potential ecological risk index (RI), correlation coefficient (r), and other indices were calculated. The results showed that the concentration of HMs in the leaf and bark in ascending order is as Cdecological risk in terms of surveyed HMs. The leaf and bark of U. carpinifolia can be applied as bio-indicators of the presence of heavy metals in the ambient air and ecological risk imposed by them.

  2. Subsea release of oil from a riser: an ecological risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Nazir, Muddassir; Khan, Faisal; Amyotte, Paul; Sadiq, Rehan

    2008-10-01

    This study illustrates a newly developed methodology, as a part of the U.S. EPA ecological risk assessment (ERA) framework, to predict exposure concentrations in a marine environment due to underwater release of oil and gas. It combines the hydrodynamics of underwater blowout, weathering algorithms, and multimedia fate and transport to measure the exposure concentration. Naphthalene and methane are used as surrogate compounds for oil and gas, respectively. Uncertainties are accounted for in multimedia input parameters in the analysis. The 95th percentile of the exposure concentration (EC(95%)) is taken as the representative exposure concentration for the risk estimation. A bootstrapping method is utilized to characterize EC(95%) and associated uncertainty. The toxicity data of 19 species available in the literature are used to calculate the 5th percentile of the predicted no observed effect concentration (PNEC(5%)) by employing the bootstrapping method. The risk is characterized by transforming the risk quotient (RQ), which is the ratio of EC(95%) to PNEC(5%), into a cumulative risk distribution. This article describes a probabilistic basis for the ERA, which is essential from risk management and decision-making viewpoints. Two case studies of underwater oil and gas mixture release, and oil release with no gaseous mixture are used to show the systematic implementation of the methodology, elements of ERA, and the probabilistic method in assessing and characterizing the risk.

  3. An ecological risk model for early childhood anxiety: the importance of early child symptoms and temperament.

    PubMed

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

    2011-05-01

    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, violence exposure, and sociodemographic risk factors predict school-aged anxiety symptoms. This longitudinal, prospective study was conducted in a representative birth cohort (n = 1109). Structural equation modeling was used to examine hypothesized associations between risk factors measured in toddlerhood/preschool (age = 3.0 years) and anxiety symptoms measured in kindergarten (age = 6.0 years) and second grade (age = 8.0 years). Early child risk factors (anxiety symptoms and temperament) emerged as the most robust predictor for both parent-and child-reported anxiety outcomes and mediated the effects of maternal and family risk factors. Implications for early intervention and prevention studies are discussed.

  4. Towards quantitative ecological risk assessment of elevated carbon dioxide levels in the marine environment.

    PubMed

    de Vries, Pepijn; Tamis, Jacqueline E; Foekema, Edwin M; Klok, Chris; Murk, Albertinka J

    2013-08-30

    The environmental impact of elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) levels has become of more interest in recent years. This, in relation to globally rising CO2 levels and related considerations of geological CO2 storage as a mitigating measure. In the present study effect data from literature were collected in order to conduct a marine ecological risk assessment of elevated CO2 levels, using a Species Sensitivity Distribution (SSD). It became evident that information currently available from the literature is mostly insufficient for such a quantitative approach. Most studies focus on effects of expected future CO2 levels, testing only one or two elevated concentrations. A full dose-response relationship, a uniform measure of exposure, and standardized test protocols are essential for conducting a proper quantitative risk assessment of elevated CO2 levels. Improvements are proposed to make future tests more valuable and usable for quantitative risk assessment.

  5. The future direction of ecological risk assessment in the United States: reflecting on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's "Examination of risk assessment practices and principles".

    PubMed

    DeMott, Robert P; Balaraman, Anita; Sorensen, Mary T

    2005-01-01

    As part of an agency evaluation of the development of risk assessment tools, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) issued a staff paper in March 2004 describing the current state of practices and policies regarding risk assessment from the agency's perspective. The staff paper provided a rationale for the agency's positions regarding technical topics frequently the subject of comments or complaints. Considerations relevant to ecological risk assessment were included, primarily in a single chapter focused on this topic. This commentary highlights four technical issues important to the advancement of ecological risk assessment practice and discusses how some of the points raised by the U.S. EPA in the staff paper have significance to ecological risk assessors. Discussion regarding incorporating population- and community-level analysis into risk assessments and the apparent reluctance of the U.S. EPA to adopt advances in this area is provided. Also, continuing inconsistencies in the body weight scaling of toxicity values between human health and ecological risk assessment practices are discussed. Ideas for refining the calculation of exposure point concentrations for ecological receptors and the progression between screening steps and comprehensive risk assessment are also discussed.

  6. [Landscape ecological risk assessment and its spatio-temporal variations in Ebinur Lake region of inland arid area].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yue; Zhang, Fei; Zhou, Mei; Li, Xiao-hang; Ren, Yan; Wang, Juan

    2016-01-01

    The typical region of the Ebinur Lake Basin was chosen as study area. Landsat TM/OLI images for 1998, 2011 and 2013 were obtained. In the study area, landscape was classified into six types, including cropland, woodland, grassland, water body, bare lake bed, salinized land and unutilized land. Landscape indices and ecological risk index were calculated and spatially interpolated for the whole region, which was divided into five different risk zones: extremely low, low, moderate, high and extremely high ecological risk. They were carried out for assessing the spatio-temporal changes in ecological risk for each landscape pattern. The results showed that the regional landscape patterns had experienced significant changes, and the increase in the area of croplands was the main trend in landscape evolution from 1998-2013. The main part of the regional ecosystem faced extremely high risk in 1998, high risk in 2011 and low risk in 2013. The ecological risk level of the study area was significantly decreased in the overall period, and the total area of change from high to low risk was much greater than those from low to high risk.

  7. Ecological risk assessment in a large river-reservoir. 4: Piscivorous wildlife

    SciTech Connect

    Sample, B.E.; Suter, G.W. II

    1999-04-01

    Over 50 years of operations of facilities on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR), Tennessee, has resulted in the release of contaminants into the water, sediment, and biota of the Clinch River and Poplar Creek, downstream of the ORR. An iterative, weight-of-evidence approach was employed to assess risks these contaminants present to four piscivorous wildlife species (osprey [Pandion haliatus], great blue heron [Ardea herodias], mink [Mustela vison], and river otter [Lutra canadensis]) in the Clinch River/Poplar Creek (CR/PC) watershed. Available data consisted of literature-derived NOAELs and LOAELs, field surveys, and toxicity tests. Contaminants of potential ecological concern (COPECs) were identified by comparing point estimates of exposure to NOAELs and included mercury and PCBs. Exposure to COPECs was reestimated using Monte Carlo methods, first at individual locations, then over ecologically relevant spatial scales. These exposure distributions were compared to LOAELs. Estimated exposure for mink was not sufficient to present a risk from any COPEC. Mercury and PCBs presented a significant risk to river otter at one location each. Exposure of osprey and great blue herons to mercury represented a significant risk at one and two locations, respectively. Field surveys of heron rookeries and osprey nests indicated no adverse effects on reproduction. Mink red fish from the Clinch River displayed reduced reproduction only in the most contaminated of five toxicity test diets; this reduction was not statistically significant, however. The maximum mercury and PCB exposures estimated for mink along the Clinch River were significantly lower than the toxicity test exposures associated with adverse effects. The weight of evidence indicates that contaminants from the ORR do not present a risk to mink, great blue heron, or osprey along the Clinch River; river otter, however, may be at risk from mercury and PCBs.

  8. Ecological risk of pesticide residues in the British Columbia environment: 1973-2012.

    PubMed

    Wan, Michael T

    2013-01-01

    An updated ecological risk assessment was conducted to re-evaluate and review the overall risk of pesticide residues to certain aquatic life. The focus was the impact on offsite non-target, freshwater organisms of pesticide operational sprays in British Columbia from 1973 until 2012. The values of risk quotients for pesticides of selected indicator organisms were determined to measure the effect. When compared with organophosphorus, carbamate, and other miscellaneous pesticides, this risk assessment analysis suggests that the historical use of persistent and highly toxic organochlorine pesticides posed, and continue to pose, a deleterious ecological risk. The risk is both short-term acute and long-term sub-acute, chronic toxicity to offsite, non-target aquatic invertebrates and juvenile salmonid fish. Data indicated that these organisms were, and remain, subjected to harmful effects of pesticide residues to varying degrees. Most vulnerable were, and also are, benthic organisms inhabiting bottom sediments. This substrate is the natural sink for persistent pesticide residues, predominantly organochlorine pesticides from historical use, as well as dioxins, furans, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from wood preservatives, and other sources. Environment Canada's main aquatic protection strategy was a 10 metre no-treatment buffer zone, augmented with an additional appropriate setback along shorelines of fishery and wildlife resource-sensitive water bodies. This study discusses why this guideline was necessary, useful and effective, but was only partially successful. The physical-chemical properties of pesticide residues, from either an individual compound or different compounds in combination, also influence the nature of biological impacts on non-target, aquatic organisms. Few studies have been conducted in British Columbia aquatic environments to investigate the significance of this aspect.

  9. 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

  10. [Human ecology and interdisciplinary cooperation for primary prevention of environmental risk factors for public health].

    PubMed

    Dobrowolski, Jan W

    2007-01-01

    Human ecology makes a scientific base for more effective prevention against contamination of the air, water and food, and other environmental factors making common risk factors for human health. It integrates interdisciplinary cooperation of experts from natural, technological, socio-economical and other sciences. Complex study is necessary for better estimation of real risk factors for an individual person. This risk is connected with the exposure of people to pollutants in working places, housing environment, areas for recreation and by food (including synergistic effects). Such study implicates real tasks for representatives of different sciences (technological and agricultural in particular) as well as for teachers and journalists. Especially dangerous are environmental risk factors when principles of human ecology are not taking into consideration at the intensification of food production, processing and conservation, as well as at designing of housing environment (where the exposure to harmful physical, chemical and biological factors is the longest) and also while selecting of the main directions of development of technical infrastructure for motorization (e.g. designing of cars, roads and their surrounding). EU recognize study of the human ecology as basis for sustainable development (sponsoring e.g. diploma and doctoral studies in this field at the Free University of Brussels). Author's experiences connected with the participation as a visiting professor taking part in related training activity at this University as well as during study visits in several countries were useful for the introduction of human ecology in linkage with ecotoxicology and environmental biotechnology as the subject of study at environmental engineering at the Faculty of Mining Surveying and Environmental Engineering at AGH-UST. Methodological experience of 40 years of interdisciplinary case studies and problem-oriented education in this field may be useful for modernization of

  11. Ecological risk analysis of pesticides used on irrigated rice crops in southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Vieira, Danielle Cristina; Noldin, José Alberto; Deschamps, Francisco C; Resgalla, Charrid

    2016-11-01

    Based on studies conducted in the past decade in the southern region of Brazil to determine residue levels of the pesticides normally used on irrigated rice crops, changes can be observed in relation to the presence of pesticides in the waters of the main river basins in Santa Catarina State. In previous harvests, the presence of residues of 7 pesticides was determined, with the herbicide bentazon and the insecticide carbofuran being the products showing highest frequency. Following toxicological tests conducted with 8 different test organisms, deterministic and probabilistic risk analysis was performed to assess the situation of the river basins in areas used for the production of irrigated rice. Of the species tested, the herbicide bentazon showed greatest toxicity toward plants, but did not present an ecological risk because in the worst-case scenario the highest concentration of this pesticide in the environment is 37 times lower than the lowest EC50/LC50 value obtained in the tests. The insecticide carbofuran, which had the highest toxicity toward the organisms used in the tests, presented an ecological risk in the deterministic analysis, but without any associated probability. The results highlight the need for increased efforts in training farmers in crop management practices and for the continual monitor of water bodies for the presence of pesticide residues.

  12. Determining significant endpoints for ecological risk analyses. 1997 annual progress report

    SciTech Connect

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

    1997-11-01

    'This report summarizes the first year''s progress of research funded under the Department of Energy''s Environmental Management Science Program. The research was initiated to better determine ecological risks from toxic and radioactive contaminants. More precisely, the research is designed to determine the relevancy of sublethal cellular damage to the performance of individuals and to identify characteristics of non-human populations exposed to chronic, low-level radiation, as is typically found on many DOE sites. The authors propose to establish a protocol to assess risks to non-human species at higher levels of biological organization by relating molecular damage to more relevant responses that reflect population health. They think that they can achieve this by coupling changes in metabolic rates and energy allocation patterns to meaningful population response variables, and by using novel biological dosimeters in controlled, manipulative dose/effects experiments. 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.'

  13. Use of an ecologically relevant modelling approach to improve remote sensing-based schistosomiasis risk profiling.

    PubMed

    Walz, Yvonne; Wegmann, Martin; Leutner, Benjamin; Dech, Stefan; Vounatsou, Penelope; N'Goran, Eliézer K; Raso, Giovanna; Utzinger, Jürg

    2015-11-30

    Schistosomiasis is a widespread water-based disease that puts close to 800 million people at risk of infection with more than 250 million infected, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa. Transmission is governed by the spatial distribution of specific freshwater snails that act as intermediate hosts and the frequency, duration and extent of human bodies exposed to infested water sources during human water contact. Remote sensing data have been utilized for spatially explicit risk profiling of schistosomiasis. Since schistosomiasis risk profiling based on remote sensing data inherits a conceptual drawback if school-based disease prevalence data are directly related to the remote sensing measurements extracted at the location of the school, because the disease transmission usually does not exactly occur at the school, we took the local environment around the schools into account by explicitly linking ecologically relevant environmental information of potential disease transmission sites to survey measurements of disease prevalence. Our models were validated at two sites with different landscapes in Côte d'Ivoire using high- and moderate-resolution remote sensing data based on random forest and partial least squares regression. We found that the ecologically relevant modelling approach explained up to 70% of the variation in Schistosoma infection prevalence and performed better compared to a purely pixel-based modelling approach. Furthermore, our study showed that model performance increased as a function of enlarging the school catchment area, confirming the hypothesis that suitable environments for schistosomiasis transmission rarely occur at the location of survey measurements.

  14. 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.

  15. Occurrence, fate and ecological risk of chlorinated paraffins in Asia: A review.

    PubMed

    Wei, Gao-Ling; Liang, Xiao-Liang; Li, Ding-Qiang; Zhuo, Mu-Ning; Zhang, Si-Yi; Huang, Qiu-Xin; Liao, Yi-Shan; Xie, Zhen-Yue; Guo, Tai-Long; Yuan, Zai-Jian

    2016-01-01

    Chlorinated paraffins (CPs), complex mixtures of polychlorinated alkanes, are widely used in various industries and are thus ubiquitous in the receiving environment. The present study comprehensively reviewed the occurrence, fate and ecological risk of CPs in various environmental matrices in Asia. Releases from the production and consumption of CPs or CP-containing materials, wastewater discharge and irrigation, sewage sludge application, long-range atmospheric transport and aerial deposition have been found to be most likely sources and transport mechanisms for the dispersion of CPs in various environmental matrices, such as air, water, sediment, soil and biota. CPs can be bioaccumulated in biota and biomagnified through food webs, likely causing toxic ecological effects in organisms and posing health risks to humans. Inhalation, dust ingestion and dietary intake are strongly suggested as the major routes of human exposure. Research gaps are discussed to highlight the perspectives of future research to improve future efforts regarding the analysis of CPs, the environmental occurrence and elimination of CPs, the total environmental pressure, and the risks to organisms and populations.

  16. Ecological risks of trace metals in Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: An index analysis approach.

    PubMed

    de Carvalho Aguiar, Valquiria Maria; de Lima, Michelle Nunes; Abuchacra, Rodrigo Coutinho; Abuchacra, Paula Ferreira Falheiro; Neto, José Antônio Baptista; Borges, Heloísa Vargas; de Oliveira, Vitor Calôr

    2016-11-01

    Total concentrations of Ni, Cr, Cu, Pb and Zn were determined in surface sediments from 30 stations in Guanabara Bay in 1999 and 2008. An approach using various environmental indices was used to assess contamination status of metals. This approach allowed the comparison with different coastal areas. Background Enrichment Index, Contamination index and Ecological Risk index (Pollution Load Index; Sediment Quality Guideline Quotient and Ecological Risk Index) were calculated for the metals. Results revealed a great load of organic matter and significant increases in Cu and Pb levels between 1999 and 2008. The concentrations of Cr and Zn were of great concern, surpassing the values of Probable Effect Level reference values. In spite of the differences of each index, results effectively revealed the striking contamination in Guanabara Bay concerning trace metals, and also suggested potential risk to local biota. The contamination of the northwest area was notably higher than the rest of the bay. In comparison with some other coastal bays around the world, Guanabara Bay stood out as a remarkably contaminated environment.

  17. Ecological risk assessment for aquatic organisms from over-water uses of glyphosate.

    PubMed

    Solomon, Keith R; Thompson, Dean G

    2003-01-01

    Although the herbicide glyphosate is most widely used in agriculture, some is used for the control of emergent aquatic weeds in ditches, wetlands, and margins of water bodies, largely as the formulation Rodeo. This article presents an ecological risk assessment (ERA) of glyphosate and some of the recommended surfactants as used in or near aquatic systems. Glyphosate does not bioaccumulate, biomagnify, or persist in a biologically available form in the environment. Its mechanism of action is specific to plants and it is relatively nontoxic to animals. As a commercial product, glyphosate may be formulated with surfactants that increased efficacy but, in some cases, are more toxic to aquatic organisms than the parent material. For this risk assessment, three model exposure scenarios--static or low-flow systems such as ponds, flowing waters such as streams, and systems subjected to tidal flows such as estuaries--were chosen and application rates from 1 to 8 kg glyphosate/ha were modeled. Additional measured exposure data from several field studies were also used. As acute exposures are most likely to occur, acute toxicity data were used as effect measures for the purposes of risk assessment. Toxicity data were obtained from the literature and characterized using probabilistic techniques. Risk assessments based on estimated and measured concentrations of glyphosate that would result from its use for the control of undesirable plants in wetlands and over-water situations showed that the risk to aquatic organisms is negligible or small at application rates less than 4 kg/ha and only slightly greater at application rates of 8 kg/ha. Less is known about the environmental fate and toxicology of the surfactants commonly used in combination with the Rodeo formulation of glyphosate. The surfactants used for this purpose were judged not to be persistent nor bioaccumulative in the environment. Distributional analysis of measured deposition concentrations of LI 700, suggest that

  18. [Contamination and Ecological Risk Assessment of Mercury in Hengshuihu Wetland, Hebei Province].

    PubMed

    Wang, Nai-shan; Zhang, Man-yin; Cui, Li-juan; Ma, Mu-yuan; Yan, Liang; Mu, Yong-lin; Qin, Peng

    2016-05-15

    Investigation on the concentrations and the distribution characteristics of total mercury in atmosphere, water surface and soil/ sediments of Hengshuihu wetland was carried out based on a uniform set point sampling method. The geoaccumulation index and potential ecological risk index methods were simultaneously used to assess the mercury pollution in Hengshuihu wetland ecosystem. The results showed that: the total mercury content in Hengshuihu wetland atmosphere ranged from 1.0 to 5.0 ng · m⁻³, with an average of (2.9 ± 0.85) ng · m⁻³; the total mercury content in water surface ranged from 0.010 to 0.57 µg · L⁻¹, with the average value of (0.081 ± 0.053) µg · L⁻¹; the total mercury content in soil/sediment ranged from 0.001 0 to 0.058 mg · kg⁻¹, with an average of (0.027 ± 0.013) mg · kg⁻¹. The distribution features of total mercury in Hengshuihu wetland were as follows: the total mercury concentration in surface water of the shore was significantly higher than that in the center (P < 0.05), but the total mercury concentration of sediments in the center of the lake was significantly higher than that at the shore (P < 0.05); the total mercury in the soil of shore had a consistent trend with that in the atmosphere; high concentrations of total mercury pollution were accompanied by severe human activities. The geoaccumulation index showed that mercury pollution in Hengshuihu wetland was at clean level; potential ecological risk index showed mercury contamination had a low ecological risk in Hengshuihu wetland.

  19. Ecological risk assessment of trace elements in sediment: A case study from Limpopo, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Dahms, S; Baker, N J; Greenfield, R

    2017-01-01

    This study aimed to determine the ecological risk posed by metals, in sediments from the Nyl River system in Limpopo, South Africa. Metals were extracted from sediment samples by aqua regia microwave digestion and were analysed using standard ICP-OES techniques. The ecological risk indices applied to the data included Contamination Factor, Pollution Load Index, Geo-accumulation Index and Enrichment Factor. The results showed that the levels of Ni at STW and NYL in the HF period exceeded the Canadian Sediment Quality Guidelines by a factor of 1.36 and 1.83 respectively whereas NYL and MDD had 2.57 and 1.32 times the allowed limit of Ni in the LF period. During the HF period, the GC site exceeded the allowed limit of Zn by a factor of 1.04 and NYL had 1.21 times the allowed Zn in the LF period. The levels of metals are generally low near the origin of the river and increase moving downstream. The levels of metals in the Nyl River floodplain, a Ramsar accredited wetland, were high with CF scores ranging between 0.905 and 5.82, Igeo values with a range of -0.541 to 2.441 and EF scores ranging from 0.959 to 6.171. and posed a greater risk than the other sites. This indicated that the wetland is performing its ecological function by trapping and removing toxins from the water body. The Pollution Load Index determined that the Golf Course (PLI=4.586) and STW (PLI=2.617) sites were polluted only in the low flow period whereas the Nyl River floodplain (HF PLI=79.845; LF PLI=30378.768) and Moorddrift Dam (HF PLI=1.903; LF PLI=9.256) sites were polluted in high flow and low flow periods.

  20. Risk factors for mobility limitation in community-dwelling older adults: a social ecological perspective.

    PubMed

    Yeom, Hye A; Fleury, Julie; Keller, Colleen

    2008-01-01

    Although a variety of risk factors for mobility limitation in older adults have been examined, a collective review of relevant literature has not been reported. The purposes of this review are to report the intrapersonal, interpersonal, environmental, and organizational risk factors related to mobility limitation using a social ecological perspective and to discuss the direction of future clinical practice consistent with current literature on mobility limitation of community-dwelling older adults. Intrapersonal risk factors related to mobility limitation include advanced age, female gender, low socioeconomic status, comorbidity, lack of motivation (i.e., dependent personality, decreased self-efficacy), lifestyle factors (i.e., sedentary lifestyle, smoking, obesity), and physiological factors (i.e., vitamin D deficiency, inflammation, poor nutritional status). Interpersonal risk factors related to mobility limitation include weak social networks and limited social activities. Geriatric clients may also experience a decline in mobility when they encounter environmental challenges such as an inconvenient home environment and lack of availability of services in their community, as well as lack of organizational resources stemming from social policy. Potential intervention strategies focused on modifiable risk factors may include lifestyle modifications, social networking programs, and enhancing awareness of environmental and organizational resources in the community for older adults at risk for mobility limitation.

  1. 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.

  2. Heavy metal pollution and ecological risk assessment of the paddy soils near a zinc-lead mining area in Hunan.

    PubMed

    Lu, Sijin; Wang, Yeyao; Teng, Yanguo; Yu, Xuan

    2015-10-01

    Soil pollution by Cd, Hg, As, Pb, Cr, Cu, and Zn was characterized in the area of the mining and smelting of metal ores at Guiyang, northeast of Hunan Province. A total of 150 topsoil (0-20 cm) samples were collected in May 2012 with a nominal density of one sample per 4 km(2). High concentrations of heavy metals especially, Cd, Zn, and Pb were found in many of the samples taken from surrounding paddy soil, indicating a certain extent of spreading of heavy metal pollution. Sequential extraction technique and risk assessment code (RAC) were used to study the mobility of chemical forms of heavy metals in the soils and their ecological risk. The results reveal that Cd represents a high ecological risk due to its highest percentage of the exchangeable and carbonate fractions. The metals of Zn and Cu pose a medium risk, and the rest of the metals represent a low environmental risk. The range of the potential ecological risk of soil calculated by risk index (RI) was 123.5~2791.2 and revealed a considerable-high ecological risk in study area especially in the neighboring and surrounding the mining activities area. Additionally, cluster analyses suggested that metals such as Pb, As, Hg, Zn, and Cd could be from the same sources probably related to the acidic drainage and wind transport of dust. Cluster analysis also clearly distinguishes the samples with similar characteristics according to their spatial distribution. The results could be used during the ecological risk screening stage, in conjunction with total concentrations and metal fractionation values to better estimate ecological risk.

  3. Probabilistic ecological risk assessment of OCPs, PCBs, and DLCs in the Haihe River, China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Bin; Yu, Gang; Huang, Jun; Wang, Tai; Hu, Hongying

    2010-07-06

    The Haihe River is the most seriously polluted river among the seven largest rivers in China. Dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethanes (DDTs), hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), and PCBs (noncoplanar polychlorinated biphenyls) in the Haihe River, Tianjin were determined using a gas chromatograph--electron capture detector (GC-ECD). Dioxin-like compounds (DLCs) were determined using Chemically Activated LUciferase gene eXpression (CALUX) bioassay. HCH and DDT levels were, respectively, 0.06-6.07 microg/L and ND (not detected) to 1.21 microg/L; PCB levels ranged from 0.12 to 5.29 microg/L; and the total DLCs in sediment were 4.78-343 pg TEQ (toxic equivalency)/g. Aquatic ecological risk assessment was performed using the joint probability curve method and the Monte Carlo-based HQ (hazard quotient) distribution method. The combined risks of similar chemicals and the total risk of dissimilar categories of chemicals were assessed based on the principles of joint toxicity. Due to the adjacent industrial activities, the risk levels of PCBs, DDTs, and HCHs were relatively high. The risk order was as follows: PCBs > DDTs approximately HCHs > DLCs. The risk of HCHs approximated that of DDTs, which is different from the fact that risk of HCHs is usually much lower in the other Chinese rivers. The total risk caused by these pollutants was very high. Due to their high persistence and potential source from land, the high risks of such pollutants are likely to last for a long period of time.

  4. Binational ecological risk assessment of bigheaded carps (Hypophthalmichthys spp.) for the Great Lakes Basin.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cudmore, B.; Mandrak, N.E.; Dettmers, J.; Chapman, D.C.; Kolar, C.S.

    2012-01-01

    Bigheaded carps (Bighead and Silver carps) are considered a potential threat to the Great Lakes basin. A binational ecological risk assessment was conducted to provide scientifically defensible advice for managers and decision-makers in Canada and the United States. This risk assessment looked at the likelihood of arrival, survival, establishment, and spread of bigheaded carps to obtain an overall probability of introduction. Arrival routes assessed were physical connections and human-mediated releases. The risk assessment ranked physical connections (specifically the Chicago Area Waterway System) as the most likely route for arrival into the Great Lakes basin. Results of the risk assessment show that there is enough food and habitat for bigheaded carp survival in the Great Lakes, especially in Lake Erie and productive embayments in the other lakes. Analyses of tributaries around the Canadian Great Lakes and the American waters of Lake Erie indicate that there are many suitable tributaries for bigheaded carp spawning. Should bigheaded carps establish in the Great Lakes, their spread would not likely be limited and several ecological consequences can be expected to occur. These consequences include competition for planktonic food leading to reduced growth rates, recruitment and abundance of planktivores. Subsequently this would lead to reduced stocks of piscivores and abundance of fishes with pelagic, early life stages. Overall risk is highest for lakes Michigan, Huron, and Erie, followed by Lake Ontario then Lake Superior. To avoid the trajectory of the invasion process and prevent or minimize anticipated consequences, it is important to continue to focus efforts on reducing the probability of introduction of these species at either the arrival, survival, establishment, or spread stage (depending on location).

  5. Potential ecological and human health risks of heavy metals in surface soils associated with iron ore mining in Pahang, Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Diami, Siti Merryan; Kusin, Faradiella Mohd; Madzin, Zafira

    2016-10-01

    The composition of heavy metals (and metalloid) in surface soils of iron ore mine-impacted areas has been evaluated of their potential ecological and human health risks. The mining areas included seven selected locations in the vicinity of active and abandoned iron ore-mining sites in Pahang, Malaysia. Heavy metals such as Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn, Co, Pb, Cr, Ni, and Cd and metalloid As were present in the mining soils of the studied area, while Cu was found exceeding the soil guideline value at all sampling locations. However, the assessment of the potential ecological risk index (RI) indicated low ecological risk (RI between 44 and 128) with respect to Cd, Pb, Cu, As, Zn, Co, and Ni in the surface soils. Contributions of potential ecological risk [Formula: see text]by metal elements to the total potential ecological RI were evident for Cd, As, Pb, and Cu. Contribution of Cu appears to be consistently greater in the abandoned mining area compared to active iron ore-mining site. For non-carcinogenic risk, no significant potential health risk was found to both children and adults as the hazard indices (HIs) were all below than 1. The lifetime cancer risk (LCR) indicated that As has greater potential carcinogenic risk compared to other metals that may induce carcinogenic effects such as Pb, Cr, and Cd, while the LCR of As for children fell within tolerable range for regulatory purposes. Irrespective of carcinogenic or non-carcinogenic risk, greater potential health risk was found among children (by an order of magnitude higher for most metals) compared to adults. The hazard quotient (HQ) and cancer risk indicated that the pathways for the risk to occur were found to be in the order of ingestion > dermal > inhalation. Overall, findings showed that some metals and metalloid were still present at comparable concentrations even long after cessation of the iron ore-mining activities.

  6. Network environmental analysis based ecological risk assessment of a naphthalene-contaminated groundwater ecosystem under varying remedial schemes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Zheng; He, Li; Lu, Hongwei; Ren, Lixia; Xu, Zongda

    2016-12-01

    Many of the existing ecological risk studies for groundwater ecosystems paid little attention to either small-scale regions (e.g., an industrial contamination site) or ignored anthropogenic activities (e.g., site remediation). This study presented a network environmental analysis based ecological risk assessment (ERA) framework to a naphthalene-contaminated groundwater remediation site. In the ERA, four components (vegetation, herbivore, soil micro-organism and carnivore) were selected, which are directly or indirectly exposed to the contaminated groundwater ecosystem. By incorporating both direct and indirect ecosystem interactions, the risk conditions of the whole ecosystem and its components were quantified and illustrated in the case study. Results indicate that despite there being no input risks for herbivores and carnivores, the respective integral risks increase to 0.0492 and 0.0410. For soil micro-organisms, 58.8% of the integral risk comes from the input risk, while the other 41.2% of the integral risk comes from the direct risk. Therefore, the risk flow within the components is a non-negligible risk origination for soil micro-organisms. However, the integral risk for vegetation was similar to the input risk, indicating no direct risk. The integral risk at the 5-year point after remediation was the highest for the four components. This risk then decreased at the 10-year point, and then again increased. Results from the sensitivity analysis also suggest that the proposed framework is robust enough to avoid disturbance by parameter uncertainty.

  7. A vibroseismic method for estimation of the ecological risk of powerful technogenic and natural explosions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khairetdinov, Marat; Voskoboynikova, Gyulnara; Sedukhina, Galina

    2016-04-01

    This paper presents the results of experimental investigations of an original ecologically safe approach, proposed by the authors, to assessment of the geoecological risk from powerful mass explosions for the social and natural environment. In this approach, seismic vibrators are used as sources imitating explosions but having, in contrast to them, a much smaller power. Such sources can simultaneously excite in the medium seismic and acoustic (vibro-seismo-acoustic) oscillations with precision power and frequency-time characteristics. A comparative analysis of seismic and acoustic wave levels allows us to conclude that the major ecologically dangerous effect of ground-based test site explosions is due to acoustic waves whose energy is an order of magnitude greater than that of seismic waves. Calculated azimuthal dependencies of the focusing effect of acoustic waves in the infralow frequency range at different wind velocities and "source-receiver" distances by vibrator CV-40 were obtained . It was found that meteorological conditions have a greater influence on acoustic wave focusing in experiments that according to theoretical results. The effects of focusing of acoustic oscillations in space were revealed and estimated quantitatively. Specifically, it was proved that even at a weak wind of 2-4 m/s the ratio between the maximal and minimal acoustic wave levels depending on the azimuthal direction can reach 50. This can be a reason for great ecological hazard of technogenic explosions. The received results are new and original. The received results are new and original.

  8. Ecological risk assessment and its application to elasmobranch conservation and management.

    PubMed

    Gallagher, A J; Kyne, P M; Hammerschlag, N

    2012-04-01

    Ecological risk assessments (ERAs) are employed to quantify and predict the vulnerability of a particular species, stock or population to a specific stressor, e.g. pollution, harvesting, climate change, by-catch. Data generated from ERAs are used to identify and prioritize species for implementation of effective conservation and management strategies. At this time, ERAs are of particular importance to elasmobranchs, given the ecological importance and documented global population declines of some elasmobranch species. Here, ERAs as a tool for elasmobranch conservation and management are reviewed and a theoretical roadmap provided for future studies. To achieve these goals, a brief history of ERAs and approaches used within them (in the context of elasmobranchs) are given, and a comprehensive review conducted of all ERA studies associated with elasmobranchs published between 1998 and 2011. The hazards assessed, species evaluated and methodological approaches taken are recorded. Chronological and geographical patterns suggest that this tool has grown in popularity as a commercial fishery management instrument, while also signalling a recent precautionary approach to elasmobranch management in commercial fisheries globally. The analysis demonstrates that the predominant parameters incorporated in previous ERAs are largely based on life-history characteristics, and sharks have received the majority of attention; batoids (including skates) have received less attention. Recreational fishing and habitat degradation are discussed as hazards which warrant future investigation through ERA. Lastly, suggestions are made for incorporating descriptive ecological data to aid in the continued development and evolution of this management tool as it applies to future elasmobranch conservation.

  9. Military Ecological Risk Assessment Framework (MERAF) for Assessment of Risks of Military Training and Testing to Natural Resources

    SciTech Connect

    Suter II, G.W.

    2003-06-18

    The objective of this research is to provide the DoD with a framework based on a systematic, risk-based approach to assess impacts for management of natural resources in an ecosystem context. This risk assessment framework is consistent with, but extends beyond, the EPA's ecological risk assessment framework, and specifically addresses DoD activities and management needs. MERAF is intended to be consistent with existing procedures for environmental assessment and planning with DoD testing and training. The intention is to supplement these procedures rather than creating new procedural requirements. MERAF is suitable for use for training and testing area assessment and management. It does not include human health risks nor does it address specific permitting or compliance requirements, although it may be useful in some of these cases. Use of MERAF fits into the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process by providing a consistent and rigorous way of organizing and conducting the technical analysis for Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) (Sigal 1993; Carpenter 1995; Canter and Sadler 1997). It neither conflicts with, nor replaces, procedural requirements within the NEPA process or document management processes already in place within DoD.

  10. [Heavy metals in the surface sediment of the dumping ground outside Jiaozhou Bay and their potential ecological risk].

    PubMed

    Cao, Cong-hua; Zhang, Nai-xing; Wu, Feng-cong; Sun, Bin; Ren, Rong-zhu; Sun, Xu; Lin, Sen; Zhang, Shao-ping

    2011-05-01

    Based on the monitoring data of heavy metals (Cr, Hg, Cd, Pb, Zn, Cu) in the surface sediment of the dumping ground outside Jiaozhou Bay from 2003 to 2008, the distribution patterns, factors controlling the distribution, and the potential ecological risks of heavy metals were studied with the data in 2007-08, and the fluctuation trends of heavy metals in the surface sediment over the 6 years were also discussed. The average concentrations of heavy metals Cr, Hg, Cd, Pb, Zn, Cu in the surface sediment were 29.47, 0.065, 0.105, 1.145, 9.63, 3.355 microg/g, respectively. Except for Cr, the concentration of heavy metals was high in the central dumping area while low outside the dumping ground, suggesting that the dredged material dumped was the main source of heavy metals. Organic carbon content in the surface sediment had a significant positive correlation with heavy metals except for Cr. Based on the results of ecological risk assessment, Hg had a medium potential ecological risk, while the other heavy metals had low potential ecological risk. The overall risk index (RI) of the heavy metals was 100.50, which was considered as a level of low potential ecological risk. The average concentration of heavy metals showed a decreasing trend over the 6 years, except Hg. In conclusion, the quality of surface sediment in term of heavy metals in the dumping ground outside Jiaozhou Bay is relatively good.

  11. A Methodology to Evaluate Ecological Resources and Risk Using Two Case Studies at the Department of Energy's Hanford Site.

    PubMed

    Burger, Joanna; Gochfeld, Michael; Bunn, Amoret; Downs, Janelle; Jeitner, Christian; Pittfield, Taryn; Salisbury, Jennifer; Kosson, David

    2017-03-01

    An assessment of the potential risks to ecological resources from remediation activities or other perturbations should involve a quantitative evaluation of resources on the remediation site and in the surrounding environment. We developed a risk methodology to rapidly evaluate potential impact on ecological resources for the U.S. Department of Energy's Hanford Site in southcentral Washington State. We describe the application of the risk evaluation for two case studies to illustrate its applicability. The ecological assessment involves examining previous sources of information for the site, defining different resource levels from 0 to 5. We also developed a risk rating scale from non-discernable to very high. Field assessment is the critical step to determine resource levels or to determine if current conditions are the same as previously evaluated. We provide a rapid assessment method for current ecological conditions that can be compared to previous site-specific data, or that can be used to assess resource value on other sites where ecological information is not generally available. The method is applicable to other Department of Energy's sites, where its development may involve a range of state regulators, resource trustees, Tribes and other stakeholders. Achieving consistency across Department of Energy's sites for valuation of ecological resources on remediation sites will assure Congress and the public that funds and personnel are being deployed appropriately.

  12. A Methodology to Evaluate Ecological Resources and Risk Using Two Case Studies at the Department of Energy's Hanford Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burger, Joanna; Gochfeld, Michael; Bunn, Amoret; Downs, Janelle; Jeitner, Christian; Pittfield, Taryn; Salisbury, Jennifer; Kosson, David

    2017-03-01

    An assessment of the potential risks to ecological resources from remediation activities or other perturbations should involve a quantitative evaluation of resources on the remediation site and in the surrounding environment. We developed a risk methodology to rapidly evaluate potential impact on ecological resources for the U.S. Department of Energy's Hanford Site in southcentral Washington State. We describe the application of the risk evaluation for two case studies to illustrate its applicability. The ecological assessment involves examining previous sources of information for the site, defining different resource levels from 0 to 5. We also developed a risk rating scale from non-discernable to very high. Field assessment is the critical step to determine resource levels or to determine if current conditions are the same as previously evaluated. We provide a rapid assessment method for current ecological conditions that can be compared to previous site-specific data, or that can be used to assess resource value on other sites where ecological information is not generally available. The method is applicable to other Department of Energy's sites, where its development may involve a range of state regulators, resource trustees, Tribes and other stakeholders. Achieving consistency across Department of Energy's sites for valuation of ecological resources on remediation sites will assure Congress and the public that funds and personnel are being deployed appropriately.

  13. Wastewater Treatment Plants as Chemical Observatories to Forecast Ecological and Human Health Risks of Manmade Chemicals

    PubMed Central

    Venkatesan, Arjun K.; Halden, Rolf U.

    2014-01-01

    Thousands of chemicals have been identified as contaminants of emerging concern (CECs), but prioritizing them concerning ecological and human health risks is challenging. We explored the use of sewage treatment plants as chemical observatories to conveniently identify persistent and bioaccumulative CECs, including toxic organohalides. Nationally representative samples of sewage sludge (biosolids) were analyzed for 231 CECs, of which 123 were detected. Ten of the top 11 most abundant CECs in biosolids were found to be high-production volume chemicals, eight of which representing priority chemicals, including three flame retardants, three surfactants and two antimicrobials. A comparison of chemicals detected in nationally representative biological specimens from humans and municipal biosolids revealed 70% overlap. This observed co-occurrence of contaminants in both matrices suggests that the analysis of sewage sludge can inform human health risk assessments by providing current information on toxic exposures in human populations and associated body burdens of harmful environmental pollutants. PMID:24429544

  14. Wastewater Treatment Plants as Chemical Observatories to Forecast Ecological and Human Health Risks of Manmade Chemicals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Venkatesan, Arjun K.; Halden, Rolf U.

    2014-01-01

    Thousands of chemicals have been identified as contaminants of emerging concern (CECs), but prioritizing them concerning ecological and human health risks is challenging. We explored the use of sewage treatment plants as chemical observatories to conveniently identify persistent and bioaccumulative CECs, including toxic organohalides. Nationally representative samples of sewage sludge (biosolids) were analyzed for 231 CECs, of which 123 were detected. Ten of the top 11 most abundant CECs in biosolids were found to be high-production volume chemicals, eight of which representing priority chemicals, including three flame retardants, three surfactants and two antimicrobials. A comparison of chemicals detected in nationally representative biological specimens from humans and municipal biosolids revealed 70% overlap. This observed co-occurrence of contaminants in both matrices suggests that the analysis of sewage sludge can inform human health risk assessments by providing current information on toxic exposures in human populations and associated body burdens of harmful environmental pollutants.

  15. 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

  16. Coupling biological measurement endpoints used in ecological risk assessment with chemical measurements

    SciTech Connect

    Goodrich, M.; Mahato, M.

    1995-12-31

    Collections of surface water, sediments, and the benthic community were made in support of an ecological risk assessment for a stream on a US Air Force base in Oklahoma. Over 250 chemicals were detected within water and sediments, of which over 30 of those screened were classified as chemicals of potential ecological concern (COPEC) based on available toxicity benchmarks. Many of the chemicals detected were clustered in specific samples and in various concentration combinations, To address the complexity of this mixture of chemicals and chemical concentrations, the results of 28-day chronic Hyalella azteca bulk sediment toxicity tests, early life-stage, 7-day fathead minnow toxicity tests, 7-day survival and reproduction results with Ceriodaphnia dubia, and benthic community indices (i.e. biotic index(ices), number of taxa, number of individuals) were evaluated for correlations and associations with the chemicals detected. The resultant evaluation was useful in discriminating those COPEC`s within the various samples that were associated and predictive of the observed ecological measurement endpoints. Additional parameters such as, sulfide analysis of the overlying water from the sediment samples, was enlightening especially regarding an apparent reversal of the correlation between metal concentrations and toxicity. Benthic community indices were also useful in evaluating relationships between chemical concentrations, toxicological effects and aquatic hazard quotients. The approach presented is believed to be superior to the triad approach based on its ability to address mixtures of chemicals and variable chemical concentrations in combination. The results of this evaluation were able to more concisely identify the COPEC`s as well as, establish a priority system and clarify the risk assessment in the context of the complexity of chemical mixtures.

  17. 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

  18. Distribution, sources and ecological risk assessment of heavy metals in surface sediments from Lake Taihu, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yin, Hongbin; Gao, Yongnian; Fan, Chengxin

    2011-10-01

    The distribution, sources and ecological risk of heavy metals in surface sediments from Lake Taihu were studied. Results showed that the measured heavy metals had varied spatial distribution patterns, indicating that they had complex origins and controlling factors. Pearson's correlation analysis revealed that the total phosphorus and the loss on ignition were positively correlated with the measured metals except Cd. Principal component analysis and cluster analysis demonstrated that Hg, Cu, Cr, Cd and Pb might originate from domestic sewage and industrial wastewater, whereas As predominantly originated from natural processes. Potential ecological risk indices indicated that sediment from Wuli Lake, Gonghu Bay and the Northwest Area suffered high pollution, whereas other areas of Lake Taihu were moderately polluted. A comparison of metal levels with the effects range low (ERL) and effects range median (ERM) showed that metals exceeded their corresponding ERL limit at 13.6-72.3% (72.3% for As, 52.4% for Pb, 27.7% for Cu, 22.8% for Cd, 16.0 for Hg and 13.6% for Cr) of the sites investigated. Moreover, 3.90% and 0.50% of the sites sampled exceeded the ERM thresholds for Hg and Pb, respectively.

  19. Occurrence, profiles, and ecological risks of polybrominated diphenyl ethers in mangrove sediments of Shantou, China.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xu-Cheng; Wu, Wen-Cheng; Zhang, Yin-Bo; Wang, Tao; Zhao, Jian-Gang; Chen, Zhang-He

    2016-11-23

    Surface sediments were collected from three mangrove wetlands (Yifeng Xi, Shuanghan, and Su'ai Wan) in Shantou coastal zone of South China to investigate spatial distributions of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). The results demonstrate that PBDEs were detected in all the samples, indicating their widespread occurrence in coastal sediments of the studied area. Σ9PBDEs (defined as the sum of nine targeted PBDE congeners except BDE-209) and BDE-209 are in the range of 2.3 to 11.5 and 16.7 to 58.2 ng/g, respectively. BDE-209 is the dominant PBDE congener in all sediment samples. The sediment concentrations of ∑9PBDEs and BDE-209 among the three wetlands decrease in the order of Su'ai Wan > Shuanghan > Yifeng Xi. The concentrations of ∑9PBDEs are higher in mangrove sediments than in mudflats, but no obvious regularity can be found on the correlation between mangrove species and PBDE levels in sediments. The contents of total organic carbon are moderately correlated with BDE-209 concentrations in sediments but not with ∑9PBDE concentrations. The samples collected from different locations show slightly different composition profiles except BDE-209, with BDE-100 and BDE-47 being the pre-dominated congeners. The mudflats exhibit higher abundances of tri- to hexa-substituted congeners than the mangrove sediments. Ecological risk assessment demonstrates that the surface sediments from Shantou may pose a potential ecological risk of exposure to sediment-dwelling organisms.

  20. Toxicological foundations of ecological risk assessment: Biomarker development and interpretation based on laboratory and wildlife species

    SciTech Connect

    Dickerson, R.L.; Hooper, M.J.; Gard, N.W.

    1994-12-01

    Ecological risk assessments based on chemical residue analysis and species demographics tend to ignore the bioavailibility and bioaccumulation of the chemicals of concern. This study describes the incorporation of mechanistically based biomarkers into an ecological risk assessment of a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-contaminated site. A combination of soil residue analysis, tissue residue analysis, biomarkers in on-site trapped animals and biomarkers in animals confined to enclosures was used. In particular, the use of captured deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) for these studies is compared to the use of laboratory-raised deer mice placed in enclosures. This study indicates that the higher degree of variability in the responses of wild deer mice make the use of enclosure studies advantageous. Positive control studies performed by dosing laboratory-raised deer mice with the same PAHs as found on the site were used to validate this approach. These studies indicate that immune suppression occurred at PAH concentrations an order of magnitude below those required for the induction of ethoxyresorufin-O-dealkylase activity. 19 refs., 5 tabs.

  1. Ecological risk assessment in a large river-reservoir. 5: Aerial insectivorous wildlife

    SciTech Connect

    Baron, L.A.; Sample, B.E.; Suter, G.W. II

    1999-04-01

    Risks to aerial insectivores (e.g., rough-winged swallows, little brown bats, and endangered gray bats) were assessed for the remedial investigation of the Clinch River/Poplar Creek (CR/PC) system. Adult mayflies and sediment were collected from three locations and analyzed for contaminants. Sediment-to-mayfly contaminant uptake factors were generated from these data and used to estimate contaminant concentrations in mayflies from 13 additional locations. Contaminants of potential ecological concern (COPECs) were identified by comparing exposure estimates generated using point estimates of parameter values to NOAELs. To incorporate the variation in exposure parameters and to provide a better estimate of the potential exposure, the exposure model was recalculated using Monte Carlo methods. The potential for adverse effects was estimated based on the comparison of exposure distribution and the LOAEL. The results of this assessment suggested that population-level effects to rough-winged swallows and little brown bats are considered unlikely. However, because gray bats are endangered, effects on individuals may be significant from foraging in limited subreaches of the CR/PC system. This assessment illustrates the advantage of an iterative approach to ecological risk assessments, using fewer conservative assumptions and more realistic modeling of exposure.

  2. [Ecological risk assessment of human activity of rapid economic development regions in southern Jiangsu, China: a case study of Dantu District of Zhenjiang City].

    PubMed

    Fang, Guang-Ling; Xiang, Bao; Wang, Bao-Liang; Jin, Xia; Hu, Yu; Zhang, Li-Kun

    2014-04-01

    This article investigated the spatiotemporal variation of landscape ecological risk in Dantu District of Zhenjiang City with statistical method based on the ETM remote sensing data in 2000 and 2005, and the TM remote sensing data in 2010, and quantitative index of regional ecological risk assessment was established with the employment of landscape index, so as to enhance the ecosystem management, prevent and reduce the regional ecological risk in southern Jiangsu with rapid economic development. The results showed that the fragmentations, divergence, and ecological losses of natural landscape types, such as forestland, wetland, waters, etc., were deteriorated with the expansion of built-up lands from 2000 to 2010. The higher ecological risk zone took up 5.7%, 9.0%, and 10.2% of the whole region in 2000, 2005, and 2010, respectively, which mainly distributed in the plain hilly region. During the study period, the area aggravating to the higher ecological risk zone was approximately 296.2 km2, 48% of the whole region. The ecological risk rose up in most of the region. The interference of rapid economic development to landscape patterns was even more intensive, with obvious spatial differences in ecological risk distribution. The measures of exploiting resources near the port, utilizing natural wetlands, constructing industrial parks, and rapid urbanization, etc., intensified the ecological risk and accelerated the conversion rate. Prompt strategies should be established to manage the ecological risk of this region.

  3. Development of Triad approach based system for ecological risk assessment for contaminated areas of Kyrgyzstan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kydralieva, Kamilia; Uzbekov, Beksultan; Khudaibergenova, Bermet; Terekhova, Vera; Jorobekova, Sharipa

    2014-05-01

    This research is aimed to develop a high-effective system of an ecological risk assessment and risk-based decision making for anthropogenic ecosystems, with particular focus on the soils of the Kyrgyz Republic. The study is focused on the integration of Triad data including chemical, biological and ecotoxicological soil markers to estimate the potential risk from soils of highly anthropized areas impacted by deposition of different pollutants from mining operation. We focus on technogenic areas of Kyrgyzstan, the former uranium-producing province. Triad-based ecological risk assessment for technogenic sites are not currently used in Kyrgyzstan. However, the vitality of such research is self-evident. There are about 50 tailing dumps and more than 80 tips of radioactive waste which are formed as a result of uranium and complex ores (mercury, antimony, lead, cadmium and etc) mining around the unfavorable aforementioned places. According to the Mining Wastes' Tailings and Fills Rehabilitation Centre established in 1999 by a special Government's Resolution, one of the most ecologically dangerous uranium tailings resides in Kadzhi-Say. Although uranium processing is no longer practiced in Kadzhi-Say, a large number of open landfills and uranium ore storages still remain abandoned at the vicinity of this settlement. These neglected sites have enormous problems associated with soil erosion known as "technogenic deserts". The upper soil horizons are deprived of humus and vegetation, which favor the formation of low-buffer landscapes in the zones of maximum contamination. As a result, most of these areas are not re-cultivated and remain in critical environmental condition (Bykovchenko, et al., 2005; Tukhvatshin, 2005; Suranova, 2006). Triad data for assessing environmental risk and biological vulnerability at contaminated sites will be integrated. The following Triad-based parameters will be employed: 1) chemical soil analyses (revealing the presence of potentially dangerous

  4. Assessing Freshwater Ecosystem Service Risk over Ecological, Socioeconomic, and Cultural Gradients: Problem Space Characterization and Methodology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harmon, T. C.; Villamizar, S. R.; Conde, D.; Rusak, J.; Reid, B.; Astorga, A.; Perillo, G. M.; Piccolo, M. C.; Zilio, M.; London, S.; Velez, M.; Hoyos, N.; Escobar, J.

    2014-12-01

    Freshwater ecosystems and the services they provide are under increasing anthropogenic pressure at local (e.g., irrigation diversions, wastewater discharge) and global scales (e.g., climate change, global trading). The impact depends on an ecosystem's sensitivity, which is determined by its geophysical and ecological settings, and the population and activities in its surrounding watershed. Given the importance of ecosystem services, it is critical that we improve our ability to identify and understand changes in aquatic ecosystems, and translate them to risk of service loss. Furthermore, to inspire changes in human behavior, it is equally critical that we learn to communicate risk, and pose risk mitigation strategies, in a manner acceptable to a broad spectrum of stakeholders. Quantifying the nature and timing of the risk is difficult because (1) we often fail to understand the connection between anthropogenic pressures and the timing and extent of ecosystem changes; and (2) the concept of risk is inherently coupled to human perception, which generally differs with cultural and socio-economic conditions. In this study, we endeavor to assess aquatic ecosystem risks across an international array of six study sites. The challenge is to construct a methodology capable of capturing the marked biogeographical, socioeconomic, and cultural differences among the sites, which include: (1) Muskoka River watershed in humid continental Ontario, Canada; (2) Lower San Joaquin River, an impounded snow-fed river in semi-arid Central California; (3) Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta, a tropical coastal lagoon in Colombia; (4) Senguer River basin in the semi-arid part of Argentina; (5) Laguna de Rocha watershed in humid subtropical Uruguay; and (6) Palomas Lake complex in oceanic Chilean Patagonia. Results will include a characterization of the experimental gradient over the six sites, an overview of the risk assessment methodology, and preliminary findings for several of the sites.

  5. Impacts of road network expansion on landscape ecological risk in a megacity, China: A case study of Beijing.

    PubMed

    Mo, Wenbo; Wang, Yong; Zhang, Yingxue; Zhuang, Dafang

    2017-01-01

    Road networks affect the spatial structure of urban landscapes, and with continuous expansion, it will also exert more widespread influences on the regional ecological environment. With the support of geographic information system (GIS) technology, based on the application of various spatial analysis methods, this study analyzed the spatiotemporal changes of road networks and landscape ecological risk in the research area of Beijing to explore the impacts of road network expansion on ecological risk in the urban landscape. The results showed the following: 1) In the dynamic processes of change in the overall landscape pattern, the changing differences in landscape indices of various landscape types were obvious and were primarily related to land-use type. 2) For the changes in a time series, the expansion of the road kernel area was consistent with the extension of the sub-low-risk area in the urban center, but some differences were observed during different stages of development. 3) For the spatial position, the expanding changes in the road kernel area were consistent with the grade changes of the urban central ecological risk, primarily because both had a certain spatial correlation with the expressways. 4) The influence of road network expansion on the ecological risk in the study area had obvious spatial differences, which may be closely associated with the distribution of ecosystem types.

  6. 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.

  7. The accumulation of heavy metals in agricultural land and the associated potential ecological risks in Shenzhen, China.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jiansheng; Song, Jing; Li, Weifeng; Zheng, Maokun

    2016-01-01

    Accumulation of heavy metals in agricultural land and their ecological risks are key issues in soil security studies. This study investigated the concentrations of six heavy metals--copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), lead (Pb), nickel (Ni), and chromium (Cr) in Shenzhen's agricultural lands and examined the potential hazards and possible sources of these metals. Eighty-two samples from agricultural topsoil were collected. Potential ecological risk index was used to calculate the potential risk of heavy metals. Principal component analysis (PCA) was applied to explore pollution sources of the metals. Finally, Kriging was used to predict the spatial distribution of the metals' potential ecological risks. The concentrations of the heavy metals were higher than their background values. Most of them presented little potential ecological risk, except for the heavy metal cadmium (Cd). Four districts (Longgang, Longhua, Pingshan, and Dapeng) exhibited some degree of potential risk, which tended to have more industries and road networks. Three major sources of heavy metals included geochemical processes, industrial pollutants, and traffic pollution. The heavy metal Cd was the main contributor to the pollution in agricultural land during the study period. It also poses the potential hazard for the future. High potential risk is closely related to industrial pollution and transportation. Since the 1980s, the sources of heavy metals have evolved from parent rock weathering, erosion, degradation of organics, and mineralization to human disturbances resulting in chemical changes in the soil.

  8. Mapping the potential risk of mycetoma infection in Sudan and South Sudan using ecological niche modeling.

    PubMed

    Samy, Abdallah M; van de Sande, Wendy W J; Fahal, Ahmed Hassan; Peterson, A Townsend

    2014-10-01

    In 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) recognized mycetoma as one of the neglected tropical conditions due to the efforts of the mycetoma consortium. This same consortium formulated knowledge gaps that require further research. One of these gaps was that very few data are available on the epidemiology and transmission cycle of the causative agents. Previous work suggested a soil-borne or Acacia thorn-prick-mediated origin of mycetoma infections, but no studies have investigated effects of soil type and Acacia geographic distribution on mycetoma case distributions. Here, we map risk of mycetoma infection across Sudan and South Sudan using ecological niche modeling (ENM). For this study, records of mycetoma cases were obtained from the scientific literature and GIDEON; Acacia records were obtained from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility. We developed ENMs based on digital GIS data layers summarizing soil characteristics, land-surface temperature, and greenness indices to provide a rich picture of environmental variation across Sudan and South Sudan. ENMs were calibrated in known endemic districts and transferred countrywide; model results suggested that risk is greatest in an east-west belt across central Sudan. Visualizing ENMs in environmental dimensions, mycetoma occurs under diverse environmental conditions. We compared niches of mycetoma and Acacia trees, and could not reject the null hypothesis of niche similarity. This study revealed contributions of different environmental factors to mycetoma infection risk, identified suitable environments and regions for transmission, signaled a potential mycetoma-Acacia association, and provided steps towards a robust risk map for the disease.

  9. National Fire Fuels and Risks Assessment Using Remote Sensing and Ecological Modeling: Prototype Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Z.; Rollins, M.

    2003-12-01

    Hazardous fuel reduction, ecosystem rehabilitation and restoration, and firefighting safety, are land management priorities emphasized by recent national fire policies such as the National Fire Plan. Implementation of these policies requires geospatial data of vegetation conditions, fire fuels, risks, and ecosystem status developed consistently nationwide that can be used at multiple scales (i.e., local, regional, and national). A new research and development project called LANDFIRE has been conducted to develop an integrated methodology to produce geospatial fire data and predictive models for the land management community and a broad range of other applications. Main deliverables include mapped potential and existing vegetation types and structure variables, various biophysical data layers, fire fuels models, fire risk layers, as well as state-of-the-art computer models for assessing fire risk, behavior and effects. In this presentation, we will review research results and findings of the LANDFIRE project using results from a prototype study covering central Utah Uinta and Wasatch ecosystems. Particularly we will describe how a consistent and operational vegetation mapping component may be achieved by integrating machine-learning algorithms, field reference data, satellite imagery, and ecologically significant biophysical variables. We will discuss how remotely sensed vegetation cover types and structure can be successfully converted to fire fuel classes and risk layers which are necessary input into fire behavior and fire effect models. Finally we will discuss challenges and opportunities for national implementation of the methodology.

  10. Marine ecological-risk assessment pilot study for Allen Harbor, Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island. Professional paper

    SciTech Connect

    Johnston, R.K.; Munns, W.R.; Mueller, C.; Nelson, W.G.; Pesch, G.G.

    1992-01-01

    An ecological risk assessment framework was applied to characterize aquatic risks associated with hazardous waste disposal at Naval Construction Battalion Center (NCBC) Davisville, Rhode Island. An initial screening phase (I) assessed exposure and related that exposure to toxicological endpoints for bivalves, amphipods, sea urchins, and biomarker assays. Results showed little evidence of major contamination in sediments or tissues except for relatively high levels of polychlorinated biphenols (PBC), butyltins compounds (TBT), and fecal coliforms observed in Allen Harbor. Effects were detected in mussel physiology, sea urchin fertilization and development, biomarker responses, and soft shell clam histology. Possible sources of contamination and toxicity from the landfill leachate, surface runoff, and recreational boating were examined using a temporaland spatial sampling scheme. Chemical and toxicological information obtained implicated all three sources as affecting Allen Harbor water quality. Laboratory bioassays of landfill exposure media, employing a variety of marine species using acute and chronic endpoints, are being used to provide data for the development of an exposure-response model for risk to the marine environment. The model will define current risk and provide an interpretive framework for long-term monitoring.

  11. Approach and strategy for performing ecological risk assessments for the Department of Energy Oak Ridge Field Office Environmental Restoration Program

    SciTech Connect

    Suter, G.W. II; Redfearn, A.; White, R.K.; Shaw, R.A.

    1992-07-01

    This document is intended to supplement exiting US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance for ecological risk assessment at hazardous waste sites by providing guidance that is more specific and more tailored to US Department of Energy sites than the guidance available from the EPA. However, it is a conceptual strategy document and does not include specific guidance on data, assumptions, and models. That detailed guidance is under development and will be presented in subsequent documents. Ecological risk assessments are equal to human health risk assessments in regulatory importance and can use many of the same data and some of the same estimation methods. However, they also have peculiar data needs and methods. Ecological risk assessments begin with an initial scoping phase, termed hazard definition, that characterizes the sources, the potentially environment, and the assessment endpoints. In the subsequent measurement and estimation phase, in which data are obtained concerning source of the endpoint biota to the contaminants and the effects of those exposures, and assumptions and models are used to relate the data to the desired exposure and effects parameters. Finally, in an integration phase, termed risk characterization, the various exposure and effects estimates are combined to infer the existence, cause, magnitude, and extent of effects of contaminants on the ecological endpoints. This phase is much more complicated for ecological risk assessments than for human health assessments because more types of data are available. Ecological risk assessments estimate effects using laboratory toxicity test results, like human health assessments, but also use results of ambient toxicity tests and biological surveys.

  12. Ecological risk assessment: influence of texture on background concentration of microelements in soils of Russia.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beketskaya, Olga

    2010-05-01

    In Russia quality standards of contaminated substances values in environment consist of ecological and sanitary rate-setting. The sanitary risk assessment base on potential risk that contaminants pose to protect human beings. The main purpose of the ecological risk assessment is to protect ecosystem. To determine negative influence on living organisms in the sanitary risk assessment in Russia we use MPC. This value of contaminants show how substances affected on different part of environment, biological activity and soil processes. The ecological risk assessment based on comparison compounds concentration with background concentration for definite territories. Taking into account high interval of microelements value in soils, we suggest using statistic method for determination of concentration levels of chemical elements concentration in soils of Russia. This method is based on determination middle levels of elements content in natural condition. The top limit of middle chemical elements concentration in soils is value, which exceed middle regional background level in three times standard deviation. The top limit of natural concentration excess we can explain as anthropogenic impact. At first we study changing in the middle content value of microelements in soils of geographic regions in European part of Russia on the basis of cartographical analysis. Cartographical analysis showed that the soil of mountainous and mountain surrounding regions is enriched with microelements. On the plain territory of European part of Russia for most of microelements was noticed general direction of increasing their concentration in soils from north to south, also in the same direction soil clay content rise for majority of soils. For all other territories a clear connection has been noticed between the distribution of sand sediment. By our own investigation and data from scientific literature data base was created. This data base consist of following soil properties: texture

  13. Ecology of Alcohol and Other Drug Use: Helping Black High-Risk Youth. Proceedings of the Howard University School of Human Ecology Forum (Washington, D.C., October 26-27, 1987). OSAP Prevention Monograph-7.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oyemade, Ura Jean, Ed.; Brandon-Monye, Deloris, Ed.

    Five plenary session presentations and summaries of 10 panel sessions held at a forum entitled "The Ecology of Substance Abuse: Toward Primary Prevention among High-Risk Youth" are provided in this document, which focuses on black youth at high risk for alcohol and drug problems. Experts describe a comprehensive ecological approach to addressing…

  14. Demonstration of the Military Ecological Risk Assessment Framework (MERAF): Apache Longbow - Hell Missile Test at Yuma Proving Ground

    SciTech Connect

    Efroymson, R.A.

    2002-05-09

    This ecological risk assessment for a testing program at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, is a demonstration of the Military Ecological Risk Assessment Framework (MERAF; Suter et al. 2001). The demonstration is intended to illustrate how risk assessment guidance concerning-generic military training and testing activities and guidance concerning a specific type of activity (e.g., low-altitude aircraft overflights) may be implemented at a military installation. MERAF was developed with funding from the Strategic Research and Development Program (SERDP) of the Department of Defense. Novel aspects of MERAF include: (1) the assessment of risks from physical stressors using an ecological risk assessment framework, (2) the consideration of contingent or indirect effects of stressors (e.g., population-level effects that are derived from habitat or hydrological changes), (3) the integration of risks associated with different component activities or stressors, (4) the emphasis on quantitative risk estimates and estimates of uncertainty, and (5) the modularity of design, permitting components of the framework to be used in various military risk assessments that include similar activities. The particular subject of this report is the assessment of ecological risks associated with a testing program at Cibola Range of Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona. The program involves an Apache Longbow helicopter firing Hellfire missiles at moving targets, i.e., M60-A1 tanks. Thus, the three component activities of the Apache-Hellfire test were: (1) helicopter overflight, (2) missile firing, and (3) tracked vehicle movement. The demonstration was limited, to two ecological endpoint entities (i.e., potentially susceptible and valued populations or communities): woody desert wash communities and mule deer populations. The core assessment area is composed of about 126 km{sup 2} between the Chocolate and Middle Mountains. The core time of the program is a three-week period, including fourteen days of

  15. 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.'

  16. Uncertainty analysis in regulatory programs: Application factors versus probabilistic methods in ecological risk assessments of chemicals

    SciTech Connect

    Moore, D.R.J.; Elliot, B.

    1995-12-31

    In assessments of toxic chemicals, sources of uncertainty may be dealt with by two basic approaches: application factors and probabilistic methods. In regulatory programs, the most common approach is to calculate a quotient by dividing the predicted environmental concentration (PEC) by the predicted no effects concentration (PNEC). PNECs are usually derived from laboratory bioassays, thus requiring the use of application factors to account for uncertainty introduced by the extrapolation from the laboratory to the field, and from measurement to assessment endpoints. Using this approach, often with worst-case assumptions about exposure and species sensitivities, the hope is that chemicals with a quotient of less than one will have a very low probability of causing adverse ecological effects. This approach has received widespread criticism recently, particularly because it tends to be overly conservative and does not adequately estimate the magnitude and probability of causing adverse effects. On the plus side, application factors are simple to use, accepted worldwide, and may be used with limited effects data in a quotient calculation. The alternative approach is to use probabilistic methods such as Monte Carlo simulation, Baye`s theorem or other techniques to estimate risk. Such methods often have rigorous statistical assumptions and may have large data requirements. Stating an effect in probabilistic terms, however, forces the identification of sources of uncertainty and quantification of their impact on risk estimation. In this presentation the authors discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using application factors and probabilistic methods in dealing with uncertainty in ecological risk assessments of chemicals. Based on this analysis, recommendations are presented to assist in choosing the appropriate approach for different types of regulatory programs dealing with toxic chemicals.

  17. [Heavy metal pollution characteristics and ecological risk analysis for soil in Phyllostachys praecox stands of Lin'an].

    PubMed

    Fang, Xiao-bo; Shi, Han; Liao, Xin-feng; Lou, Zhong; Zhou, Lyu-yan; Yu, Hai-xia; Yao, Lin; Sun, Li-ping

    2015-06-01

    An investigation was carried out in an attempt to reveal the characteristics of heavy metals contamination in the soils of Phyllostachys praecox forest in Lin' an. Based on the concentrations of Hg, As, Cu, Pb, Zn, Cd, Cr, Ni, Co and Mn in 160 topsoil samples, the pollution status and ecological risks of heavy metals in the soils were assessed by single factor pollution index, Nemerow integrated pollution index and Hankanson potential ecological risk index. The spatial variability of heavy metal concentrations in the soils closely related to the distribution of traffic, industrial and livestock pollution sources. The average concentrations of Hg, As, Cu, Pb, Zn, Cd, Cr, Ni, Co and Mn in the soils were 0.16, 7.41, 34.36, 87.98, 103.98, 0.26, 59.12, 29.56, 11.44 and 350.26 mg · kg(-1), respectively. Pb, Cd, Zn and Cu concentrations were as 2.89, 1.70, 1.12 and 1.12 times as the background values of soil in Zhejiang Province, respectively. But their concentrations were all lower than the threshold values of the National Environmental Quality Standard for Soil (GB 15618-1995). The average single factor pollution index revealed that the level of heavy metal pollution in the soils was in order of Pb>Cd>Cu= Zn>Hg>As>Ni>Co>Cr>Mn. Pb pollution was of moderate level while Cd, Cu and Zn pollutions were slight. There was no soil pollution caused by the other heavy metals. However, the Nemerow integrated pollution index showed that all the 160 soil samples were contaminated by heavy metals to a certain extent. Among total 160 soil samples, slight pollution level, moderate pollution level and heavy pollution level accounted for 55.6%, 29.4% and 15.0%, respectively. The average single factor potential ecological risk index (Er(i)) implied that the potential ecological risk related to Cd reached moderate level, while the others were of slight level. Furthermore, Cd and Hg showed higher potential ecological risk indices which reached up to 256.82 and 187.33 respectively

  18. A method of ecological and economic risk assessment during the development of the shelf based on mathematical modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solovyova, N. V.; Lobkovsky, L. I.

    2015-09-01

    This paper proposes a method of mathematical modelling of ecological risk based on a synthesis of dynamic and probabilistic risk assessment techniques. The probability of assessment of an acceptable probability of an anthropogenic impact to minimize economic costs is proposed. The dependence of an acceptable probability of an anthropogenic impact on the ecological risk is demonstrated with an example calculation. The results of the modelling of the state of a shelf ecosystem based on the dynamic model are used for the calculation as source information. Based on this synthesis, the calculation results bring about the opportunity to balance ecological-economic goals of achieving safe development of the shelf and to satisfy the involuntary necessity to reduce the costs on environmental protection measures, while maintaining the priority of environmental requirements.

  19. Predicted no-effect concentrations for mercury species and ecological risk assessment for mercury pollution in aquatic environment.

    PubMed

    Du, Meng; Wei, Dongbin; Tan, Zhuowei; Lin, Aiwu; Du, Yuguo

    2015-02-01

    Mercury (Hg) exists in different chemical forms presenting varied toxic potentials. It is necessary to explore an ecological risk assessment method for different mercury species in aquatic environment. The predicted no-effect concentrations (PNECs) for Hg(II) and methyl mercury (MeHg) in the aqueous phase, calculated using the species sensitivity distribution method and the assessment factor method, were 0.39 and 6.5×10(-3)μg/L, respectively. The partition theory of Hg between sediment and aqueous phases was considered, along with PNECs for the aqueous phase to conduct an ecological risk assessment for Hg in the sediment phase. Two case studies, one in China and one in the Western Black Sea, were conducted using these PNECs. The toxicity of mercury is heavily dependent on their forms, and their potential ecological risk should be respectively evaluated on the basis of mercury species.

  20. Derivation and interpretation of hazard quotients to assess ecological risks from the cultivation of insect-resistant transgenic crops.

    PubMed

    Raybould, Alan; Caron-Lormier, Geoffrey; Bohan, David A

    2011-06-08

    Cost-effective and rigorous risk assessments for chemicals may be based on hazard quotients (HQs): the ratio of a measure of exposure to a substance and a measure of the effect of that substance. HQs have been used for many years in ecological risk assessments for the use of synthetic pesticides in agriculture, and methods for calculating pesticide HQs have been adapted for use with transgenic crops. This paper describes how laboratory methods for assessing the ecotoxicological effects of synthetic pesticides have been modified for the measurement of effects of insecticidal proteins, and how these effect measures are combined with exposure estimates to derive HQs for assessing the ecological risks from the cultivation of insect-resistant transgenic crops. The potential for ecological modeling to inform the design of laboratory effects tests for insecticidal proteins is also discussed.

  1. 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

  2. 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

    2015-11-06

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. Levels and ecological risk assessment of metals in soils from a typical e-waste recycling region in southeast China.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Weituo; Ding, Lei; Gu, Xiaowen; Luo, Jie; Liu, Yunlang; Guo, Li; Shi, Yi; Huang, Ting; Cheng, Shenggao

    2015-11-01

    Due to the high threat to human health and the ecosystem from metals, the levels and distribution of As, Hg, Cr, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb, Mn, V, Sn, Sb, Li and Be in various layers of soil from an e-waste recycling area in Guiyu, China were investigated. The extent of pollution from the metals in soil was assessed using enrichment factors (EFs) and the Nemerow pollution index (P N ). To determine the metals' integrated potential ecological risks, the potential ecological risk index (RI) was chosen. The concentrations of Hg, Ni, Cu, Cd, Pb, Sn and Sb were mainly enriched in the topsoil. EF values (2-5) of the elements Hg, Co, Ni, Zn, Sn, Li and Be revealed their moderate enrichment status in the topsoil, derived from e-waste recycling activities. P N presented a decreasing trend in different layers in the order topsoil (0-20 cm) > deep soil (100-150 cm) > middle soil (50-100 cm) > shallow soil (20-50 cm). With higher potential ecological risk factor (E(i)), Hg and Cd are the main contributors to the potential ecological risk. With respect to the RI, all the values in soil from the study area exceeded 300, especially for the soil at sites S2, S4, S5, S7 and S8, where RI was greater than 600. Therefore, immediate remediation of the contaminated soil is necessary to prevent the release of metals and potential ecological harm.

  5. [Sources, pollution statue and potential ecological risk of heavy metals in surface sediments of Aibi Lake, Northwest China].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhao-Yong; Abuduwaili, Jilili; Jiang, Feng-Qing

    2015-02-01

    In this paper, the surface sediment samples were harvested from Aibi Lake, and total contents of 8 heavy metals ( Cu, Pb, Zn, As, Hg, Cr, Ni and Cd) were determined. Then the sources, pollution statue, and potential ecological risk were analyzed by using multiple analysis methods. The results show that: (1) The order of the skewness for these 8 heavy metals is: Hg > Cd > Pb > Zn > As > Cu > Cr > Ni. (2) Multivariate statistical analysis shows that 8 heavy metals can be classified to 2 principle components, among which PC1 ( Cd, Pb, Hg and Zn) is man-made source factor and mainly came from all kinds of waste of agriculture; PC2 ( Cu, Ni, Cr and As) is natural source and was mainly controlled by the background of the natural geography of this area. (3) Accumulation of index evaluation results show that the order of pollution degree values of 8 heavy metals in surface sediments of Aibi Lake is: Cd > Hg > Pb > Zn > As > Cu > Ni > Cr. In all samples, heavy metals Hg, Cd and Pb all belong to low and partial moderate pollution statue, while Zn, As, Cr, Ni and Cu belong to no pollution statue in majority samples. (4) Potential ecological risk assessment results show that the potential ecological risk of heavy metals in surface sediments of Aibi Lake mainly caused by Cd, Hg and Pb, and they accounting for 42.6%, 28.6% and 24.0% of the total amount, respectively, among which Cd is the main ecological risk factor, followed by Hg and Pb. In all samples, the potential ecological risk index values (RI) of 8 heavy metals are all lower than 150, and they are all at low ecological risk levels. However, this research also shows that there have high content of Cd and Pb in the sediment. Therefore, we should make long-term monitoring of the lake environment.

  6. Population-level ecological risk assessment of planar polychlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons in great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) around Tokyo Bay, Japan.

    PubMed

    Murata, Mariko; Masunaga, Shigeki; Nakanishi, Junko

    2003-10-01

    Assessment of population-level ecological risk posed by planar polychlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons (p-PCAHs; including polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, polychlorinated dibenzofurans, and dioxintike polychlorinated biphenyls) in sediment of Tokyo Bay (Japan) and rivers via fish ingestion to the great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) population was conducted by means of a probabilistic approach. Population decline risk was used as an indicator of population-level effects and compared with other indicators of effects. The increment of egg mortality risk posed by current p-PCAH levels was estimated to be 11.7%. This risk was interpreted in terms of both the increase of the risk of population decline in a 10-year period on a recently abundant cormorant population, and the reduction in population growth rate (r). Population decline risks of 20% and below were estimated to be 16% for the reference population and 32% for the exposed population, whereas the reduction in r was estimated to be 10%. The risk expressed in terms of population viability is a more susceptible measure and a more easily understandable indicator than both egg mortality risk as an individual-level risk and the reduction in r. Translating the effects due to pollutants into the risk on population viability will make ecological risk assessment more conductive to risk management.

  7. Ecological Risk Assessment Framework for Low-Altitude Overflights by Fixed-Wing and Rotary-Wing Military Aircraft

    SciTech Connect

    Efroymson, R.A.

    2001-01-12

    This is a companion report to the risk assessment framework proposed by Suter et al. (1998): ''A Framework for Assessment of Risks of Military Training and Testing to Natural Resources,'' hereafter referred to as the ''generic framework.'' The generic framework is an ecological risk assessment methodology for use in environmental assessments on Department of Defense (DoD) installations. In the generic framework, the ecological risk assessment framework of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA 1998) is modified for use in the context of (1) multiple and diverse stressors and activities at a military installation and (2) risks resulting from causal chains, e.g., effects on habitat that indirectly impact wildlife. Both modifications are important if the EPA framework is to be used on military installations. In order for the generic risk assessment framework to be useful to DoD environmental staff and contractors, the framework must be applied to specific training and testing activities. Three activity-specific ecological risk assessment frameworks have been written (1) to aid environmental staff in conducting risk assessments that involve these activities and (2) to guide staff in the development of analogous frameworks for other DoD activities. The three activities are: (1) low-altitude overflights by fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft (this volume), (2) firing at targets on land, and (3) ocean explosions. The activities were selected as priority training and testing activities by the advisory committee for this project.

  8. Estimating functional connectivity of wildlife habitat and its relevance to ecological risk assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, A.R.; Allen, C.R.; Simpson, K.A.N.

    2004-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation is a major threat to the viability of wildlife populations and the maintenance of biodiversity. Fragmentation relates to the sub-division of habitat intq disjunct patches. Usually coincident with fragmentation per se is loss of habitat, a reduction in the size of the remnant patches, and increasing distance between patches. Natural and anthropogenic processes leading to habitat fragmentation occur at many spatial scales, and their impacts on wildlife depend on the scales at which species interact with the landscape. The concept of functional connectivity captures this organism-based view of the relative ease of movement or degree of exchange between physically disjunct habitat patches. Functional connectivity of a given habitat arrangement for a given wildlife species depends on details of the organism's life history and behavioral ecology, but, for broad categories of species, quantities such as home range size and dispersal distance scale allometrically with body mass. These relationships can be incorporated into spatial analyses of functional connectivity, which can be quantified by indices or displayed graphically in maps. We review indices and GIS-based approaches to estimating functional connectivity, presenting examples from the literature and our own work on mammalian distributions. Such analyses can be readily incorporated within an ecological risk framework. Estimates of functional connectivity may be useful in a screening-level assessment of the impact of habitat fragmentation relative to other stressors, and may be crucial in detailed population modeling and viability analysis.

  9. Ecological approaches to informing public health policy and risk assessments on emerging vector-borne zoonoses

    PubMed Central

    Medlock, JM; Jameson, LJ

    2010-01-01

    Pathogens associated with vector-borne zoonoses occur in enzootic cycles within nature. They are driven by a combination of vertebrate host and invertebrate vector population dynamics, which in turn respond to changes in environmental stimuli. Human involvement in these cycles, and hence the occurrence of human disease, is often to act as incidental host. From a public health perspective our ability to better predict human outbreaks of these diseases and prepare intervention and mitigation strategies relies on understanding the natural cycle of pathogen transmission. This requires consideration of, for example, invertebrate and vertebrate ecology and biology, climatology, land use and habitat change. Collectively, these can be referred to as medical entomology and medical ecology. This article reviews the importance for inclusion of such disciplines when assessing the public health risk from vector-borne zoonoses and summarizes the possible future challenges and driving forces for changes in vector status and vector-borne zoonoses emergence, with a particular focus on a UK and European context. PMID:22460391

  10. Description of Spreadsheet Calculations for Populating Data Tables of the Ecological Risk Assessment (Appendix B of the Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessment Document) for the Explosives Waste Treatment Facility (EWTF) at Site 300

    SciTech Connect

    Daniels, J

    2007-10-01

    This ecological risk assessment (ERA) is a supplement to the human health risk assessment (HRA) for the Explosive Waste Treatment Facility (EWTF). The EWTF is located near the center of Site 300 in a small, isolated canyon (see Figures 2 through 6 in the text). The ERA described in detail in Appendix B was prepared in accordance with guidance on currently accepted practice provided by the Human and Ecological Risk Division (HERD) at the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DSTC) of the State of California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) in Sacramento, California. The technical basis for this ERA is an analysis that involves a series of screening calculations to assess each of 21 contaminants of potential ecological concern (CPECs) for its potential to produce an adverse ecological impact in particular wildlife species, including vegetation, considered representative receptors of ecological interest (RREI) in the trophic levels of the food network at Site 300. This series of screening calculations is designed to illustrate whether CPECs identified as being of possible consequence in the most conservative screening calculation actually may be of lesser or no significance when more information is considered in subsequent screening calculations.

  11. The effect of outdoor air pollution on mortality risk: an ecological study from Santiago, Chile.

    PubMed

    Salinas, M; Vega, J

    1995-01-01

    The aim of this ecological study was to investigate the effect of outdoor air pollution on the mortality risk of metropolitan inhabitants in Santiago de Chile. Cause-specific deaths by the day for the years 1988-1991 in Santiago de Chile were extracted from mortality data tapes of the National Center for Statistics. Deaths from accidents were excluded. Total and some specific respiratory diseases deaths were compared calculating the risk of death by municipality and month of the year using age-adjusted standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) controlling for socioeconomic level. Daily counts of deaths were regressed using a Poisson model on the total and fine suspended particles, SO2, CO and ozone on the preceding day, controlling for temperature and humidity. A clear pattern in the geographical distribution of risk of death, both for general mortality and specific respiratory causes (pneumonia, COPD and asthma) was found using SMR, with higher values in the most polluted areas regardless of socioeconomic and living conditions. A highly significant positive association was found between total mortality and both fine suspended particles and CO level. The association remained significant for those days with fine suspended particles levels below 150 micrograms/dl suggesting a no-threshold effect for the total number of deaths. These results are in agreement with previously reported associations, and they add to the body of evidence showing that particulate pollution is associated with increases daily mortality.

  12. Use, fate and ecological risks of antibiotics applied in tilapia cage farming in Thailand.

    PubMed

    Rico, Andreu; Oliveira, Rhaul; McDonough, Sakchai; Matser, Arrienne; Khatikarn, Jidapa; Satapornvanit, Kriengkrai; Nogueira, António J A; Soares, Amadeu M V M; Domingues, Inês; Van den Brink, Paul J

    2014-08-01

    The use, environmental fate and ecological risks of antibiotics applied in tilapia cage farming were investigated in the Tha Chin and Mun rivers in Thailand. Information on antibiotic use was collected through interviewing 29 farmers, and the concentrations of the most commonly used antibiotics, oxytetracycline (OTC) and enrofloxacin (ENR), were monitored in river water and sediment samples. Moreover, we assessed the toxicity of OTC and ENR on tropical freshwater invertebrates and performed a risk assessment for aquatic ecosystems. All interviewed tilapia farmers reported to routinely use antibiotics. Peak water concentrations for OTC and ENR were 49 and 1.6 μg/L, respectively. Antibiotics were most frequently detected in sediments with concentrations up to 6908 μg/kg d.w. for OTC, and 2339 μg/kg d.w. for ENR. The results of this study indicate insignificant short-term risks for primary producers and invertebrates, but suggest that the studied aquaculture farms constitute an important source of antibiotic pollution.

  13. Initial ecological risk assessment of eight selected human pharmaceuticals in Japan.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Hiroshi; Nakamura, Yudai; Nakamura, Yuki; Kitani, Chise; Imari, Tetsuya; Sekizawa, Jun; Takao, Yuji; Yamashita, Naoyuki; Hirai, Narisato; Oda, Shigeto; Tatarazako, Norihisa

    2007-01-01

    Eight pharmaceuticals were selected on the basis of their domestic consumption in Japan, the excretion ratio of the parent compound and the frequency of detection in the aquatic environment or wastewater treatment plant effluent. Toxicity tests on these pharmaceuticals were conducted using Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes), daphnia (Daphnia magna), and green algae (Psuedokirchneriella subcapitata). Predicted no effect concentration (PNEC) was calculated using lethal or effect concentration 50 (LC50 or EC50) values and no effect concentration (NOEC) obtained in the toxicity tests for these compounds. Predicted environmental concentration (PEC) was also calculated from annual consumption, the excretion rate of the parent compound, and removal rate in the preliminary batch activated sludge treatment performed in this study. Maximum concentrations found in the aquatic environment or sewage effluent in Japan or foreign countries were also used for another calculation of PEC. Initial risk assessment on the selected pharmaceuticals was performed using the PEC/PNEC ratio. The results of initial risk assessment on the eight selected pharmaceuticals suggest neither urgent nor severe concern for the ecological risk of these compounds, but further study needs to be conducted using chronic toxicity tests, including reproduction inhibition and endocrine disruption assessments.

  14. Sustainable and safe design of footwear integrating ecological footprint and risk criteria.

    PubMed

    Herva, Marta; Álvarez, Antonio; Roca, Enrique

    2011-09-15

    The ecodesign of a product implies that different potential environmental impacts of diverse nature must be taken into account considering its whole life cycle, apart from the general design criteria (i.e. technical, functional, ergonomic, aesthetic or economic). In this sense, a sustainability assessment methodology, ecological footprint (EF), and environmental risk assessment (ERA), were combined for the first time to derive complementary criteria for the ecodesign of footwear. Four models of children's shoes were analyzed and compared. The synthetic shoes obtained a smaller EF (6.5 gm(2)) when compared to the leather shoes (11.1 gm(2)). However, high concentrations of hazardous substances were detected in the former, even making the Hazard Quotient (HQ) and the Cancer Risk (CR) exceed the recommended safety limits for one of the synthetic models analyzed. Risk criteria were prioritized in this case and, consequently, the design proposal was discarded. For the other cases, the perspective provided by the indicators of different nature was balanced to accomplish a fairest evaluation. The selection of fibers produced under sustainable criteria and the reduction of the materials consumption was recommended, since the area requirements would be minimized and the absence of hazardous compounds would ensure safety conditions during the use stage.

  15. Ecological impact assessments fail to reduce risk of bat casualties at wind farms.

    PubMed

    Lintott, Paul R; Richardson, Suzanne M; Hosken, David J; Fensome, Sophie A; Mathews, Fiona

    2016-11-07

    Demand for renewable energy is rising exponentially. While this has benefits in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, there may be costs to biodiversity [1]. Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) are the main tool used across the world to predict the overall positive and negative effects of renewable energy developments before planning consent is given, and the Ecological Impact Assessments (EcIAs) within them assess their species-specific effects. Given that EIAs are undertaken globally, are extremely expensive, and are enshrined in legislation, their place in evidence-based decision making deserves evaluation. Here we assess how well EIAs of wind-farm developments protect bats. We found they do not predict the risks to bats accurately, and even in those cases where high risk was correctly identified, the mitigation deployed did not avert the risk. Given that the primary purpose of an EIA is to make planning decisions evidence-based, our results indicate that EIA mitigation strategies used to date have been ineffective in protecting bats. In the future, greater emphasis should be placed on assessing the actual impacts post-construction and on developing effective mitigation strategies.

  16. 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.

  17. Ecological, Social and Biological Risk Factors for Continued Trypanosoma cruzi Transmission by Triatoma dimidiata in Guatemala

    PubMed Central

    Bustamante, Dulce M.; De Urioste-Stone, Sandra M.; Juárez, José G.; Pennington, Pamela M.

    2014-01-01

    Background Chagas disease transmission by Triatoma dimidiata persists in Guatemala and elsewhere in Central America under undefined ecological, biological and social (eco-bio-social) conditions. Methodology Eco-bio-social risk factors associated with persistent domiciliary infestation were identified by a cross-sectional survey and qualitative participatory methods. Quantitative and qualitative data were generated regarding Trypanosoma cruzi reservoirs and triatomine hosts. Blood meal analysis and infection of insects, dogs and rodents were determined. Based on these data, multimodel inference was used to identify risk factors for domestic infestation with the greatest relative importance (>0.75). Principal Findings Blood meal analysis showed that 64% of 36 bugs fed on chickens, 50% on humans, 17% on dogs; 24% of 34 bugs fed on Rattus rattus and 21% on Mus musculus. Seroprevalence among 80 dogs was 37%. Eight (17%) of 46 M. musculus and three (43%) of seven R. rattus from households with infected triatomines were infected with T. cruzi Distinct Typing Unit I. Results from interviews and participatory meetings indicated that vector control personnel and some householders perceived chickens roosting and laying eggs in the house as bug infestation risk factors. House construction practices were seen as a risk factor for bug and rodent infestation, with rodents being perceived as a pest by study participants. Multimodel inference showed that house infestation risk factors of high relative importance are dog density, mouse presence, interior wall plaster condition, dirt floor, tile roofing and coffee tree presence. Conclusions/Significance Persistent house infestation is closely related to eco-bio-social factors that maintain productive T. dimidiata habitats associated with dogs, chickens and rodents. Triatomine, dog and rodent infections indicate active T. cruzi transmission. Integrated vector control methods should include actions that consider the role of

  18. How uncertainty analysis in ecological risk assessment is used in the courtroom

    SciTech Connect

    Hacker, C.; Watson, J.

    1995-12-31

    The prevalence of uncertainty analysis in environmental decision-making is increasing. Specific methods for estimating and expressing uncertainty are available and continually being improved. Although these methods are intended to provide a measure of the suitability of the data upon which a decision is based, their application in litigation may result in outcomes that are unanticipated by some in the scientific community. This divergence between those estimating uncertainty in assessing ecological risk and those judging its application can be attributed in part to the different ways evidence is used in science and law. This presentation will explain how scientific evidence is used in the courtroom. This explanation will use examples from case law to describe how courts decide who can be qualified to present evidence, what evidence can be presented, and how this evidence will be used in reaching a decision.

  19. Spatially Interpolated Disease Prevalence Estimation Using Collateral Indicators of Morbidity and Ecological Risk

    PubMed Central

    Congdon, Peter

    2013-01-01

    This paper considers estimation of disease prevalence for small areas (neighbourhoods) when the available observations on prevalence are for an alternative partition of a region, such as service areas. Interpolation to neighbourhoods uses a kernel method extended to take account of two types of collateral information. The first is morbidity and service use data, such as hospital admissions, observed for neighbourhoods. Variations in morbidity and service use are expected to reflect prevalence. The second type of collateral information is ecological risk factors (e.g., pollution indices) that are expected to explain variability in prevalence in service areas, but are typically observed only for neighbourhoods. An application involves estimating neighbourhood asthma prevalence in a London health region involving 562 neighbourhoods and 189 service (primary care) areas. PMID:24129116

  20. [Gene flow and its ecological risks of transgenic oilseed rape ( Brassica napus)].

    PubMed

    Tang, Guixiang; Song, Wenjian; Zhou, Weijun

    2005-12-01

    Transgenic oilseed rape Brassica napus, one of the first genetically modified crops, has now been released to commercial use in Canada and Australia. As a cross-pollinating crop, its natural crossing rate is 30%, and it is liable to cross with other Brassica species. The ecological risk of transgenic oilseed rape has been concerned by the scientists all over the world. There are two ways for the pollens flow of transgenic oilseed rape, one takes place between transgenic oilseed rape and other related wild species, and the other occurs between transgenic and nontransgenic oilseed rape. The gene may flow to other related wild species, but it is unlikely to get hybrids in field. Because the gene can really flow to the conventional oilseed rape, it is necessary to have a sufficient isolation distance in cultivating transgenic oilseed rape.

  1. Ecological Niche Modeling of Risk Factors for H7N9 Human Infection in China

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Min; Cao, Chunxiang; Li, Qun; Jia, Peng; Zhao, Jian

    2016-01-01

    China was attacked by a serious influenza A (H7N9) virus in 2013. The first human infection case was confirmed in Shanghai City and soon spread across most of eastern China. Using the methods of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and ecological niche modeling (ENM), this research quantitatively analyzed the relationships between the H7N9 occurrence and the main environmental factors, including meteorological variables, human population density, bird migratory routes, wetland distribution, and live poultry farms, markets, and processing factories. Based on these relationships the probability of the presence of H7N9 was predicted. Results indicated that the distribution of live poultry processing factories, farms, and human population density were the top three most important determinants of the H7N9 human infection. The relative contributions to the model of live poultry processing factories, farms and human population density were 39.9%, 17.7% and 17.7%, respectively, while the maximum temperature of the warmest month and mean relative humidity had nearly no contribution to the model. The paper has developed an ecological niche model (ENM) that predicts the spatial distribution of H7N9 cases in China using environmental variables. The area under the curve (AUC) values of the model were greater than 0.9 (0.992 for the training samples and 0.961 for the test data). The findings indicated that most of the high risk areas were distributed in the Yangtze River Delta. These findings have important significance for the Chinese government to enhance the environmental surveillance at multiple human poultry interfaces in the high risk area. PMID:27322296

  2. Evaluation of ecological risk of metal contamination in river Gomti, India: a biomonitoring approach.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Sanjay Kumar; Chabukdhara, Mayuri; Kumar, Praveen; Singh, Jaswant; Bux, Faizal

    2014-12-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the extent of heavy metal pollution in river Gomti and associated ecological risk. River water, sediments and locally abundant mollusk (Viviparus (V.) bengalensis) were sampled from six different sites and analyzed for seven metals: Cadmium (Cd), Chromium (Cr), Copper (Cu), Manganese (Mn), Nickel (Ni), Lead (Pb) and Zinc (Zn). Mean metal concentrations (mg/l) in river water were 0.024 for Cd, 0.063 for Cr, 0.022 for Cr, 0.029 for Mn, 0.044 for Ni, 0.018 for Pb and 0.067 for Zn. In river sediments, the concentrations (mg/kg dry wt) were 5.0 for Cd, 16.2 for Cr, 23.2 for Cr, 203.2 for Mn, 23.9 for Ni, 46.2 for Pb and 76.3 for Zn, while in V. bengalensis mean metal concentrations (mg/kg, dry wt) were 0.57 for Cd, 12.0 for Cr, 30.7 for Cu, 29.9 for Mn, 8.8 for Ni, 3.6 for Pb and 48.3 for Zn. Results indicated elevated concentrations of Cu, Zn and Mn in V. bengalensis as compared to other non-essential elements. Potential ecological risk (RI) in sediments showed high to very high metal contamination. Cluster analysis indicated that Pb, Zn, Cd and Ni in sediments may have anthropogenic sources. The findings thus suggest heavy metal contamination of river water and sediments have reached alarming levels, which is well corroborated by elevated level of metal accumulation in V. bengalensis.

  3. Spatial distribution and ecological risk assessment of trace metals in urban soils in Wuhan, central China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chutian; Yang, Yong; Li, Weidong; Zhang, Chuanrong; Zhang, Ruoxi; Mei, Yang; Liao, Xiangsen; Liu, Yingying

    2015-09-01

    Surface soil samples from 467 sample sites were collected in urban area of Wuhan City in 2013, and total concentrations of five trace metals (Pb, Zn, Cu, Cr, and Cd) were measured. Multivariate and geostatistical analyses showed that concentrations of Pb, Zn, and Cu are higher along Yangtze River in the northern area of Wuhan, gradually decrease from city center to suburbs, and are mainly controlled by anthropogenic activities, while those of Cr and Cd are relatively spatially homogenous and mainly controlled by soil parent materials. Pb, Zn, Cu, and Cd have generally higher concentrations in roadsides, industrial areas, and residential areas than in school areas, greenbelts, and agricultural areas. Areas with higher road and population densities and longer urban construction history usually have higher trace metal concentrations. According to estimated results of the potential ecological risk index and Nemero synthesis pollution index, almost the whole urban area of Wuhan is facing considerable potential ecological risk caused by soil trace metals. These results reveal obvious trends of trace metal pollution, and an important impact of anthropogenic activities on the accumulation of trace metals in soil in Wuhan. Vehicular emission, industrial activities, and household wastes may be the three main sources for trace metal accumulation. Increasing vegetation cover may reduce this threat. It should be pointed out that Cd, which is strongly accumulated in soil, could be the largest soil pollution factor in Wuhan. Effective measures should be taken as soon as possible to deal with Cd enrichment, and other trace metals in soil should also be reduced, so as to protect human health in this important large city.

  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. Heavy metal pollution status and ecological risks of sediments under the influence of water transfers in Taihu Lake, China.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jiajia; Wang, Peifang; Wang, Chao; Qian, Jin; Hou, Jun

    2017-01-01

    The effects of water transfer projects on water channels and the receiving water involved need to be understood. In this research, the compositions and particle size distributions of surface sediment and the Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn contents and distributions in the sediment along a water transfer route from the Wangyu River to Taihu Lake, China, were studied. The correlative relationship between the grain size trend and heavy metal content distribution suggested that heavy metals in Wangyu River sediment have affected the heavy metal contents of Taihu Lake sediment through silt and clay migrating in the transferred water. Enrichment factors and potential ecological risk values were calculated. Low levels of potential ecological risks are posed at 20 sampling sites in Taihu Lake, but higher-to-serious risks (potential ecological risk values >275) are posed at all Wangyu River sites. Toxicity of heavy metals (Cd, Cu, Zn, and Ni) in the Wangyu River sediments is more serious than those in the Taihu Lake, but is similar to the entrance of Gonghu Bay. Multivariate statistical analyses (Pearson correlation, cluster, and factor analyses) suggested heavy metals in the study area have many sources, and the relationships between particle migration and heavy metal contents indicated transferring water are likely to lead to adverse ecological risks being posed in Taihu Lake.

  6. System dynamic modelling to assess economic viability and risk trade-offs for ecological restoration in South Africa.

    PubMed

    Crookes, D J; Blignaut, J N; de Wit, M P; Esler, K J; Le Maitre, D C; Milton, S J; Mitchell, S A; Cloete, J; de Abreu, P; Fourie nee Vlok, H; Gull, K; Marx, D; Mugido, W; Ndhlovu, T; Nowell, M; Pauw, M; Rebelo, A

    2013-05-15

    Can markets assist by providing support for ecological restoration, and if so, under what conditions? The first step in addressing this question is to develop a consistent methodology for economic evaluation of ecological restoration projects. A risk analysis process was followed in which a system dynamics model was constructed for eight diverse case study sites where ecological restoration is currently being pursued. Restoration costs vary across each of these sites, as do the benefits associated with restored ecosystem functioning. The system dynamics model simulates the ecological, hydrological and economic benefits of ecological restoration and informs a portfolio mapping exercise where payoffs are matched against the likelihood of success of a project, as well as a number of other factors (such as project costs and risk measures). This is the first known application that couples ecological restoration with system dynamics and portfolio mapping. The results suggest an approach that is able to move beyond traditional indicators of project success, since the effect of discounting is virtually eliminated. We conclude that systems dynamic modelling with portfolio mapping can guide decisions on when markets for restoration activities may be feasible.

  7. Atmospheric deposition of mercury in Atlantic Forest and ecological risk to soil fauna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cristhy Buch, Andressa; Cabral Teixeira, Daniel; Fernandes Correia, Maria Elizabeth; Vieira Silva-Filho, Emmanoel

    2014-05-01

    The increasing levels of mercury (Hg) found in the atmosphere nowadays has a great contribution from anthropogenic sources and has been a great concern in the past two decades in industrialized countries. Brazil is the seventh country with the highest rate of mercury in the atmosphere. Certainly, the petroleum refineries have significant contribution, seen that 100 million m3 of crude oil are annually processed. These refineries contribute with low generation of solid waste; however, a large fraction of Hg can be emitted to the atmosphere. There are sixteen refineries in Brazil, three of them located in the state of Rio de Janeiro. The Hg is a toxic and hazardous trace element, naturally found in the earth crust. The major input of Hg to ecosystems is through atmospheric deposition (wet and dry), being transported in the atmosphere over large distances. The forest biomes are of great importance in the atmosphere/soil cycling of elemental Hg through foliar uptake and subsequent transfer to the soil through litterfall, which play an important role as Hg sink. The Atlantic Forest of Brazil is the greater contributor of fauna and flora biodiversity in the world and, according to recent studies, this biome has the highest concentrations of mercury in litter in the world, as well as in China, at Subtropical Forest. Ecotoxicological assessments can predict the potential ecological risk of Hg toxicity in the soil can lead to impact the soil fauna and indirectly other trophic levels of the food chain within one or more ecosystems. This study aims to determine mercury levels that represent risks to diversity and functioning of soil fauna in tropical forest soils. The study is conducted in two forest areas inserted into conservation units of Rio de Janeiro state. One area is located next to an important petroleum refinery in activity since fifty-two years ago, whereas the other one is located next to other refinery under construction (beginning activities in 2015), which will

  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. Toward refined environmental scenarios for ecological risk assessment of down-the-drain chemicals in freshwater environments.

    PubMed

    Franco, Antonio; Price, Oliver R; Marshall, Stuart; Jolliet, Olivier; Van den Brink, Paul J; Rico, Andreu; Focks, Andreas; De Laender, Frederik; Ashauer, Roman

    2017-03-01

    Current regulatory practice for chemical risk assessment suffers from the lack of realism in conventional frameworks. Despite significant advances in exposure and ecological effect modeling, the implementation of novel approaches as high-tier options for prospective regulatory risk assessment remains limited, particularly among general chemicals such as down-the-drain ingredients. While reviewing the current state of the art in environmental exposure and ecological effect modeling, we propose a scenario-based framework that enables a better integration of exposure and effect assessments in a tiered approach. Global- to catchment-scale spatially explicit exposure models can be used to identify areas of higher exposure and to generate ecologically relevant exposure information for input into effect models. Numerous examples of mechanistic ecological effect models demonstrate that it is technically feasible to extrapolate from individual-level effects to effects at higher levels of biological organization and from laboratory to environmental conditions. However, the data required to parameterize effect models that can embrace the complexity of ecosystems are large and require a targeted approach. Experimental efforts should, therefore, focus on vulnerable species and/or traits and ecological conditions of relevance. We outline key research needs to address the challenges that currently hinder the practical application of advanced model-based approaches to risk assessment of down-the-drain chemicals. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2017;13:233-248. © 2016 SETAC.

  10. The development of a risk-based approach to managing the ecological impact of pollutants in highway runoff.

    PubMed

    Crabtree, B; Dempsey, P; Johnson, I; Whitehead, M

    2008-01-01

    In the UK, the Highways Agency is responsible for the strategic road network. It is recognised that current design guidance to control pollutants in highway runoff is out of date. A research programme is in progress to develop a better understanding of pollutants in highway runoff and their ecological impact. The paper summarises the outcome of a study to: (1) monitor pollutants in highway runoff under different climate and traffic conditions at 24 sites; (2) develop standards to assess potential ecological risks; and (3) develop a model to predict pollutant concentrations in highway runoff. Data collection and analysis of the resulting data have identified a link between pollutant concentrations and traffic density. A number of pollutants routinely present in highway runoff have been identified as posing the greatest ecological risk. Ecologically based standards for acute impacts have been derived for the soluble form of these pollutants. These standards will be used in conjunction with the model to indicate where runoff treatment may be required to mitigate ecological risk. The model and standards will be used to develop improved design guidance to protect receiving waters from pollutants in highway runoff by identifying where runoff treatment is required, and to what degree.

  11. Perceptions of ecological risk associated with mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) infestations in Banff and Kootenay National Parks of Canada.

    PubMed

    McFarlane, Bonita L; Watson, David O T; Witson, David O T

    2008-02-01

    Western Canada is experiencing an unprecedented outbreak of the mountain pine beetle (MPB). The MPB has the potential to impact some of Canada's national parks by affecting park ecosystems and the visitor experience. Controls have been initiated in some parks to lessen the impacts and to prevent the beetle from spreading beyond park boundaries. We examine the perception of ecological risk associated with MPB in two of Canada's national parks, the factors affecting perceptions of risk, and the influence of risk judgments on support for controlling MPB outbreaks in national parks. Data were collected using two studies of park visitors: a mail survey in 2003 and an onsite survey in 2005. The MPB was rated as posing a greater risk to the health and productivity of park ecosystems than anthropogenic hazards and other natural disturbance agents. Visitors who were familiar with MPB rated the ecological and visitor experience impacts as negative, unacceptable, and eliciting negative emotion. Knowledge and residency were the most consistent predictors of risk judgments. Of knowledge, risk, and demographic variables, only sex and risk to ecosystem domains influenced support for controlling the MPB in national parks. Implications for managing MPB in national parks, visitor education, and ecological integrity are discussed.

  12. [Pollution Characteristics and Ecological Risk Assessment of PAHs in Water and Fishes from Daqing Lakes].

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiao-di; Zang, Shu-ying; Zhang, Yu-hong; Wang, Fan; Yang, Xing; Zuo, Yi-long

    2015-11-01

    The concentrations of 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in 30 water samples and 5 tissues (gill, liver, brain, kidney and muscle) of 36 fishes which were collected from 18 typical lakes of the Daqing lakes group, China were measured between February and April 2012. The results of PAHs concentrations in the water showed that the range of total concentrations was 0.2-1.21 μg x L(-1) and the highest concentration was found in the Yueliangpao Lake. Clustering analysis of statistical method was used to classify the concentrations of PAHs in the water of 18 lakes, and PAHs source and evaluation of ecological risk in different lake groups were obtained respectively based on the analysis of PAHs ratio and the species sensitivity distributions method. The results of cluster analysis about PAHs concentrations in the water of 18 lakes showed that all the lakes were divided into 4 lake groups. Yueliangpao (YLP) and dongdahai (DDH) lakes were respectively divided into a separate group and the other 14 lakes were divided into two groups named XHH group and DQSK group. PAHs in the water of lakes were mainly from wood and coal burning except that the PAHs of the water in YLP group was caused by oil contamination. According to the surface water quality standard of the world and China, the concentrations of PAHs in the water of 4 lake groups all exceeded the standard variously. The PAHs concentrations of most water samples in YLP group and XHH group exceeded the 16 PAHs limit value of Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) standard, especially, the concentration of Benz[a] pyrene with the strongest carcinogenicity of YLP group exceeded Chinese surface water quality standard. While in the DQSK lake group and the DDH lake group, several PAHs contaminations of water samples exceeded the standard. The tested and statistical results of 16 PAHs concentrations in 5 tissues of Cyprinus carpio and Hypophthalmichthys molitrix fish species in Daqing lakes showed the concentrations

  13. 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

  14. Ecological risk assessments for protected migratory birds and marine species at Midway Atoll

    SciTech Connect

    Scatolini, S.; Hope, B.; Lees, D.

    1995-12-31

    In June 1997, the US Navy plans to close its Naval Air Facility on Sand Island and transfer the atoll to the US Fish and Wildlife Service for use as a National Wildlife Refuge. Midway provides breeding and feeding habitat for migratory seabirds, terrestrial and marine mammals, sea turtles and other reptiles, and a variety of reef fishes and invertebrates. As part of the base closure and transfer process, 36 sites of potential environmental concern were identified on Sand and Eastern islands. These sites include landfills and uncontrolled disposal areas, hazardous materials storage areas, abandoned transformers, sewer outfalls, and other potential hazardous waste sites. Potential contaminants include pesticides, PAHs, PCBs, and heavy metals. A screening ecological risk assessment was performed at each site with a goal of determining whether contaminants could pose any current or future risks to protected migratory bird or marine mammal wildlife species. Specific exposure pathways investigated were dermal and inhalation routes for ground-nesting and burrowing seabirds; incidental soil ingestion for shore birds; consumption for monk seals and sea turtles. Exposure analysis involved sediment and soil chemistry, marine invertebrate tissue chemistry, bioassays (bioavailability), and food web modeling. Effects analysis involved benthic infauna community analysis, acute and chronic invertebrate sediment bioassays, and extensive literature reviews. Risk characterization used both toxicity quotient methods and weight-of-evidence analysis. Because work by other investigators suggests that birds and perhaps marine wildlife acquire significant contaminant loads while feeding away from the atoll, on-atoll risk investigations had to consider whether atoll sites made significant marginal contributions to existing contaminant loads, particularly with respect to PCBs.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    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

  16. Study on heavy metals and ecological risk assessment from Gansu, Ningxia and Inner Mongolia sections of the Yellow River, China.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jing-Jun; Liu, Ying

    2013-12-01

    The Yellow River is the most important resource of water supply in northern China. The purpose of this work are to investigate the concentrations and potential ecological risk of heavy metals in the upper reaches of the Yellow River, the concentrations of eight heavy metals including As, Hg, Cd, Pb, Cr, Ni, Cu and Zn in filtered water and suspended particles from 12 sampling sites of Gansu, Ningxia and Inner Mongolia sections of the Yellow River of China were studied by atomic fluorescence spectrometry (AFS) and high resolution inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (HR-ICP-MS) in this paper. The results implied that all heavy metals in filtered water were lower than the limit standards for drinking water except for Cr (56.9 approximately 71. 5 microg L-1 ). Water quality parameters such as total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP) and pH were also determined and the contents were low along the river except for TN at S1 (2.48) and S9 (2.38), which exceeded the maximum permitted concentration of Class V for the protection of surface water. In suspended particles, the concentrations of Hg, Cd, Pb and Zn were much higher than those in the background value of soil from local section. Cluster analysis (CA) indicated that same sources for Ni, Cu, Cr, Zn and Pb could be stainless steel and petrochemical industrial activities, while As, Cd and Hg derived from agrochemicals, fertilizers, mining, fuel and coal combustion, respectively. Ecological risk assessment was undertaken using risk index (RI) for sampling sites and ecological risk factor (Er) for heavy metals. Eleven suspension samples existed considerable ecological risk (300.6< RI< 508. 6), while S1 was moderate ecological risk (RI, 299.3). According to Er, Hg had considerable or high ecological risk in Inner Mongolia section, while very high ecological risk for Cd at S11 (396.0), S9 (384. 0) and S5 (373. 3), respectively, implied a high pollution in these sampling sites. The results could provide reliable

  17. Heavy metals in estuarine surface sediments of the Hai River Basin, variation characteristics, chemical speciation and ecological risk.

    PubMed

    Lei, Pei; Zhang, Hong; Shan, Baoqing; Lv, Shucong; Tang, Wenzhong

    2016-04-01

    The Hai River Basin (HRB) is considered to be one of the most polluted areas in China due to the high regional population density and rapid economic development. The estuaries of the HRB, which receive pollutants from terrestrial rivers, may subsequently suffer potential pollution and result in ecological risk of heavy metals. Six heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn) were measured in estuarine surface sediments from 10 estuaries of the HRB to investigate their variation characteristics and ecological risks. The spatial difference of Cr, Ni, Pb, and Zn in sediments was higher than that of the rest two elements. The Yongdingxin Estuary (YDX) and Ziyaxin Estuary (ZYX) in the Northern Hai River System (NHRS) were the most severe in terms of heavy metal contamination. According to the Risk Assessment Code (RAC) classification, Cd associated with the exchangeable and carbonate fraction (the average of 21.3 %) indicated medium risk to high risk. More than 50 % of Cr, Cu, Ni, and Zn on average were associated with the residual fraction. Based on the sum of the first three fractions (exchangeable and carbonate + reducible + oxidizable), the mobility order of these heavy metals was Cd >Pb > Zn ≈ Cu > Ni > Cr. Compared to the background values of cinnamon soil, the potential ecological risk index (RI) values ranged from 25.6 to 168, with an average of 91.2, indicating a low ecological risk in estuarine sites of the HRB. Cd and Pb were the dominant contributors to the toxic-response factor (45.8 and 25.5 %, respectively). The results give insight into the different control measures pertaining to heavy metal pollution and risk for both relatively clean estuaries and urban seriously polluted areas, respectively, for the formation of protect strategies of aquatic environment in the HRB.

  18. [Ecological risk assessment of rural-urban ecotone based on landscape pattern: A case study in Daiyue District of Tai' an City, Shandong Province of East China].

    PubMed

    Shi, Hao-Peng; Yu, Kai-Qin; Feng, Yong-jun

    2013-03-01

    Based on the remote sensing data in 2000, 2005, and 2010, this paper analyzed the variation trends of the land use type and landscape pattern in Daiyue District of Tai' an City from 2000 to 2010. The ecological risk index was built, that of the District was re-sampled and spatially interpolated, and the spatiotemporal pattern of the ecological risk in the rural-urban ecotone of the District was analyzed. In 2000-2010, the main variation trend of the land use type in the District was the shift from natural landscape to artificial landscape. The intensity of human disturbance was larger in cultivated land, garden plot, and forestland than in other landscape types, while the human disturbance in water area was smaller. The ecological loss degree of cultivated land and water area decreased somewhat, while that of the other land use types presented an increasing trend. The ecological risk distribution in the District was discrete in 2000 and 2010, but most centralized in 2005. The ecological risk of each ecological risk sub-area had an increasing trend in 2000-2005, but was in adverse in 2005-2010. In 2000-2010, the ecological risk of the District was mainly at medium level. Spatially, the distribution of the ecological risk in the District had an obvious differentiation, with an overall diffusive increasing from forestland as the center to the surrounding areas. In the District, the ecological risk was mainly at medium and higher levels, the area with lower ecological risk had an obvious dynamic change, while that with the lowest and highest ecological risk had less change.

  19. ECO Update / Groundwater Foum Issue Paper: Evaluating Ground-Water/Surface-Water Transition Zones in Ecological Risk Assessments

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This ECO Update builds on the standard approach to ERA (U.S. EPA 1997), by providing a framework for incorporating groundwater/surface-water (GW/SW) interactions into existing ERAs (see U.S. EPA 1997 and 2001a for an introduction to ecological risk....

  20. 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.

  1. PROJECTING POPULATION-LEVEL RESPONSE OF PURPLE SEA URCHINS TO LEAD CONTAMINATION FOR AN ESTUARINE ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    As part of an ecological risk assessment case study at the Portsmouth naval Shipyard (PNS), Kittery, Maine, USA, the population level effects of lead exposure to purple sea urchin, Arbacia punctulata, were investigated using a stage-classified matrix population model. The model d...

  2. Middle Childhood Antecedents to Progressions in Male Adolescent Substance Use: An Ecological Analysis of Risk and Protection.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dishion, Thomas J.; Capaldi, Deborah M.; Yoerger, Karen

    1999-01-01

    This study examined antecedents to early patterned alcohol and tobacco use and marijuana experimentation between ages 11 and 16 for an at-risk male sample. Findings suggested that family, peer, and child characteristics were inextricably connected within an ecology of development. A structural equation prediction model suggested a higher order…

  3. Phenol removal efficiencies of sewage treatment processes and ecological risks associated with phenols in effluents.

    PubMed

    Zhong, Wenjue; Wang, Donghong; Xu, Xiaowei

    2012-05-30

    Phenols pose a risk to the environment and to human health. Phenols found in rivers mainly originate from sewage treatment plants (STPs). In this paper, analytical procedures, based on deconvolution technology and retention time locking technology, were investigated to simultaneously identify and determine the concentrations of fifty different phenols in sewage water and effluents. Seventeen different phenols were found in sewage and five - including two regulated phenols (phenol and 2,4,6-trichlorophenol) and three un-regulated phenols (2-chlorophenol, 2,5-dichlorophenol and 2,4-dichloro-3-ethyl-6-nitrophenol) - were identified in effluents of five STPs. A number of processes undertaken in five STPs were also investigated. These processes can be used to remove phenols at efficiency levels of between 88.95% and 99.97%. Among the processes tested, a combination of anaerobic/anoxic/oxic (A(2)/O), continuous microfiltration (CMF), ozone oxidation (O(3)), and chlorination, appeared to be the best option for the removal of key phenols. Among the five phenols identified in effluents, 2,5-dichlorophenol (1.89 μg/L) and 2,4-dichloro-3-ethyl-6-nitrophenol (22.6 μg/L) pose the greatest ecological risk to receiving waters.

  4. Spatiotemporal characteristics of organic contaminant concentrations and ecological risk assessment in the Songhua River, China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ce; Cyterski, Mike; Feng, Yujie; Gao, Peng; Sun, Qingfang

    2015-11-01

    To control source pollution and improve water quality, an understanding of the spatiotemporal characteristics of organic contaminant concentrations in affected receiving waters is necessary. The Songhua River in northeast China is the country's third-largest domestic river and loadings of organic contaminants along an industrialized section have made it the focal point of a national pollution reduction plan. In addition to water quality issues, management of the Songhua River basin must also address local economic development, aquatic ecosystem sustainability and political relationships with Russia. In three periods spanning 2006 to 2010, eight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and eight phenols were measured in surface waters at ten monitoring sites along the river. A generalized linear model (GLM) was used to characterize water quality at different sites and time periods. Chemical concentrations of the organic compounds showed significant sinusoidal seasonal patterns and the concentrations declined significantly from 2006 to 2010, possibly due to management practices designed to control water pollution. A critical body residue analysis showed that water concentrations measured during the winter of 2007 across all monitoring sites, but especially at S1-Shaokou and S2-Songhuajiangcun, presented a high risk for fish species. The spatiotemporal characteristics of water quality and estimated ecological risks shown here add to the body of knowledge to develop policies on industrial output and pollution management strategies for the Songhua River basin.

  5. 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.

  6. Pollution characteristics and ecological risk of heavy metals in ballast tank sediment.

    PubMed

    Feng, Daolun; Chen, Xiaofei; Tian, Wen; Qian, Qun; Shen, Hao; Liao, Dexiang; Lv, Baoyi

    2017-02-01

    This study was conducted to illustrate the contents and potential ecological risk of heavy metals in ballast tank sediment. Ballast sediment samples were collected from six ships during their stay in shipyard, and the heavy metals were determined by inductive coupled plasma emission spectrometer. Results showed that high concentrations of heavy metals were detected in all six sediment samples following the order: Zn > Cu > Pb > Cr > As > Cd > Hg. The geoaccumulation index explained the average pollution degree of heavy metals decreased as the following: Zn > Pb > Cu > As > Cr > Hg, and the environmental risk indices suggested that concentration found of Zn, Pb, and Cu might be highly toxic to aquatic organisms. Principal component and correlation analysis indicated the metal pollution in ballast tank sediment was affected by complex and different contamination mechanisms, and the corrosion of ballast tank played an important role in this process. In conclusion, this study is very useful for comprehensive consideration and efficient management of ballast tank sediment in order to protect the marine environment.

  7. Application of ecological risk indicators for the assessment of Greek surficial sediments contaminated by toxic metals.

    PubMed

    Hahladakis, John Ν; Vasilaki, Georgia; Smaragdaki, Eleftheria; Gidarakos, Evangelos

    2016-05-01

    Τhe present research investigates the partitioning of six selected toxic metals (Ni, Cr, Pb, Zn, Cu, and As) in eight sediment samples; half of them were collected from Elefsis Gulf, and the other half were taken from Koumoundourou Lake, Athens, Greece. Each one of them was treated by applying Tessier's five-step sequential extraction procedure. Regarding gulf sediments, the results indicated that Cu exhibits a strong affinity to the organic matter with percentages ranging from 65 to 78 %. Considerable amount of Zn (32-40 %) is bound to the Fe-Mn fraction and the non-residual fraction, while Cr and Ni are bound to the organic fraction, an observation that suits all toxic metals examined. Regarding lake sediments, Pb is the predominant metal bound to Fe-Mn (48-51 %). It is also noteworthy that the percentage of Zn bound to carbonated fraction (5-15 %), indicating biological availability. In conclusion, the application of several ecological risk indicators demonstrated that Elefsis Gulf sediments correspond to a moderate pollution level, with Pb and Ni being less bioavailable than in the lake's samples, in contrast to Zn which is more bioavailable. Finally, Koumoundourou Lakes' basin is characterized of "low risk."

  8. Coordinating ecological risk assessment with natural resource damage assessment: A panel discussion.

    PubMed

    Sanders, Brenda; Ammann, Mike; Hoff, Rebecca; Huston, Mark; Jenkins, Kenneth; Palagyi, Tony; Pelto, Karen; Rettig, Todd; Wagner, Anne

    2016-10-01

    Contaminated sites in the United States undergo remediation and restoration through regulatory programs that lead the 2 processes through independent but often parallel pathways with different objectives. The objective of remediation is to reduce risk to human health and the environment, whereas that of restoration is to restore injured resources and compensate the public for lost use of the services that natural resources provide. More complex sites, such as those associated with large river systems and urban waterways, have resulted in increasingly larger-scale ecological risk assessments (ERAs) and natural resource damage assessments (NRDAs) that take many years and involve diverse practitioners including scientists, economists, and engineers. Substantial levels of effort are now frequently required, creating a need for more efficient and cost-effective approaches to data collection, analyses, and assessments. Because there are commonalities in the data needs between ERAs and NRDAs, coordination of the design and implementation of site-specific studies that meet the needs of both programs could result in increased efficiency and lower costs. The Association for Environmental Health and Sciences Foundation convened a panel of environmental practitioners from industry, consulting, and regulatory bodies to examine the benefits and challenges associated with coordinating ERA and NRDA activities in the context of a broad range of regulatory programs. This brief communication presents the opinions and conclusions of the panelists on these issues and reports 2 case studies for which coordinated ERA and NRDA activities produced a positive outcome. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2016;12:616-621. © 2015 SETAC.

  9. Geography of non-melanoma skin cancer and ecological associations with environmental risk factors in England

    PubMed Central

    Wheeler, B W; Kothencz, G; Pollard, A S

    2013-01-01

    Background: This study investigates the geography of non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) in England, and ecological associations with three widespread environmental hazards: radon, arsenic and ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Methods: Age-/sex-standardised registration rates of NMSC were mapped for local authority (LA) areas (n=326), along with geographical data on bright sunshine, household radon and arsenic. Associations between NMSC and environmental variables, adjusted for socio-economic confounders, were investigated. Results: There was a substantial geographical variation in NMSC rates across English local authorities and between cancer registration regions. Forty percent of variance in rates was at registry region level and 60% at LA level. No association was observed between environmental arsenic and NMSC rates. Rates were associated with area-mean bright sunshine hours. An association with area-mean radon concentration was suggested, although the strength of statistical evidence was sensitive to model specification. Conclusion: The significant geographical variation across England in NMSC registration rate is likely to be partly, but not wholly, explained by registry differences. Findings tentatively support suggestions that environmental radon may be a risk factor for NMSC. Although NMSC is rarely fatal, it has significant implications for individuals and health services, and further research into NMSC geographical and environmental risk factors is warranted. PMID:23756856

  10. CyanoHAB occurrence and water irrigation cyanotoxin contamination: ecological impacts and potential health risks.

    PubMed

    Saqrane, Sana; Oudra, Brahim

    2009-12-01

    The world-wide occurrence of harmful cyanobacteria blooms "CyanoHAB" in fresh and brackish waters creates problems for all life forms. During CyanoHAB events, toxic cyanobacteria produce cyanotoxins at high levels that can cause chronic and sub-chronic toxicities to animals, plants and humans. Cyanotoxicity in eukaryotes has been mainly focused on animals, but during these last years, data, related to cyanotoxin (mainly microcystins, MCs) impact on both aquatic and terrestrials crop plants irrigated by water containing these toxins, have become more and more available. This last cited fact is gaining importance since plants could in a direct or indirect manner contribute to cyanotoxin transfer through the food chain, and thus constitute a potent health risk source. The use of this contaminated irrigation water can also have an economical impact which appears by a reduction of the germination rate of seeds, and alteration of the quality and the productivity of crop plants. The main objective of this work was to discuss the eventual phytotoxicity of cyanotoxins (microcystins) as the major agricultural impacts induced by the use of contaminated water for plant irrigation. These investigations confirm the harmful effects (ecological, eco-physiological, socio-economical and sanitary risk) of dissolved MCs on agricultural plants. Thus, cyanotoxin phytotoxicity strongly suggests a need for the surveillance of CyanoHAB and the monitoring of water irrigation quality as well as for drinking water.

  11. Incremental ecological exposure risks from contaminated sediments in an urban estuarine river.

    PubMed

    Ludwig, David F; Iannuzzi, Timothy J

    2005-11-01

    Estuaries in urban regions present unique environmental management challenges. Ecosystems in urban estuaries are typically impacted by habitat loss and degradation, watershed modification, and nonpoint and point sources of many chemicals. Restoring such systems requires an understanding of the relative contribution of various stressors to overall ecological conditions and an understanding of shifting patterns of stress over time. In this article, we present the results of a multiparameter environmental assessment of a quintessential urbanized waterway: the lower Passaic River in the vicinity of Newark, New Jersey, USA. To provide the foundation for effective management decision making, we quantified baseline conditions (habitat losses and degradation), chemical concentrations in sediment and biota relative to published toxic effect levels, direct toxicity of sediments to benthic organisms, and food-web mediated risks to fish-eating birds. Habitat losses have been severe (greater than 85% of wetlands, nearly 100% of the total length of tidal and nontidal tributaries, and 100% of natural shoreline habitat have been lost), resulting in substantial habitat constraints on biota. Despite this, biological communities are present in the lower Passaic. In general, concentrations of toxic chemicals in surface sediments have fallen with time, and natural recovery processes are proceeding. Chemical concentrations remain high enough to impair survival of amphipods, but not amphipod growth or polychaete growth or survival as measured in laboratory bioassays using field-collected sediment. Fish and blue crab body burdens of some metals, PCBs, and the pesticide, DDT, are at concentrations sufficiently high to exceed toxicity thresholds. The resident fish-eating bird--the belted kingfisher--is at exposure risk from some metals, PCBs, and polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzo furans (PCDD/Fs). Migratory waders--the herons and egrets--are not at risk from chemical exposure

  12. Spatial distribution and ecological risk assessment of heavy metal on surface sediment in west part of Java Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Effendi, Hefni; Wardiatno, Yusli; Kawaroe, Mujizat; Mursalin; Fauzia Lestari, Dea

    2017-01-01

    The surface sediments were identified from west part of Java Sea to evaluate spatial distribution and ecological risk potential of heavy metals (Hg, As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Zn and Ni). The samples were taken from surface sediment (<0.5 m) in 26 m up to 80 m water depth with Eikman grab. The average material composition on sediment samples were clay (9.86%), sand (8.57%) and mud sand (81.57%). The analysis showed that Pb (11.2%), Cd (49.7%), and Ni (59.5%) exceeded of Probably Effect Level (PEL). Base on ecological risk analysis, {{Cd }}≤ft( {E_r^i:300.64} \\right) and {{Cr }}≤ft( {E_r^i:0.02} \\right) were categorized to high risk and low risk criteria. The ecological risk potential sequences of this study were Cd>Hg>Pb>Ni>Cu>As>Zn>Cr. Furthermore, the result of multivariate statistical analysis shows that correlation among heavy metals (As/Ni, Cd/Ni, and Cu/Zn) and heavy metals with Risk Index (Cd/Ri and Ni/Ri) had positive correlation in significance level p<0.05. Total variance of analysis factor was 80.04% and developed into 3 factors (eigenvalues >1). On the cluster analysis, Cd, Ni, Pb were identified as fairly high contaminations level (cluster 1), Hg as moderate contamination level (cluster 2) and Cu, Zn, Cr with lower contamination level (cluster 3).

  13. Characterization of the ecological interactions of Roundup Ready 2 Yield® soybean, MON 89788, for use in ecological risk assessment

    PubMed Central

    Horak, Michael J; Rosenbaum, Eric W; Phillips, Samuel L; Kendrick, Daniel L; Carson, David; Clark, Pete L; Nickson, Thomas E

    2015-01-01

    Abstract As part of an ecological risk assessment, Roundup Ready 2 Yield® soybean (MON 89788) was compared to a conventional control soybean variety, A3244, for disease and arthropod damage, plant response to abiotic stress and cold, effects on succeeding plant growth (allelopathic effects), plant response to a bacterial symbiont, and effects on the ability of seed to survive and volunteer in a subsequent growing season. Statistically significant differences between MON 89788 and A3244 were considered in the context of the genetic variation known to occur in soybean and were assessed for their potential impact on plant pest (weed) potential and adverse environmental impact. The results of these studies revealed no effects of the genetic modification that would result in increased pest potential or adverse environmental impact of MON 89788 compared with A3244. This paper illustrates how such characterization studies conducted in a range of environments where the crop is grown are used in an ecological risk assessment of the genetically modified (GM) crop. Furthermore, risk assessors and decision makers use this information when deciding whether to approve a GM crop for cultivation in—or grain import into—their country. PMID:26177011

  14. Characterization of the ecological interactions of Roundup Ready 2 Yield® soybean, MON 89788, for use in ecological risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Horak, Michael J; Rosenbaum, Eric W; Phillips, Samuel L; Kendrick, Daniel L; Carson, David; Clark, Pete L; Nickson, Thomas E

    2015-01-01

    As part of an ecological risk assessment, Roundup Ready 2 Yield® soybean (MON 89788) was compared to a conventional control soybean variety, A3244, for disease and arthropod damage, plant response to abiotic stress and cold, effects on succeeding plant growth (allelopathic effects), plant response to a bacterial symbiont, and effects on the ability of seed to survive and volunteer in a subsequent growing season. Statistically significant differences between MON 89788 and A3244 were considered in the context of the genetic variation known to occur in soybean and were assessed for their potential impact on plant pest (weed) potential and adverse environmental impact. The results of these studies revealed no effects of the genetic modification that would result in increased pest potential or adverse environmental impact of MON 89788 compared with A3244. This paper illustrates how such characterization studies conducted in a range of environments where the crop is grown are used in an ecological risk assessment of the genetically modified (GM) crop. Furthermore, risk assessors and decision makers use this information when deciding whether to approve a GM crop for cultivation in-or grain import into-their country.

  15. Utilizing the great blue heron (Ardea herodias) in ecological risk assessments of bioaccumulative contaminants.

    PubMed

    Seston, Rita Marie; Zwiernik, Matthew John; Fredricks, Timothy Brian; Coefield, Sarah Jean; Tazelaar, Dustin Lee; Hamman, David Wayne; Paulson, John David; Giesy, John Paul

    2009-10-01

    Selection of an appropriate species is a key element of effective ecological risk assessments (ERA), especially when site-specific field studies are to be employed. Great blue herons (GBH) possess several ideal characteristics of a receptor species for the assessment of bioaccumulative compounds in the environment, such as ease of study, high potential for exposure, widespread distribution, and territorial foraging behavior. Methodologies for assessing exposure and population health are described herein. As outlined, the collection of GBH eggs, GBH nestling blood, and adult GBH blood allows for the determination of contaminant concentrations in various GBH tissues, a top-down assessment, which can be done in conjunction with predicted dietary exposure, a bottom-up assessment, to support a multiple lines of evidence approach. Additionally, population parameters, such as productivity and survival, can also be measured to elucidate if the contaminant exposure may be causing population level effects. Over the course of two years, three GBH rookeries were monitored for productivity and nestling exposure. Nests were monitored from blinds and individually accessed at multiple time points to obtain measures of nestling health, band nestlings, and collect eggs and nestling plasma. Multiple nests could frequently be accessed by climbing one tree, resulting in minimal effort to obtain the necessary sample size. Additionally, 51 adult GBH, captured in their foraging areas, were banded, and provided a blood sample. With these samples, a statistical difference in tissue based exposure was identified between the reference and target area. Statistically significant differences were also identified between the upper and lower reaches of the target area, thereby identifying a range of doses geographically which could be correlated to specific measurement endpoints. The ability to identify a dose response greatly increases the ability of the dataset to determine causation, a key goal

  16. 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.

  17. Spatial and temporal ecological risk assessment of unionized ammonia nitrogen in Tai Lake, China (2004-2015).

    PubMed

    Li, Yabing; Xu, Elvis Genbo; Liu, Wei; Chen, Yi; Liu, Hongling; Li, Di; Liu, Zhengtao; Giesy, John P; Yu, Hongxia

    2017-06-01

    Ammonia toxicity varies largely due to its pH- and temperature-dependent speciation (unionized ammonia nitrogen, NH3-N). The seasonal and long-term trend of ammonia risk in ecologically significant sections of Tai Lake, China was unknown. In this study, a two-level (deterministic and quantitative) method was developed to assess the special ecological risks posed by NH3-N at 37 sites during two seasons (February and September) of 2014 in Tai Lake. The long-term temporal (2004-2015) risk posed by NH3-N was also assessed by comparing annual quantitative risk values (probability of exceeding acute or chronic threshold values) in three key sections of Tai Lake. The results indicated the species living in the Tai Lake were at a 0.04% and 32.45% chance of risk due to acute exposure, and a 1.97% and 92.05% chance of risk due to chronic exposure in February and September of 2014, respectively. Alarmingly, the chronic ecological risks of NH3-N in the Lanshanzui section of the Tai Lake remained >30% from 2004 to 2011. The chronic risk of NH3-N in all three key sections of Tai Lake started to decrease in 2011. This was likely the consequence of the control practice of eutrophication implemented in the Tai Lake. A significant decline in diversity of the benthic invertebrate community of the Tai Lake could be associated with continuous exposure to ammonia over decades given different sensitivity of taxa to ammonia. The results laid a scientific foundation for risk assessment and management of ammonia in Tai Lake, China, and the developed two-level risk assessment approach can also be applied to other similar aquatic regions.

  18. Protection of the environment: how to position radioprotection in an ecological risk assessment perspective.

    PubMed

    Bréchignac, François

    2003-05-20

    The development of a system capable of ensuring adequate protection of the environment from the harmful effects of ionising radiation is at present particularly debated. This need comes both from a restrictive consideration of the environment in the so far existing system for human radioprotection, and the planetary-wide growing concerns about man's technogenic influence on his environment which have yielded 'sustainability' and 'precaution' as guiding principles for environmental protection. Whilst evolving from the field of human radioprotection, the radioprotection of the environment needs to be discussed in a wider perspective, with particular emphasis on the most advanced concepts which emerge from the efforts to deriving improved approaches to Ecological Risk Assessment. For the sake of protection, the environment is traditionally addressed through its biota since these are the sensitive components of ecosystems. Similarities between man and biotas reflect the ubiquitous mechanistic effects of radiation on life which disrupt molecules. However, important differences also arise in a number of perspectives, from the large spectrum of different species of biotas to their hierarchical self-organisation as interacting populations within ecosystems. Altogether, these aspects are prone to promote complex arrays of different responses to stress which lie beyond the scope of human radioprotection due to its focus on individuals of a single species. By means of selected illustrations, this paper reviews and discusses the current challenges faced in proper identification of measurable effect endpoints (stochastic/deterministic, individual/population- or ecosystem-relevant), dose limits in chronic exposure (or levels of concern), and their consideration according to radiation type (RBE) and interactions with other contaminants (synergies/antagonisms) which represent critical gaps in knowledge. The system of human radioprotection has conceptually been targeted at limiting

  19. Neighborhoods and Adolescent Health-Risk Behavior: An Ecological Network Approach1

    PubMed Central

    Browning, Christopher R.; Soller, Brian; Jackson, Aubrey L.

    2014-01-01

    This study integrates insights from social network analysis, activity space perspectives, and theories of urban and spatial processes to present an innovative approach to neighborhood effects on health-risk behavior among youth. We suggest spatial patterns of neighborhood residents’ non-home routine activities may be conceptualized as ecological, or “eco”-networks, which are two-mode networks that indirectly link residents through socio-spatial overlap in routine activities. We further argue structural configurations of eco-networks are consequential for youth’s behavioral health. In this study we focus on a key structural feature of eco-networks—the neighborhood-level extent to which households share two or more activity locations, or eco-network reinforcement—and its association with two dimensions of health-risk behavior, substance use and delinquency/sexual activity. Using geographic data on non-home routine activity locations among respondents from the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey (L.A.FANS), we constructed neighborhood-specific eco-networks by connecting sampled households to “activity clusters,” which are sets of spatially-proximate activity locations. We then measured eco-network reinforcement and examined its association with adolescent dimensions of health risk behavior employing a sample of 830 youth ages 12-17 nested in 65 census tracts. We also examined whether neighborhood-level social processes (collective efficacy and intergenerational closure) mediate the association between eco-network reinforcement and the outcomes considered. Results indicated eco-network reinforcement exhibits robust negative associations with both substance use and delinquency/sexual activity scales. Eco-network reinforcement effects were not explained by potential mediating variables. In addition to introducing a novel theoretical and empirical approach to neighborhood effects on youth, our findings highlight the importance of eco

  20. Survey of methodologies for developing media screening values for ecological risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Barron, Mace G; Wharton, Steven R

    2005-11-01

    This review evaluates the methodologies of 13 screening value (SV) compilations that have been commonly used in ecological risk assessment (ERA), including compilations from state and U.S. federal agencies, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Canada, The Netherlands, and Australia. The majority of surfacewater SVs were primarily derived for the protection of aquatic organisms using 2 approaches: (1) a statistical assessment of toxicity values by species groupings, such as "ambient water quality criteria," or (2) extrapolation of a lowest observed adverse effect level determined from limited toxicity data using an uncertainty factor. Sediment SVs were primarily derived for the protection of benthic invertebrates using 2 approaches: (1) statistical interpretations of databases on the incidence of biological effects and chemical concentrations in sediment, or (2) values derived from equilibrium partitioning based on a surfacewater SV. Soil SVs were derived using a diversity of approaches and were usually based on the lowest value determined from soil toxicity to terrestrial plants or invertebrates and, less frequently, from modeled, incidental soil ingestion or chemical accumulation in terrestrial organisms. The various SV compilations and methodologies had varying levels of conservatism and were not consistent in the pathways and receptors considered in the SV derivation. Many SVs were derived from other compilations and were based on outdated values, or they relied on only older toxicity data. Risk assessors involved in ERA should carefully evaluate the technical basis of SVs and consider the uncertainty in any value used to determine the presence or absence of risk and the need for further assessment.

  1. Neighborhoods and adolescent health-risk behavior: an ecological network approach.

    PubMed

    Browning, Christopher R; Soller, Brian; Jackson, Aubrey L

    2015-01-01

    This study integrates insights from social network analysis, activity space perspectives, and theories of urban and spatial processes to present an novel approach to neighborhood effects on health-risk behavior among youth. We suggest spatial patterns of neighborhood residents' non-home routines may be conceptualized as ecological, or "eco"-networks, which are two-mode networks that indirectly link residents through socio-spatial overlap in routine activities. We further argue structural configurations of eco-networks are consequential for youth's behavioral health. In this study we focus on a key structural feature of eco-networks--the neighborhood-level extent to which household dyads share two or more activity locations, or eco-network reinforcement--and its association with two dimensions of health-risk behavior, substance use and delinquency/sexual activity. Using geographic data on non-home routine activity locations among respondents from the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey (L.A.FANS), we constructed neighborhood-specific eco-networks by connecting sampled households to "activity clusters," which are sets of spatially-proximate activity locations. We then measured eco-network reinforcement and examined its association with dimensions of adolescent health risk behavior employing a sample of 830 youth ages 12-17 nested in 65 census tracts. We also examined whether neighborhood-level social processes (collective efficacy and intergenerational closure) mediate the association between eco-network reinforcement and the outcomes considered. Results indicated eco-network reinforcement exhibits robust negative associations with both substance use and delinquency/sexual activity scales. Eco-network reinforcement effects were not explained by potential mediating variables. In addition to introducing a novel theoretical and empirical approach to neighborhood effects on youth, our findings highlight the importance of intersecting conventional routines for

  2. Biological quality of soils containing hydrocarbons and efficacy of ecological risk reduction by bioremediation alternatives

    SciTech Connect

    Stewart, A.J.; Napolitano, G.E.; Sample, B.E.

    1996-06-01

    This project provides technical support to the Petroleum Environmental Research Forum (PERF; a consortium of petroleum companies) on environmentally acceptable endpoints that may be used to help assess the ecological risk of petroleum hydrocarbon residuals in soils. The project, was designed in consultation with PERF representatives and focuses on the relationship between {open_quotes}chemically available{close_quotes} and {open_quotes}biologically available{close_quotes} measurements of petroleum hydrocarbon compounds in soils, a discrepancy of considerable interest to the petroleum industry. Presently, clean-up standards for soils contaminated with total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) constituents are based on concentrations of TPH, as measured in solvent extracts of soil samples. Interestingly, TPH includes a complex mixture of compounds which differ from one another in molecular weight and toxicity. Based on various studies with insecticides, herbicides and metals, some compounds apparently can slowly permeate into soil particles. If this situation occurs, the particle-embedded compounds may be extractable by use of organic solvents, and yet be unavailable biologically. This hypothesis serves as the central focus for our study. If this hypothesis is correct, then soil clean-up standards based on solvent-extractable TPH data may be more stringent than necessary to achieve a desired level of environmental risk. The economic significance of this possibility is considerable, because clean-up costs to achieve a low-risk status would, in most cases, be lower than those needed to achieve a standard based on present limits, which are based on measurements of {open_quotes}extractable{close_quotes} TPH.

  3. Association of extinction risk of saproxylic beetles with ecological degradation of forests in Europe.

    PubMed

    Seibold, Sebastian; Brandl, Roland; Buse, Jörn; Hothorn, Torsten; Schmidl, Jürgen; Thorn, Simon; Müller, Jörg

    2015-04-01

    To reduce future loss of biodiversity and to allocate conservation funds effectively, the major drivers behind large-scale extinction processes must be identified. A promising approach is to link the red-list status of species and specific traits that connect species of functionally important taxa or guilds to resources they rely on. Such traits can be used to detect the influence of anthropogenic ecosystem changes and conservation efforts on species, which allows for practical recommendations for conservation. We modeled the German Red List categories as an ordinal index of extinction risk of 1025 saproxylic beetles with a proportional-odds linear mixed-effects model for ordered categorical responses. In this model, we estimated fixed effects for intrinsic traits characterizing species biology, required resources, and distribution with phylogenetically correlated random intercepts. The model also allowed predictions of extinction risk for species with no red-list category. Our model revealed a higher extinction risk for lowland and large species as well as for species that rely on wood of large diameter, broad-leaved trees, or open canopy. These results mirror well the ecological degradation of European forests over the last centuries caused by modern forestry, that is the conversion of natural broad-leaved forests to dense conifer-dominated forests and the loss of old growth and dead wood. Therefore, conservation activities aimed at saproxylic beetles in all types of forests in Central and Western Europe should focus on lowlands, and habitat management of forest stands should aim at increasing the amount of dead wood of large diameter, dead wood of broad-leaved trees, and dead wood in sunny areas.

  4. Ecological risk assessments of endocrine disrupting organotin compounds using marine neogastropods in Hong Kong.

    PubMed

    Leung, Kenneth M Y; Kwong, Rita P Y; Ng, W C; Horiguchi, Toshihiro; Qiu, J W; Yang, Ruiqiang; Song, Maoyong; Jiang, Guibin; Zheng, Gene J; Lam, Paul K S

    2006-11-01

    As active ingredients of anti-fouling paints that are widely used on ship hulls, organotin compounds, in particular tributyltin (TBT), are well-known endocrine disruptors causing sex changes in marine organisms and widespread in coastal waters and sediments worldwide. In this study, a comprehensive ecological risk assessment (ERA) of organotins was conducted in Hong Kong waters through determining the imposex status, sex ratio and tissue burdens of these compounds in the neogastropods, Thais clavigera and Thais luteostoma collected from 29 coastal sites. We also investigated the historical trend of organotin effects on these gastropods, and performed a probabilistic ERA based on tissue burden of TBT in the animals. Our results demonstrated that imposex indices were positively correlated with the body burden of organotins in the gastropods. Across all sites, the sex ratio (female:male) decreased significantly with increasing imposex levels or tissue burden of organotins, implying that such pollutants can result in a male-biased population, potentially leading to local extinction in extreme cases. Based on the ERA, 5.4% of all populations of T. clavigera are at risk due to exposure to TBT; the risks include growth inhibition, impairment of immune functions and reduced fitness. Seriously impacted areas included Aberdeen, Repulse Bay, Butterfly Beach, Mui Wo and Ha Mei Wan. A comparison with historical data revealed that there had been some improvement in the areas with low marine traffic, and distant from the major harbour/port. This could partly be due to the restriction on the use of TBT on small vessels (<25m in length) since 1992. Nevertheless, the organotin contamination still remains severe in areas with high marine traffic or adjacent to large harbours/ports. In particular, the situation in the northeastern waters of Hong Kong has been getting worst since 1996 that is probably associated with the rapid development of the cargo container port at Yantian in China.

  5. Ecological risk assessment of bisphenol A in surface waters of China based on both traditional and reproductive endpoints.

    PubMed

    Guo, Lei; Li, Zhengyan; Gao, Pei; Hu, Hong; Gibson, Mark

    2015-11-01

    Bisphenol A (BPA) occurs widely in natural waters with both traditional and reproductive toxicity to various aquatic species. The water quality criteria (WQC), however, have not been established in China, which hinders the ecological risk assessment for the pollutant. This study therefore aims to derive the water quality criteria for BPA based on both acute and chronic toxicity endpoints and to assess the ecological risk in surface waters of China. A total of 15 acute toxicity values tested with aquatic species resident in China were found in published literature, which were simulated with the species sensitivity distribution (SSD) model for the derivation of criterion maximum concentration (CMC). 18 chronic toxicity values with traditional endpoints were simulated for the derivation of traditional criterion continuous concentration (CCC) and 12 chronic toxicity values with reproductive endpoints were for reproductive CCC. Based on the derived WQC, the ecological risk of BPA in surface waters of China was assessed with risk quotient (RQ) method. The results showed that the CMC, traditional CCC and reproductive CCC were 1518μgL(-1), 2.19μgL(-1) and 0.86μgL(-1), respectively. The acute risk of BPA was negligible with RQ values much lower than 0.1. The chronic risk was however much higher with RQ values of between 0.01-3.76 and 0.03-9.57 based on traditional and reproductive CCC, respectively. The chronic RQ values on reproductive endpoints were about threefold as high as those on traditional endpoints, indicating that ecological risk assessment based on traditional effects may not guarantee the safety of aquatic biota.

  6. Approach and strategy for performing ecological risk assessments for the U.S. Department of Energy`s Oak Ridge Reservation: 1994 revision

    SciTech Connect

    Suter, G.W. II; Sample, B.E.; Jones, D.S.; Ashwood, T.L.

    1994-08-01

    This report provides guidance for planning and performing ecological risk assessments on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR). The tiered approach to ecological risk assessment has been implemented, generic conceptual models have been developed, and a general approach for developing ecological assessment endpoints and measurement endpoints has been agreed upon. The document also includes changes in terminology to agree with the terminology in the US Environmental Protection Agency`s (EPA`s) framework for ecological risk assessment. Although ecological risks are equal in regulatory importance to human health risks, formal procedures for ecological risk assessment are poorly developed. This report will provide specific guidance and promote the use of consistent approaches for ecological risk assessments at individual sites on the ORR. The strategy discussed in this report is consistent with the overall strategy for site management and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) compliance and with relevant EPA guidance. The general approach and strategy presented herein was developed for the ORR, but it should be applicable to other complex CERCLA sites that possess significant ecological resources.

  7. Effects of urbanization expansion on landscape pattern and region ecological risk in Chinese coastal city: a case study of Yantai city.

    PubMed

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

    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 km(2) with average expansion area of 5.42 km(2) 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.

  8. 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

  9. Integration of bioavailability, ecology and ecotoxicology by three lines of evidence into ecological risk indexes for contaminated soil assessment.

    PubMed

    Semenzin, Elena; Critto, Andrea; Rutgers, Michiel; Marcomini, Antonio

    2008-01-15

    A Weight of Evidence approach was applied to define three integrated effect indexes estimating the impairment on terrestrial ecosystems caused by the stressor(s) of concern. According to a Triad approach, the integrated effect indexes combined the information provided by the measurement endpoints of each line of evidence (chemistry/bioavailability, ecology and ecotoxicology) and allowed to analyse the impairment degree highlighted by each measurement endpoint as difference from the reference condition. Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) was used for the aggregation of the complementary Triad information, including expert judgement and a weighted procedure based on the endpoint sensitivity and the sensitivity of the test for ecosystem effects. The developed methodology was implemented in the DSS-ERAMANIA, Module 2, and is presented in this paper as "Integrated Effect Indexes" (IEI) sub-module. The latter has been preliminary applied to the Acna di Cengio (Italy) contaminated site; the results of this application are presented and discussed.

  10. Calculation of the ecological risk index in the José Antonio Alzate Dam, State of Mexico, Mexico.

    PubMed

    López-Galván, Edgar; Barceló-Quintal, Icela; Solís-Correa, Hugo E; Bussy, Anne Laure; Avila-Pérez, Pedro; Delgadillo, Sergio Martínez

    2010-06-01

    Due to the problem of contamination in the Jose Antonio Alzate dam, located in the State of Mexico, Mexico, the partition coefficient, the contamination degree, and the ecological risk index of nine metals were calculated in order to establish the water quality in different areas of the Alzate dam. The sampling sites were selected according to the river flow into the dam, via three sampling programs, the physical-chemical parameters were measured in situ, and the samples were collected to measure metals in the dissolved phase and also as suspended particulate matter. Thomann's model was used to calculate the partition coefficient. Håkanson's methodology was used to determine the degree of contamination and the ecological risk index. Finally, the water quality criteria for the dissolved metals were calculated. The results for suspended particulate matter suggest a moderate risk of metal contamination in the dam. Copper and lead in dissolved form exceeded the values of water quality criteria.

  11. Esturaine ecological risk assessment for Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine. Phase. 1. Problem formulation. Final report, September 1991-May 1993

    SciTech Connect

    Johnston, R.K.; Munns, W.R.; Mills, L.J.; Short, F.T.; Walker, H.A.

    1994-12-01

    An ecological risk assessment framework was applied to assess the ecological risk of the operations of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNSY) in Kittery, ME, on the Piscataqua River and Great Bay Estuary located in NH and ME. Measures of contamination and biological impact were made on samples collected in depositional areas (eelgrass beds) at sites in the immediate vicinity of the Shipyard and at reference sites located in the Estuary and the York River, ME. Data were collected on sediment texture and sediment toxicity to benthic amphipeds. Water quality parameters, water column toxicity to sea urchin gametes, microbial contaminants in sediment and water samples, current patterns, deployed mussel physiology, chemical contamination in sediment, tissue (mussels, oysters, eelgaass, fucoid algae, lobster, and flounder) and water samples, and organic chemical markers. Eelgrass, fucoid algae, lobster, flounder, mussel and benthic habitats were assessed in the lower estuary. Although important ecological resources in the estuary appear to be healthy, indications of ecological stress were identified. Results from chemical analyses showed that lead, mercury, nickel, zinc, chromium, and, to a lesser degree, polychlorinated biphenyls are contaminants of concern in the estuary. Results were used to determine appropriate follow-on investigations to characterize risk.

  12. Ecological risk analysis as a key factor in environmental safety system development in the Arctic region of the Russian Federation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bolsunovskaya, Y. A.; Bolsunovskaya, L. M.

    2015-02-01

    Due to specific natural and climatic conditions combined with human intervention, the Arctic is regarded as a highly sensitive region to any environmental pressures. Arctic projects require continuous environmental monitoring. This poses for the government of the Russian Federation (RF) a tremendous task concerning the formation and implementation of sustainable nature management policy within the international framework. The current article examines the basic constraints to the effective ecological safety system implementation in the Arctic region of the RF. The ecological risks and their effects which influence the sustainable development of the region were analyzed. The model of complex environmental safety system was proposed.

  13. [Heavy metal pollution in street dusts from different functional zones of Luoyang City and its potential ecological risk].

    PubMed

    Liu, De-Hong; Wang, Fa-Yuan; Zhou, Wen-Li; Yang, Yu-Jian

    2012-01-01

    The concentrations of heavy metals (Cu, Zn, Pb, Cr, Cd) in street dusts were investigated in six different functional zones of Luoyang City, i.e., urban-rural continuum, urban artery, industrial district, urban green space, residential district, and business district. The pollution levels and potential ecological risk of heavy metals were assessed by the methods of potential ecological risk index suggested by Håkanson. The results showed that heavy metal concentrations in street dusts from different functional zones of Luoyang City were all higher than soil background values in Henan, with average concentrations of Zn (1019.75 mg x kg(-1)) > Cr (401.63 mg x kg(-1)) > Cu (240.94 mg x kg(-1)) > Pb (176.04 mg x kg(-1)) > Cd (2.33 mg x kg(-1)). Cd was the most seriously polluted metal in all functional zones, and the average pollution index (Cf(i)) reached 35.84, following by Zn (16.32) > Cu (12.05) > Pb (7.90) > Cr (6.36). Heavy metal concentrations and pollution levels varied greatly in different functional zones, and industrial zone had the highest total contents and the heaviest pollution. The integrated potential ecological risk index (RI) in different functional zones all reached very strong levels, with an order of industrial district (1709.51) > urban green space (1581.50) > business district (1 297.45) > residential district (1 111.25) > urban artery (889.97) > urban-rural continuum (641.39). Among the surveyed heavy metals, Cd accounted for the major potential ecological risk, and the average potential ecological risk index (Er(i)) reached 1075.16 (extremely strong risk level) in all six functional zones. The average Er(i) of Cu and Pb reached 60.23 and 40.77 respectively, belonging to moderate risk level, while Zn (16.32) and Cr (12.71) only reached slight risk level. A reduction in industrial and traffic pollution might be the key measure to decrease the heavy metal pollution and potential risk in street dusts.

  14. Radionuclides in the Arctic seas from the former Soviet Union: Potential health and ecological risks

    SciTech Connect

    Layton, D W; Edson, R; Varela, M; Napier, B

    1999-11-15

    The primary goal of the assessment reported here is to evaluate the health and environmental threat to coastal Alaska posed by radioactive-waste dumping in the Arctic and Northwest Pacific Oceans by the FSU. In particular, the FSU discarded 16 nuclear reactors from submarines and an icebreaker in the Kara Sea near the island of Novaya Zemlya, of which 6 contained spent nuclear fuel (SNF); disposed of liquid and solid wastes in the Sea of Japan; lost a {sup 90}Sr-powered radioisotope thermoelectric generator at sea in the Sea of Okhotsk; and disposed of liquid wastes at several sites in the Pacific Ocean, east of the Kamchatka Peninsula. In addition to these known sources in the oceans, the RAIG evaluated FSU waste-disposal practices at inland weapons-development sites that have contaminated major rivers flowing into the Arctic Ocean. The RAIG evaluated these sources for the potential for release to the environment, transport, and impact to Alaskan ecosystems and peoples through a variety of scenarios, including a worst-case total instantaneous and simultaneous release of the sources under investigation. The risk-assessment process described in this report is applicable to and can be used by other circumpolar countries, with the addition of information about specific ecosystems and human life-styles. They can use the ANWAP risk-assessment framework and approach used by ONR to establish potential doses for Alaska, but add their own specific data sets about human and ecological factors. The ANWAP risk assessment addresses the following Russian wastes, media, and receptors: dumped nuclear submarines and icebreaker in Kara Sea--marine pathways; solid reactor parts in Sea of Japan and Pacific Ocean--marine pathways; thermoelectric generator in Sea of Okhotsk--marine pathways; current known aqueous wastes in Mayak reservoirs and Asanov Marshes--riverine to marine pathways; and Alaska as receptor. For these waste and source terms addressed, other pathways, such as

  15. Integrated ecological risk assessment of pesticides in tropical ecosystems: a case study with carbofuran in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Chelinho, Sónia; Lopes, Isabel; Natal-da-Luz, Tiago; Domene, Xaxier; Nunes, Maria Edna Tenorio; Espíndola, Evaldo L G; Ribeiro, Rui; Sousa, Jose P

    2012-02-01

    The aim of the present study is to contribute an ecologically relevant assessment of the ecotoxicological effects of pesticide applications in agricultural areas in the tropics, using an integrated approach with information gathered from soil and aquatic compartments. Carbofuran, an insecticide/nematicide used widely on sugarcane crops, was selected as a model substance. To evaluate the toxic effects of pesticide spraying for soil biota, as well as the potential indirect effects on aquatic biota resulting from surface runoff and/or leaching, field and laboratory (using a cost-effective simulator of pesticide applications) trials were performed. Standard ecotoxicological tests were performed with soil (Eisenia andrei, Folsomia candida, and Enchytraeus crypticus) and aquatic (Ceriodaphnia silvestrii) organisms, using serial dilutions of soil, eluate, leachate, and runoff samples. Among soil organisms, sensitivity was found to be E. crypticus < E. andrei < F. candida. Among the aqueous extracts, mortality of C. silvestrii was extreme in runoff samples, whereas eluates were by far the least toxic samples. A generally higher toxicity was found in the bioassays performed with samples from the field trial, indicating the need for improvements in the laboratory simulator. However, the tool developed proved to be valuable in evaluating the toxic effects of pesticide spraying in soils and the potential risks for aquatic compartments.

  16. Community ecology and disease risk: lizards, squirrels, and the Lyme disease spirochete in California, USA.

    PubMed

    Salkeld, Daniel J; Lane, Robert S

    2010-01-01

    Vector-borne zoonotic diseases are often maintained in complex transmission cycles involving multiple vertebrate hosts and their arthropod vectors. In the state of California, U.S.A., the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, which causes Lyme disease, is transmitted between vertebrate hosts by the western black-legged tick, Ixodes pacificus. Several mammalian species serve as reservoir hosts of the spirochete, but levels of tick infestation, reservoir competence, and Borrelia-infection prevalence vary widely among such hosts. Here, we model the host (lizards, Peromyscus mice, Californian meadow voles, dusky-footed wood rats, and western gray squirrels), vector, and pathogen community of oak woodlands in northwestern California to determine the relative importance of different tick hosts. Observed infection prevalence of B. burgdorferi in host-seeking I. pacificus nymphs was 1.8-5.3%, and our host-community model estimated an infection prevalence of 1.6-2.2%. The western gray squirrel (Sciurus griseus) was the only source of infected nymphs. Lizards, which are refractory to Borrelia infection, are important in feeding subadult ticks but reduce disease risk (nymphal infection prevalence). Species identity is therefore critical in understanding and determining the local disease ecology.

  17. Microbial ecology of terrestrial Antarctica: Are microbial systems at risk from human activities?

    SciTech Connect

    White, G.J.

    1996-08-01

    Many of the ecological systems found in continental Antarctica are comprised entirely of microbial species. Concerns have arisen that these microbial systems might be at risk either directly through the actions of humans or indirectly through increased competition from introduced species. Although protection of native biota is covered by the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, strict measures for preventing the introduction on non-native species or for protecting microbial habitats may be impractical. This report summarizes the research conducted to date on microbial ecosystems in continental Antarctica and discusses the need for protecting these ecosystems. The focus is on communities inhabiting soil and rock surfaces in non-coastal areas of continental Antarctica. Although current polices regarding waste management and other operations in Antarctic research stations serve to reduce the introduction on non- native microbial species, importation cannot be eliminated entirely. Increased awareness of microbial habitats by field personnel and protection of certain unique habitats from physical destruction by humans may be necessary. At present, small-scale impacts from human activities are occurring in certain areas both in terms of introduced species and destruction of habitat. On a large scale, however, it is questionable whether the introduction of non-native microbial species to terrestrial Antarctica merits concern.

  18. Iron Ore Industry Emissions as a Potential Ecological Risk Factor for Tropical Coastal Vegetation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuki, Kacilda N.; Oliva, Marco A.; Pereira, Eduardo G.

    2008-07-01

    In the coastal zone of the Espírito Santo state, Brazil, fragments of restinga, which form a natural ecosystem, share their space with an increasing number of iron ore industries. The iron ore dust and SO2 originating from the industry processing activities can interfere with the vegetation of the adjacent ecosystems at various levels. This study was undertaken in order to evaluate the effects of industry emissions on representative members of the restinga flora, by measuring physiological and phenological parameters. Foliar samples of Ipomoea pes caprae, Canavalia rosea, Sophora tomentosa, and Schinus terebinthifolius were collected at three increasing distances from an ore industry (1.0, 5.0, and 15.0 km), and were assessed for their dust deposition, chlorophyll, and Fe content. Phenological monitoring was focused on the formation of shoots, flowers, and fruits and was also performed throughout the course of a year. The results showed that the edaphic characteristics and the mineral constitutions of the plants were affected by industry emissions. In addition, the chlorophyll content of the four species increased with proximity to the industry. Phenological data revealed that the reproductive effort, as measured by fruit production, was affected by emissions and S. tomentosa was the most affected species. The use of an integrative approach that combines biochemical and ecological data indicates that the restinga flora is under stress due to industry emissions, which on a long-term basis may put the ecosystem at risk.

  19. Terrestrial ecological risk evaluation for triclosan in land-applied biosolids.

    PubMed

    Fuchsman, Phyllis; Lyndall, Jennifer; Bock, Michael; Lauren, Darrel; Barber, Timothy; Leigh, Katrina; Perruchon, Elyse; Capdevielle, Marie

    2010-07-01

    Triclosan is an antimicrobial compound found in many consumer products including soaps and personal care products. Most triclosan is disposed of down household drains, whereupon it is conveyed to wastewater treatment plants. Although a high percentage of triclosan biodegrades during wastewater treatment, most of the remainder is adsorbed to sludge, which may ultimately be applied to land as biosolids. We evaluated terrestrial ecological risks related to triclosan in land-applied biosolids for soil microbes, plants, soil invertebrates, mammals, and birds. Exposures are estimated using a probabilistic fugacity-based model. Triclosan concentrations in biosolids and reported biosolids application rates are compiled to support estimation of triclosan concentrations in soil. Concentrations in biota tissue are estimated using an equilibrium partitioning model for plants and worms and a steady-state model for small mammals; the resulting tissue concentrations are used to model mammalian and avian dietary exposures. Toxicity benchmarks are identified from a review of published and proprietary studies. The results indicate that adverse effects related to soil fertility (i.e., disruption of nitrogen cycling) would be expected only under "worst-case" exposures, under certain soil conditions and would likely be transient. The available data indicate that adverse effects on plants, invertebrates, birds, and mammals due to triclosan in land-applied biosolids are unlikely.

  20. Ecological risk assessment and natural resource damage assessment: synthesis of assessment procedures.

    PubMed

    Gala, William; Lipton, Joshua; Cernera, Phil; Ginn, Thomas; Haddad, Robert; Henning, Miranda; Jahn, Kathryn; Landis, Wayne; Mancini, Eugene; Nicoll, James; Peters, Vicky; Peterson, Jennifer

    2009-10-01

    The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) convened an invited workshop (August 2008) to address coordination between ecological risk assessment (ERA) and natural resource damage assessment (NRDA). Although ERA and NRDA activities are performed under a number of statutory and regulatory authorities, the primary focus of the workshop was on ERA and NRDA as currently practiced in the United States under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). This paper presents the findings and conclusions of the Synthesis Work Group, 1 of 3 work groups convened at the workshop. The Synthesis Work Group concluded that the different programmatic objectives and legal requirements of the 2 processes preclude development of a single, integrated ERA/NRDA process. However, although institutional and programmatic impediments exist to integration of the 2 processes, parties are capitalizing on opportunities to coordinate technical and scientific elements of the assessments at a number of locations. Although it is important to recognize and preserve the distinctions between ERA and NRDA, opportunities for data sharing exist, particularly for the characterization of environmental exposures and derivation of ecotoxicological information. Thus, effective coordination is not precluded by the underlying science. Rather, willing participants, accommodating schedules, and recognition of potential efficiencies associated with shared data collection can lead to enhanced coordination and consistency between ERA and NRDA.

  1. Ecotoxicological and analytical assessment of hydrocarbon-contaminated soils and application to ecological risk assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Saterbak, A.; Toy, R.J.; Wong, D.C.L.; McMain, B.J.; Williams, M.P.; Dorn, P.B.; Brzuzy, L.P.; Chai, E.Y.; Salanitro, J.P.

    1999-07-01

    Ecotoxicological assessments of contaminated soil aim to understand the effect of introduced chemicals on the soil flora and fauna. Ecotoxicity test methods were developed and conducted on hydrocarbon-contaminated soils and on adjacent uncontaminated control soils from eight field locations. Tests included 7-d, 14-d, and chronic survival tests and reproduction assays for the earthworm (Eisenia fetida) and seed germination, root length, and plant growth assays for corn, lettuce, mustard, and wheat. Species-specific responses were observed with no-observed effect concentrations (NOECs) ranging from <1 to 100% contaminated soil. The 14-d earthworm survival NOEC was equal to or greater than the reproduction NOEC values for numbers of cocoons and juveniles, which were similar to one another. Cocoon and juvenile production varied among the control soils. Germination and root length NOECs for mustard and lettuce were less than NOECs for corn and wheat. Root length NOECs were similar to or less than seed germination NOECs. Statistically significant correlations for earthworm survival and seed germination as a function of hydrocarbon measurements were found. The 14-d earthworm survival and the seed germination tests are recommended for use in the context of a risk-based framework for the ecological assessment of contaminated sites.

  2. Predation risk is an ecological constraint for helper dispersal in a cooperatively breeding cichlid.

    PubMed Central

    Heg, Dik; Bachar, Zina; Brouwer, Lyanne; Taborsky, Michael

    2004-01-01

    Environmental conditions are thought to be responsible for the extent and benefits of cooperative breeding in many animal societies, but experimental tests are scarce. We manipulated predator pressure in the cooperatively breeding cichlid Neolamprologus pulcher in Lake Tanganyika, where predators have been suggested to influence helper and breeder survival, helper dispersal and group reproductive success. We varied the type and intensity of predation by releasing medium, large, or no predators inside large underwater cages enclosing two or three group territories. Helper and breeder survival, helper dispersal and group reproductive success decreased from the control, to the medium- and large-predator treatments. These effects were modified by helper body size and the number of adults protecting the group from predators, supporting the 'group augmentation hypothesis'. Predators forced helpers to stay closer to, and spend more time inside, protective shelters. The results demonstrate the importance of predators for group living in this species, and support the 'ecological constraints hypothesis' of cooperative breeding, in the sense that subordinates stay at home rather than leave and breed independently under the risk of predation. PMID:15556889

  3. Spatial distribution and ecological risk assessment of metals in sediments of Baiyangdian wetland ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Su, Liya; Liu, Jingling; Christensen, Per

    2011-07-01

    Although there are many studies of heavy metal contaminations of sediments, attention has seldom been paid to the problem in developing countries. The purpose of this article is to find the distribution and ecological risk of As, Hg, Cr, Cd, Pb, Cu, and Zn in surface sediment of Baiyangdian which is the biggest wetland in Northeast China. We apply three methodologies. The first is literature analysis comparing total concentrations of heavy metals with other water bodies around world. The second is Chinese Environmental Quality Standard for Soils (EQSS), National Environmental Protection Agency of China 1995, and the third is Soil and Aquatic Sediment Guidelines and Standards issued by New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). The results show that compared to other water bodies around the world, the seven heavy metals are low. However, Cd was found in the most polluting level of EQSS near a village and was second grade some distance from it. The village was also the most polluted site of Zn, which was in the second grade. When assessed by NYSDEC, Cu, Cr, and As contaminated the sediment and with moderate impacts on benthic life while Pb, Hg, and Zn were found at tolerable levels throughout Baiyangdian. The centre of Cu and Cr contamination was also near the village. As is the most polluting heavy metals with a major occurrence in the middle of the wetland. There were no heavy metals creating severe disturbance to the benthic communities. Based on the assessment, this article proposes different options for more sustainable management.

  4. Effective coordination and cooperation between ecological risk assessments and natural resource damage assessments: a new synthesis.

    PubMed

    Gouguet, Ronald G; Charters, David W; Champagne, Larry F; Davis, Mark; Desvouges, William; Durda, Judi L; Hyatt, William H; Jacobson, Rachel; Kapustka, Larry; Longoria, Rose M

    2009-10-01

    Although ecological risk assessments (ERAs) and natural resource damage assessments (NRDAs) are performed under different statutory and regulatory authorities, primarily the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), as currently practiced, the activities typically overlap. ERAs performed as part of the response process (typically by the US Environmental Protection Agency [USEPA]) should be closely coordinated with the natural resource trustees' (trustees') NRDAs. Trustees should actively participate in the early stages of the remedial investigation (RI) and work with USEPA, including the potentially responsible parties (PRPs), when appropriate, to coordinate NRDA data needs with those of the RI. Close coordination can present opportunities to avoid inefficiencies, such as unnecessary resampling or duplicate data gathering, and provide the opportunity to fulfill both process requirements with a few well-designed investigations. Early identification of opportunities for practical combined assessment can save money and time as the restoration process proceeds and facilitate a cooperative resolution of the entire site's CERCLA liability. The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) convened an invited workshop (August 2008) to address coordination between ERA and NRDA efforts. This paper presents the findings and conclusions of the Framework Work Group, which considered technical issues common to each process, while mindful of the current legal and policy landscape, and developed recommendations for future practice.

  5. Web portal for management of bioindication methods and ecotoxicological tests in ecological risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Smid, R; Kubasek, M; Klimes, D; Dusek, L; Jarkovsky, J; Marsalek, B; Hilscherova, K; Blaha, L; Cupr, P; Holoubek, I

    2006-11-01

    The objective of this article is to inform about efforts to design and implement a data model that can parametrically describe and store information about a wide range of ecotoxicological tests and bioindication methods used in Ecological Risk Assessment (EcoRA). At the same time it describes comprehensive web-based portal built on this model that can be used to quickly find relevant biological assays (ecotoxicological biotests) for given situation and therefore support the decision-making process in EcoRA. The model structure, features of the corresponding website and its current content is described in detail and proposed development and possible collaboration is outlined. The portal (DATEST) is located at http://projects.cba.muni.cz/datest. The aim of this work is to complement existing EcoRA decision-support tools with a web-based engine for storing and searching biological tests and methods used in EcoRA as there is currently no similar informational source available on the Internet.

  6. Environmental (Saprozoic) Pathogens of Engineered Water Systems: Understanding Their Ecology for Risk Assessment and Management

    PubMed Central

    Ashbolt, Nicholas J.

    2015-01-01

    Major waterborne (enteric) pathogens are relatively well understood and treatment controls are effective when well managed. However, water-based, saprozoic pathogens that grow within engineered water systems (primarily within biofilms/sediments) cannot be controlled by water treatment alone prior to entry into water distribution and other engineered water systems. Growth within biofilms or as in the case of Legionella pneumophila, primarily within free-living protozoa feeding on biofilms, results from competitive advantage. Meaning, to understand how to manage water-based pathogen diseases (a sub-set of saprozoses) we need to understand the microbial ecology of biofilms; with key factors including biofilm bacterial diversity that influence amoebae hosts and members antagonistic to water-based pathogens, along with impacts from biofilm substratum, water temperature, flow conditions and disinfectant residual—all control variables. Major saprozoic pathogens covering viruses, bacteria, fungi and free-living protozoa are listed, yet today most of the recognized health burden from drinking waters is driven by legionellae, non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) and, to a lesser extent, Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In developing best management practices for engineered water systems based on hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP) or water safety plan (WSP) approaches, multi-factor control strategies, based on quantitative microbial risk assessments need to be developed, to reduce disease from largely opportunistic, water-based pathogens. PMID:26102291

  7. Food chain dynamics and potential ecological risks of mercury at the Carson River site

    SciTech Connect

    Peterson, S.C.

    1995-12-31

    The USEPA is conducting a remedial investigation of mercury contamination in the Carson River watershed, located near Carson City in central west Nevada. As a component of this investigation, water, sediment, and tissue samples were collected for mercury speciation and other analyses. Tissues analyses from the seven site-investigation areas and four background areas include: whole-body and fillet analyses of five species of fish, composite and individual analyses of three species of benthic macroinvertebrates, blood, feather and liver analyses of two bird species, composite analyses of zooplankton, and whole-body analyses of lizards. The data are used to develop site-specific estimates of mercury bioaccumulation in aquatic food chains of riverine/riparian, open-water, and mudflat habitats at the Carson River site. Because the behavior and food chain dynamics of mercury in semi-arid ecosystems of the southwestern US is poorly understood, these data can be compared and contrasted with bioaccumulation estimates derived from well-studied ecosystems such as northern temperate lakes. Potential ecological risks of mercury exposure through the food chain and through ingestion of and contact with contaminated media are evaluated for important wildlife receptors occurring at the Carson River site.

  8. Bottom-up and top-down integration of human and ecological risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Suter, Glenn W

    The World Health Organization has published a framework for integrating human health and ecological risk assessments, and many others have argued for greater integration of health and environmental concerns in assessments. However, those who argue for integration do not agree on the expected benefits. This article provides a conceptual organization of the rationale for integration. The bottom-up line of argument begins with the premise that the mechanisms of transport, fate, exposure, and effects of chemicals on humans and nonhuman organisms are largely common. Therefore, integrated assessment should be more efficient and should employ the highest quality of science. The top-down line of argument begins with the premise that humans are organisms that reside in ecosystems. Therefore, changes in the environment imply changes in human health and welfare. These include changes in the many services of nature that contribute to human health, such as air and water purification, sentinel functions, and provision of recreation and food supplies. They also include the direct health benefits that have been associated with exposure of humans to plants, animals, and natural ecosystems. Integration should proceed from both the top and bottom.

  9. Trace organic pollutants in sediments from Huaihe River, China: Evaluation of sources and ecological risk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Ji-Zhong; Chen, Tian-Hu; Zhu, Cheng-Zhu; Peng, Shu-Chuan

    2014-05-01

    In the present study, a combination of multiple molecular markers was used to improve the identification of pollution sources in sediment samples collected from Huaihe River, China. No significant spatial variation of aliphatic hydrocarbons (normal alkanes, n-alkanes) was observed, whereas, relatively high concentrations of 28 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (Σ28PAH) and 20 linear alkylbenzenes (Σ20LAB) in urban sediments and low concentrations of Σ28PAH and Σ20LAB in farm areas were determined. Overall, sediment samples collected from urban areas contained high concentration of Σ20LAB with low concentration of Σ28PAH which mostly originated from pyrolysis, while rural sediments had opposite trends, reflecting the significant input of domestic sewage in urban areas. Residual n-alkanes were mostly from natural sources with relatively low proportion of petrogenic input. For PAHs, the concentrations of diagentic perylene and pyrolytic PAHs from farm areas to urban areas tend to decrease and increase, respectively. Likely origins of pyrolytic PAHs were considered combustion of coal and petroleum related. In the village areas, pyrolytic PAHs were mostly contributed from coal and diesel combustion. Poor domestic wastewater treatment in rural areas caused low ratio of I/E. On the other hand, the results of total toxic benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) equivalent reveal the ecological risk by PAHs was negligible in Huaihe River.

  10. 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.

  11. The multiple stressor ecological risk assessment for the mercury-contaminated South River and upper Shenandoah River using the Bayesian network-relative risk model.

    PubMed

    Landis, Wayne G; Ayre, Kimberley K; Johns, Annie F; Summers, Heather M; Stinson, Jonah; Harris, Meagan J; Herring, Carlie E; Markiewicz, April J

    2017-01-01

    We have conducted a regional scale risk assessment using the Bayesian Network Relative Risk Model (BN-RRM) to calculate the ecological risks to the South River and upper Shenandoah River study area. Four biological endpoints (smallmouth bass, white sucker, Belted Kingfisher, and Carolina Wren) and 4 abiotic endpoints (Fishing River Use, Swimming River Use, Boating River Use, and Water Quality Standards) were included in this risk assessment, based on stakeholder input. Although mercury (Hg) contamination was the original impetus for the site being remediated, other chemical and physical stressors were evaluated. There were 3 primary conclusions from the BN-RRM results. First, risk varies according to location, type and quality of habitat, and exposure to stressors within the landscape. The patterns of risk can be evaluated with reasonable certitude. Second, overall risk to abiotic endpoints was greater than overall risk to biotic endpoints. By including both biotic and abiotic endpoints, we are able to compare risk to endpoints that represent a wide range of stakeholder values. Third, whereas Hg reduction is the regulatory priority for the South River, Hg is not the only stressor driving risk to the endpoints. Ecological and habitat stressors contribute risk to the endpoints and should be considered when managing this site. This research provides the foundation for evaluating the risks of multiple stressors of the South River to a variety of endpoints. From this foundation, tools for the evaluation of management options and an adaptive management tools have been forged. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2017;13:85-99. © 2016 SETAC.

  12. Distribution, fraction, and ecological risk assesment of heavy metals in sediment-plant system in mangrove forest, South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    LI, R.; Shen, X.; Li, Y. H.; Chai, M. W.; Qiu, G. Y.

    2015-12-01

    Overlying water, sediment, rhizosphere sediment and mangrove seedlings in Futian mangrove forest were analyzed for heavy metals. The results showed that mangrove plant acidified sediment and increased organic matter contents. Except for chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni) and copper (Cu) in Aegiceras corniculatum sediment, heavy metals in all sediments were higher than in overlying water, rhizosphere sediment and mangrove root. Heavy metals in Avicennia marina sediments were higher than other sediments. The lower heavy metal biological concentration factors (BCFs) and translocation factors (TFs) indicated that mangrove plant adopted exclusion strategy. The geo-accumulation index, potential ecological risk index and risk assessment code (RAC) demonstrated that heavy metals have posed a considerable ecological risk, especially for cadmium (Cd). Heavy metals (Cr, Ni, Cu and Cd) mainly existed in the reducible fractions. The RAC values of heavy metals indicated that heavy metals have posed a considerable ecological risk to the biota, especially for Cd. These findings provide actual heavy metal accumulations in sediment-plant ecosystems in mangrove forest, being important in designing the long-term management and conservation policies for managers of mangrove forest.

  13. [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.

  14. Component modeling in ecological risk assessment: Disturbance in interspecific interactions caused by air toxics introduced into terrestrial ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swider, Jan Zenon

    The human health risk assessment (HRA), initiated by the onset of nuclear industry, has been a well established methodology for assessing the impacts of human created contamination on an individual human being and entire population. The wide spread of applications and tools grown upon this methodology allows one not only to identify the hazards, but also to manage the risks. Recently, there has existed an increased awareness of the need to conduct ecological risk assessments (ERA) in addition to HRAs. The ERAs are, by and large, more complex than typical HRAs and involve not only different species but whole ecological systems. Such complex analyses require a thorough understanding of the processes underway in the ecosystem, including the contaminant transport through the food web, population dynamics as well as intra- and inter-specific relationships. The exposure pathways change radically depending on the consumer tier. Plants produce their nutriment from the sunlight and raw inorganic compounds. Animals and other living forms obtain energy by eating plants, other animals and detritus. Their double role as food consumers and food producers causes a trophic structure of the ecological system, where nutrients and energy are transferred from one trophic level to another. This is a dynamic process of energy flow, mostly in the form of food, varying with time and space. In order to conduct an efficient ERA, a multidisciplinary framework is needed. This framework can be enhanced by analyzing predator-prey interactions during the environmental disturbances caused by a pollutant emission, and by assessing the consequences of such disturbances. It is necessary to develop a way to describe how human industrial activity affects the ecosystems. Existing ecological studies have mostly been focused either on pure ecological interdependencies or on limited perspectives of human activities. In this study, we discuss the issues of air pollution and its ecological impacts from the

  15. Ecological risks of an old wood impregnation mill: application of the Triad approach.

    PubMed

    Karjalainen, Anne-Mari; Kilpi-Koski, Johanna; Väisänen, Ari O; Penttinen, Sari; van Gestel, Cornelius A M; Penttinen, Olli-Pekka

    2009-07-01

    Although many studies deal with the distribution and mobility of chromated copper arsenate (CCA) metals in soil, the ecotoxicity of CCA-contaminated soils is rarely studied. The Triad approach was applied to determine the ecological risks posed by a CCA mixture at a decommissioned wood impregnation mill in southern Finland. A combination of (1) chemical analyses; (2) toxicity tests with plants (aquatic: Lemna minor; terrestrial: Lactuca sativa), earthworms (Lumbricus rubellus), and enchytraeids (Enchytraeus albidus) conducted on contaminated soils, their aqueous extracts, and well water collected from the site; and (3) determination of the abundance of enchytraeids and nematodes and the bioaccumulation of metals in plants (horsetail) collected from the field were used to assess the actual risk. Although metal concentrations were low, L. minor growth appeared to be reduced by As contamination of the well water. In soil, metals were heterogeneously distributed with total concentrations of 14.8 to 4360 mg As/kg, 15.2 to 1740 mg Cr/kg, and 4.83 to 790 mg Cu/kg. In several samples, concentrations were above Finnish regulatory guideline values and exceeded the half maximal effective concentration (EC50) or 50% lethal concentration (LC50) values for the toxicity of the individual metals to earthworms and enchytraeids, indicating hazards to the ecosystem. (Bio)availability of metals was high, as indicated by weak electrolyte extractions and body residues in L. rubellus and E. albidus exposed in bioassays. Earthworm survival correlated significantly with body metal concentrations, but not with soil total metal concentrations. Enchytraeid responses in the soil bioassays were less sensitive to CCA metal exposure. Plant growth was affected by CCA pollution, with L. sativa root elongation correlating significantly with total and available As concentrations and L. minor development being significantly reduced in H2O extracts of the most contaminated soil sample. Abundance of

  16. Using remote sensing, ecological niche modeling, and Geographic Information Systems for Rift Valley fever risk assessment in the United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tedrow, Christine Atkins

    The primary goal in this study was to explore remote sensing, ecological niche modeling, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as aids in predicting candidate Rift Valley fever (RVF) competent vector abundance and distribution in Virginia, and as means of estimating where risk of establishment in mosquitoes and risk of transmission to human populations would be greatest in Virginia. A second goal in this study was to determine whether the remotely-sensed Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) can be used as a proxy variable of local conditions for the development of mosquitoes to predict mosquito species distribution and abundance in Virginia. As part of this study, a mosquito surveillance database was compiled to archive the historical patterns of mosquito species abundance in Virginia. In addition, linkages between mosquito density and local environmental and climatic patterns were spatially and temporally examined. The present study affirms the potential role of remote sensing imagery for species distribution prediction, and it demonstrates that ecological niche modeling is a valuable predictive tool to analyze the distributions of populations. The MaxEnt ecological niche modeling program was used to model predicted ranges for potential RVF competent vectors in Virginia. The MaxEnt model was shown to be robust, and the candidate RVF competent vector predicted distribution map is presented. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was found to be the most useful environmental-climatic variable to predict mosquito species distribution and abundance in Virginia. However, these results indicate that a more robust prediction is obtained by including other environmental-climatic factors correlated to mosquito densities (e.g., temperature, precipitation, elevation) with NDVI. The present study demonstrates that remote sensing and GIS can be used with ecological niche and risk modeling methods to estimate risk of virus establishment in mosquitoes and

  17. The Apache Longbow-Hellfire Missile Test at Yuma Proving Ground: Ecological Risk Assessment for Missile Firing

    SciTech Connect

    Jones, Daniel Steven; Efroymson, Rebecca Ann; Hargrove, William Walter; Suter, Glenn; Pater, Larry

    2008-01-01

    A multiple stressor risk assessment was conducted at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, as a demonstration of the Military Ecological Risk Assessment Framework. The focus was a testing program at Cibola Range, which involved an Apache Longbow helicopter firing Hellfire missiles at moving targets, M60- A1 tanks. This paper describes the ecological risk assessment for the missile launch and detonation. The primary stressor associated with this activity was sound. Other minor stressors included the detonation impact, shrapnel, and fire. Exposure to desert mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus crooki) was quantified using the Army sound contour program BNOISE2, as well as distances from the explosion to deer. Few effects data were available from related studies. Exposure-response models for the characterization of effects consisted of human "disturbance" and hearing damage thresholds in units of C-weighted decibels (sound exposure level) and a distance-based No Observed Adverse Effects Level for moose and cannonfire. The risk characterization used a weight-of-evidence approach and concluded that risk to mule deer behavior from the missile firing was likely for a negligible number of deer, but that no risk to mule deer abundance and reproduction is expected.

  18. Ecological risk assessment of heavy metals in surface seawater and sediment near the outlet of a zinc factory in Huludao City, Liaoning Province, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, Yongliang; Chen, Yanzhen; Wang, Jing; Gong, Yufeng; Liu, Xigang; Mu, Gang; Tian, Hua

    2016-11-01

    At present, the methods widely applied to assess ecological risk of heavy metals are essentially single-point estimates in which exposure and toxicity data cannot be fully used and probabilities of adverse biological eff ects cannot be achieved. In this study, based on investigation of concentrations of six heavy metals (As, Hg, Pb, Cd, Cu, and Zn) in the surface seawater and sediment near the outlet of a zinc factory, located in Huludao City, Liaoning Province, China, a tiered approach consisting of several probabilistic options was used to refine ecological risk assessment for the individuals. A mixture of various heavy metals was detected in the surface seawater, and potential ecological risk index (PERI) was adopted to assess the potential ecological risk of heavy metals in the surface sediment. The results from all levels of aquatic ecological risk assessment in the tiered framework, ranging from comparison of single eff ects and exposure values to the use of distribution-based Hazard Quotient obtained through Monte Carlo simulation, are consistent with each other. Briefly, aquatic Zn and Cu posed a clear ecological risk, while Cd, Pb, Hg, and As in the water column posed potential risk. As expected, combined ecological risk of heavy metal mixture in the surface seawater was proved significantly higher than the risk caused by any individual heavy metal, calculated using the concept of total equivalent concentration. According to PERI, the severity of pollution by the six heavy metals in the surface sediment decreased in the following sequence: Cd>Hg>As>Pb>Cu>Zn, and the total heavy metals in the sediment posed a very high risk to the marine environment. This study provides a useful mathematical framework for ecological risk assessment of heavy metals.

  19. A Review of Human Health and Ecological Risks due to CO2 Exposure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hepple, R. P.; Benson, S. M.

    2001-05-01

    This paper presents an overview of the human health and ecological consequences of exposure to elevated levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the context of geologic carbon sequestration. The purpose of this effort is to provide a baseline of information to guide future efforts in risk assessment for CO2 sequestration. Scenarios for hazardous CO2 exposure include surface facility leaks, leaks from abandoned or aging wells, and leakage from geologic CO2 storage structures. Amounts of carbon in various reservoirs, systems, and applications were summarized, and the levels of CO2 encountered in nature and everyday life were compared along with physiologically relevant concentrations. Literature pertaining to CO2 occupational exposure limits, regulations, monitoring, and ecological consequences was reviewed. The OSHA, NIOSH, and ACGIH occupational exposure standards are 0.5% CO2 averaged over a 40 hour week, 3% average for a short-term (15 minute) exposure, and 4% as the maximum instantaneous limit considered immediately dangerous to life and health. All three conditions must be satisfied at all times. Any detrimental effects of low-level CO2 exposure are reversible, including the long-term metabolic compensation required by chronic exposure to 3% CO2. Breathing rate doubles at 3% CO2 and is four times the normal rate at 5% CO2. According to occupational exposure and controlled atmosphere research into CO2 toxicology, CO2 is hazardous via direct toxicity at levels above 5%, concentrations not encountered in nature outside of volcanic settings and water-logged soils. Small leaks do not present any danger to people unless the CO2 does not disperse quickly enough through atmospheric mixing but accumulates instead in depressions and confined spaces. These dangers are the result of CO2 being more dense than air. Carbon dioxide is regulated for diverse purposes but never as a toxic substance. Catastrophic incidents involving large amounts and/or rapid release of CO2 such as Lake

  20. Distribution, sources, and ecological risk assessment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in surface sediments from the Nantong Coast, China.

    PubMed

    Liu, Na; Li, Xian; Zhang, Daolai; Liu, Qiang; Xiang, Lihui; Liu, Ke; Yan, Dongyun; Li, Yue

    2017-01-15

    The distribution, sources, and ecological risk assessment of 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in surface sediments from the Nantong coast in China were investigated. The results indicated that the total concentrations of the 16 PAHs in the surface sediments from the study area ranged from 1.4 to 87.1ngg(-1) dw (mean value 19.9ngg(-1) dw), which were generally low compared to the adjacent offshore area and other coastal zones around the world. The selected PAH ratios and the principal components analysis for each site showed that petroleum combustion and petrogenic pollution (mainly caused by petroleum spills) were the dominant PAHs sources in the surface sediments of the coast. The ecological risk assessment indicated that most of the individual PAHs had few negative effects in this area.

  1. Heavy metals and metalloids in the surface sediments of the Xiangjiang River, Hunan, China: distribution, contamination, and ecological risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Chai, Liyuan; Li, Huan; Yang, Zhihui; Min, Xiaobo; Liao, Qi; Liu, Yi; Men, Shuhui; Yan, Yanan; Xu, Jixin

    2017-01-01

    Here, we aim to determine the distribution, ecological risk and sources of heavy metals and metalloids in the surface sediments of the Xiangjiang River, Hunan Province, China. Sixty-four surface sediment samples were collected in 16 sites of the Xiangjiang River, and the concentrations of ten heavy metals and metalloids (Mn, Zn, Cr, V, Pb, Cu, As, Ni, Co, and Cd) in the sediment samples were investigated using an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-MS) and an atomic fluorescence spectrophotometer (AFS), respectively. The results showed that the mean concentrations of the ten heavy metals and metalloids in the sediment samples followed the order Mn > Zn > Cr > V > Pb > Cu > As ≈ Ni >Co > Cd. The geoaccumulation index (I geo), enrichment factor (EF), modified degree of contamination (mCd), and potential ecological risk index (RI) revealed that Cd, followed by Pb, Zn, and Cu, caused severely contaminated and posed very highly potential ecological risk in the Xiangjiang River, especially in Shuikoushan of Hengyang, Xiawan of Zhuzhou, and Yijiawan of Xiangtan. The Pearson's correlation coefficient (PCC) analysis, principal component analysis (PCA), and hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) indicated that the ten heavy metals and metalloids in the sampling sediments of the Xiangjiang River were classified into three groups: (1) Cd, Pb, Zn, and Cu which possibly originated from Shuikoushan, Xiawan, and Yijiawan clustering Pb-Zn mining and smelting industries; (2) Co, V, Ni, Cr, and Al from natural resources; and (3) Mn and As. Therefore, our results suggest that anthropogenic activities, especially mining and smelting, have caused severe contamination of Cd, Pb, Zn, and Cu and posed very high potential ecological risk in the Xiangjiang River.

  2. Contamination and ecological risk assessment of toxic trace elements in the Xi River, an urban river of Shenyang city, China.

    PubMed

    Lin, Chunye; He, Mengchang; Liu, Xitao; Guo, Wei; Liu, Shaoqing

    2013-05-01

    The objectives of this study were to assess the enrichment, contamination, and ecological risk posed by toxic trace elements in the sediments of the Xi River in the industrialized city of Shenyang, China. Surface sediment and sediment core were collected; analyzed for toxic trace elements; and assessed with an index of geoaccumulation (Igeo), enrichment factor (EF) value, potential ecological risk factor (Er), ecological risk index (RI), and probable effect concentration quotient (PECQ). Elemental concentrations (milligram per kilogram) were 8.5-637.9 for As, 6.5-103.9 for Cd, 12.2-21.9 for Co, 90.6-516.0 for Cr, 258.1-1,791.5 for Cu, 2.6-19.0 for Hg, 70.5-174.5 for Ni, 126.9-1,405.8 for Pb, 3.7-260.0 for Sb, 38.4-100.4 for V, and 503-4,929 for Zn. The Igeo, EF, Er, and PECQ indices showed that the contamination of Cd and Hg was more serious than that of As, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, Sb, and Zn, whereas the presence of Co and V might be primarily from natural sources. The Igeo index for Cr and Ni might underestimate the degree of contamination, potentially as a result of high concentrations of these elements in the shale. The RI index was higher than 600, indicating a notably high ecological risk of sediment for the river. The average PECQ for As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, and Zn ranged from 1.4 to 4.1 for surface sediment and from 5.2 to 9.6 in the sediment cores, indicating a high potential for an adverse biological effect. It was concluded that the sediment in the Xi River was severely contaminated and should be remediated as a hazardous material.

  3. Contextual, Ecological and Organizational Variations in Risk-Adjusted COPD and Asthma Hospitalization Rates of Rural Medicare Beneficiaries.

    PubMed

    Wan, Thomas T H; Lin, Yi-Ling; Ortiz, Judith

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to examine what factors contributing to the variability in chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) and asthma hospitalization rates when the influence of patient characteristics is being simultaneously considered by applying a risk adjustment method. A longitudinal analysis of COPD and asthma hospitalization of rural Medicare beneficiaries in 427 rural health clinics (RHCs) was conducted utilizing administrative data and inpatient and outpatient claims from Region 4. The repeated measures of risk-adjusted COPD and asthma admission rate were analyzed by growth curve modeling. A generalized estimating equation (GEE) method was used to identify the relevance of selected predictors in accounting for the variability in risk-adjusted admission rates for COPD and asthma. Both adjusted and unadjusted rates of COPD admission showed a slight decline from 2010 to 2013. The growth curve modeling showed the annual rates of change were gradually accentuated through time. GEE revealed that a moderate amount of variance (marginal R(2) = 0.66) in the risk-adjusted hospital admission rates for COPD and asthma was accounted for by contextual, ecological, and organizational variables. The contextual, ecological, and organizational factors are those associated with RHCs, not hospitals. We cannot infer how the variability in hospital practices in RHC service areas may have contributed to the disparities in admissions. Identification of RHCs with substantially higher rates than an average rate can portray the need for further enhancement of needed ambulatory or primary care services for the specific groups of RHCs. Because the risk-adjusted rates of hospitalization do not very by classification of rural area, future research should address the variation in a specific COPD and asthma condition of RHC patients. Risk-adjusted admission rates for COPD and asthma are influenced by the synergism of multiple contextual, ecological, and organizational factors

  4. Ecological and human health risks from metal(loid)s in peri-urban soil in Nanjing, China.

    PubMed

    Ding, Zhuhong; Hu, Xin

    2014-06-01

    In order to investigate the ecological and human health risks of metal(loid)s (Cu, Pb, Zn, Ni, Cd, Mn, Cr, and As) in peri-urban soils, 43 surface soil samples were collected from the peri-urban area around Nanjing, a megacity in China. The average contents were 1.19, 67.8, 37.6, 105, 167, 44.6, 722, and 50.8 mg kg(-1) for Cd, Cr, Ni, Pb, Zn, Cu, Mn, and As, respectively. A significant positive correlation was found between Cu, Pb, Zn, Cd, Mn, and As (p < 0.01), and Cr had a significant positive correlation with Ni (p < 0.01). Geoaccumulation indices indicate the presence of Cd and As contamination in all of the peri-urban soil samples. Potential ecological risk indices show that the metal(loid)s in the soil could result in higher ecological risks. Cd is the main contributor to the risk, followed by As. The levels of Cu, Pb, Zn, Cd, Mn, and As in stomach and intestinal phases show a positive linear correlation with their total contents. Mn, Zn, Ni, Cd, and Pb in stomach phase showed higher bioaccessibility, while in intestinal phase, Cu, Cr, and As had the higher bioaccessibility. The carcinogenic risk in children and adults posed by As, Pb, and Cr via ingestion was deemed acceptable. The non-carcinogenic risks posed by these metal(loid)s via ingestion to children are higher than to adults and mainly result from As.

  5. Assessing the ecological risks from the persistence and spread of feral populations of insect-resistant transgenic maize.

    PubMed

    Raybould, Alan; Higgins, Laura S; Horak, Michael J; Layton, Raymond J; Storer, Nicholas P; De La Fuente, Juan Manuel; Herman, Rod A

    2012-06-01

    One source of potential harm from the cultivation of transgenic crops is their dispersal, persistence and spread in non-agricultural land. Ecological damage may result from such spread if the abundance of valued species is reduced. The ability of a plant to spread in non-agricultural habitats is called its invasiveness potential. The risks posed by the invasiveness potential of transgenic crops are assessed by comparing in agronomic field trials the phenotypes of the crops with the phenotypes of genetically similar non-transgenic crops known to have low invasiveness potential. If the transgenic and non-transgenic crops are similar in traits believed to control invasiveness potential, it may be concluded that the transgenic crop has low invasiveness potential and poses negligible ecological risk via persistence and spread in non-agricultural habitats. If the phenotype of the transgenic crop is outside the range of the non-transgenic comparators for the traits controlling invasiveness potential, or if the comparative approach is regarded as inadequate for reasons of risk perception or risk communication, experiments that simulate the dispersal of the crop into non-agricultural habitats may be necessary. We describe such an experiment for several commercial insect-resistant transgenic maize events in conditions similar to those found in maize-growing regions of Mexico. As expected from comparative risk assessments, the transgenic maize was found to behave similarly to non-transgenic maize and to be non-invasive. The value of this experiment in assessing and communicating the negligible ecological risk posed by the low invasiveness potential of insect-resistant transgenic maize in Mexico is discussed.

  6. Study on each phase characteristics of the whole coal life cycle and their ecological risk assessment-a case of coal in China.

    PubMed

    Dai, Wenting; Dong, Jihong; Yan, Wanglin; Xu, Jiren

    2017-01-01

    The paper divided the whole coal life cycle, explained each phase characteristics, and took coal mine in China as a study case to assess the ecological risk in coal utilization phase. The main conclusions are as follows: (1) the whole coal life cycle is divided into coal mining, processing, transportation, utilization, and waste disposal. (2) The key points of production organization and characteristics in the five phases have great differences. The coal mining phase is characterized by the damage of the key ecological factors (water, soil, atmosphere, vegetation, etc.) damaged while the coal processing phase by discharging waste. The characteristics in coal transportation phase mainly performance as escaping and migration of atmospheric pollutants. In coal utilization phase, the main characteristics are aggravation of greenhouse effect. The main characteristics of waste disposal phase are accumulation of negative ecological effects on the land. (3) The ecological risk of soil heavy metals is serious in coal utilization phase. The potential ecological hazard coefficients of Pb and As in coal, residue and ash are all lower than 40, presenting low environmental impact on soil; the potential ecological risk coefficients of Cd are higher than 60, nearly half of their potential ecological risk coefficients are higher than 160, which presents high environmental pollution impact on soil; Hg's potential ecological risk coefficients are higher than 320, presenting the highest environmental pollution impact on soil; the comprehensive pollution indexes in coal, residue, and ash are relatively high, which means the pollution hazard potential to soil environment is high. (4) The ecological risk of the atmospheric solid suspended matter is relatively strong in coal utilization phase. The ecological risk of Cd and As in primary flue gas is both lower than net flue gas. The geoaccumulation indexes of Cd and Hg in primary flue gas and net flue gas are both higher than 5, presenting

  7. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons associated with road deposited solid and their ecological risk: Implications for road stormwater reuse.

    PubMed

    Liu, Liang; Liu, An; Li, Yang; Zhang, Lixun; Zhang, Guijuan; Guan, Yuntao

    2016-09-01

    Reusing stormwater is becoming popular worldwide. However, urban road stormwater commonly contains toxic pollutants, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which could undermine reuse safety. This study investigated pollution level of PAHs and their composition build-up on urban roads in a typical megacity in South China. The potential ecological risk posed by PAHs associated with road deposited solid (RDS) was also assessed. Results showed that ecological risk levels varied based on different land use types, which could be significantly influenced by the composition of PAHs and characteristics of RDS. A higher percentage of high-ring PAHs, such as more than four rings, could pose higher ecological risk and are more likely to undermine stormwater reuse safety. Additionally, the degree of traffic congestion rather than traffic volume was found to exert a more significant influence on the generation of high-ring PAH generation. Therefore, stormwater from more congested roads might need proper treatment (particularly for removing high-ring PAHs) before reuse or could be suitable for purposes requiring low-water-quality. The findings of this study are expected to contribute to adequate stormwater reuse strategy development and to enhance the safety of urban road stormwater reuse.

  8. The Use of Ecological Niche Modeling to Infer Potential Risk Areas of Snakebite in the Mexican State of Veracruz

    PubMed Central

    Yañez-Arenas, Carlos; Peterson, A. Townsend; Mokondoko, Pierre; Rojas-Soto, Octavio; Martínez-Meyer, Enrique

    2014-01-01

    Background Many authors have claimed that snakebite risk is associated with human population density, human activities, and snake behavior. Here we analyzed whether environmental suitability of vipers can be used as an indicator of snakebite risk. We tested several hypotheses to explain snakebite incidence, through the construction of models incorporating both environmental suitability and socioeconomic variables in Veracruz, Mexico. Methodology/Principal Findings Ecological niche modeling (ENM) was used to estimate potential geographic and ecological distributions of nine viper species' in Veracruz. We calculated the distance to the species' niche centroid (DNC); this distance may be associated with a prediction of abundance. We found significant inverse relationships between snakebites and DNCs of common vipers (Crotalus simus and Bothrops asper), explaining respectively 15% and almost 35% of variation in snakebite incidence. Additionally, DNCs for these two vipers, in combination with marginalization of human populations, accounted for 76% of variation in incidence. Conclusions/Significance Our results suggest that niche modeling and niche-centroid distance approaches can be used to mapping distributions of environmental suitability for venomous snakes; combining this ecological information with socioeconomic factors may help with inferring potential risk areas for snakebites, since hospital data are often biased (especially when incidences are low). PMID:24963989

  9. Demographic risk factors for injury among Hispanic and non-Hispanic white children: an ecologic analysis

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, C.; Agran, P.; Winn, D.; Tran, C.

    1998-01-01

    Objectives—To determine the effects of neighborhood levels of poverty, household crowding, and acculturation on the rate of injury to Hispanic and non-Hispanic white children. Setting—Orange County, California. Methods—An ecologic study design was used with census block groups as the unit of analysis. Measures of neighborhood poverty, household crowding, and acculturation were specific to each ethnic group. Poisson regression was used to calculate mutually adjusted incidence rate ratios (IRRs) corresponding to a 20% difference in census variables. Results—Among non-Hispanic white children, injury rates were more closely associated with neighborhood levels of household crowding (adjusted IRR 2.36, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.22 to 4.57) than with neighborhood poverty (adjusted IRR 1.06, 95% CI 0.89 to 1.26). For Hispanic children, the strongest risk factors were the proportion of Hispanic adults who spoke only some English (compared with the proportion who spoke little or no English, adjusted IRR 1.26, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.53) and the proportion who were US residents for <5 years (adjusted IRR 1.20, 95% CI 1.001 to 1.43). Neighborhood levels of household crowding were not related to injury among Hispanic children (adjusted IRR 0.98, 95% CI 0.89 to 1.08), but surprisingly, neighborhood poverty was associated with lower injury rates (adjusted IRR 0.89, 95% CI 0.81 to 0.97). Conclusions—Cultural and geographic transitions, as well as socioeconomic differences, appear to contribute to differences in childhood injury rates between ethnic groups. PMID:9595329

  10. Ecological effect and risk towards aquatic plants induced by perfluoroalkyl substances: Bridging natural to culturing flora.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Yunqiao; Wang, Tieyu; Jiang, Zhaoze; Kong, Xiaoxiao; Li, Qifeng; Sun, Yajun; Wang, Pei; Liu, Zhaoyang

    2017-01-01

    In the present study, the concentrations and proportions of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in water and sediments (in different seasons) from the Qing River were investigated. The highest concentration of PFASs in water (207.59 ng L(-1)) was found in summer. The composition of PFASs in water changed with time, perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS) was the predominant compound in spring and summer, while long-chain PFASs, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), started to increase in autumn and winter. The PFASs concentration in sediments ranged from 0.96 to 4.05 ng g(-1) dw. The proportion of long-chain PFASs was higher than that of short-chain PFASs in sediments, the dominant component in sediments was PFOA with a contribution of 24.6-75.4% to total PFASs in sediments, followed by PFOS. The concentrations of PFASs in roots of emergent plants were relatively higher than those in submerged plants. However, the translocation effect of PFASs was not remarkable. Bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) of the aquatic plants indicated the absorption of PFASs were effective. BAFs in submerged plants basically increased with increasing chain length accordingly. In general, aquatic plants had the absorption preference for long-chain PFASs, especially PFOS, which was the predominant compounds in both submerged and emergent plants. Based on the results above, hornworts were selected to be cultivated indoor in the nutrient solution spiked gradient concentrations of PFOS to assess the general ecological risk. The results revealed that hornworts were resistant to PFOS and might be used as remediation flora to eliminate PFOS contamination.

  11. Improving the interpretability of climate landscape metrics: an ecological risk analysis of Japan's Marine Protected Areas.

    PubMed

    García Molinos, Jorge; Takao, Shintaro; Kumagai, Naoki H; Poloczanska, Elvira S; Burrows, Michael T; Fujii, Masahiko; Yamano, Hiroya

    2017-02-17

    Conservation efforts strive to protect significant swaths of terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems from a range of threats. As climate change becomes an increasing concern, these efforts must take into account how resilient protected spaces will be in the face of future drivers of change such as warming temperatures. Climate landscape metrics, which signal the spatial magnitude and direction of climate change, support a convenient initial assessment of potential threats to and opportunities within ecosystems to inform conservation and policy efforts where biological data are not available. However, inference of risk from purely physical climatic changes is difficult unless set in a meaningful ecological context. Here, we aim to establish this context using historical climatic variability, as a proxy for local adaptation by resident biota, to identify areas where current local climate conditions will remain extant and future regional climate analogues will emerge. This information is then related to the processes governing species' climate-driven range edge dynamics, differentiating changes in local climate conditions as promoters of species range contractions from those in neighbouring locations facilitating range expansions. We applied this approach to assess the future climatic stability and connectivity of Japanese waters and its network of marine protected areas (MPAs). We find 88% of Japanese waters transitioning to climates outside their historical variability bounds by 2035, resulting in large reductions in the amount of available climatic space potentially promoting widespread range contractions and expansions. Areas of high connectivity, where shifting climates converge, are present along sections of the coast facilitated by the strong latitudinal gradient of the Japanese archipelago and its ocean current system. While these areas overlap significantly with areas currently under significant anthropogenic pressures, they also include much of the MPA

  12. Predictors of re-entry into the child protection system in Singapore: a cumulative ecological-transactional risk model.

    PubMed

    Li, Dongdong; Chu, Chi Meng; Ng, Wei Chern; Leong, Wai

    2014-11-01

    This study examines the risk factors of re-entry for 1,750 child protection cases in Singapore using a cumulative ecological-transactional risk model. Using administrative data, the present study found that the overall percentage of Child Protection Service (CPS) re-entry in Singapore is 10.5% based on 1,750 cases, with a range from 3.9% (within 1 year) to 16.5% (within 8 years after case closure). One quarter of the re-entry cases were observed to occur within 9 months from case closure. Seventeen risk factors, as identified from the extant literature, were tested for their utility to predict CPS re-entry in this study using a series of Cox regression analyses. A final list of seven risk factors (i.e., children's age at entry, case type, case closure result, duration of case, household income, family size, and mother's employment status) was used to create a cumulative risk score. The results supported the cumulative risk model in that higher risk score is related to higher risk of CPS re-entry. Understanding the prevalence of CPS re-entry and the risk factors associated with re-entry is the key to informing practice and policy in a culturally relevant way. The results from this study could then be used to facilitate critical case management decisions in order to enhance positive outcomes of families and children in Singapore's care system.

  13. Probabilistic ecological risk assessment of DDTs in the Bohai Bay based on a food web bioaccumulation model.

    PubMed

    Wang, Bin; Yu, Gang; Huang, Jun; Wang, Tai; Hu, Hongying

    2011-01-01

    The fugacity-based food web model was developed to simulate the bioaccumulation of dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethanes (DDTs) in the aquatic ecosystem in the Bohai Bay. The internal exposure levels (IELs) of DDTs in various organism categories were calculated. Monte Carlo-based uncertainty analysis was performed to get the of IEL distributions of DDTs in organisms. Probabilistic ecological risk assessment (ERA) was performed based on IEL distributions and internal species sensitivity distributions (SSDs). The results show that fugacities and bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) generally increased with increasing trophic level in the food web. Octanol-water partition coefficient (K(ow)), DDT levels in water and the lipid contents had the greatest influences on IELs in the organism bodies. The ecological risks of DDTs were relatively high. The risk order was p,p'-DDT>p,p'-DDE>p,p'-DDD. At an internal hazard quotient (HQ(int)) criterion of 1/5, the risk probabilities were 0.10 (0.055-0.17), 0.079 (0.045-0.13) and 0.053 (0.028-0.092) for p,p'-DDT, p,p'-DDE and p,p'-DDD, respectively. The results from ERA based on the internal exposure approximated those based on external exposure. The food web model is a feasible method to predict the extent of bioaccumulation and IELs of hydrophobic organic pollutants in organisms as a step to evaluate their risk posed on aquatic ecosystems.

  14. 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.

  15. Ecotoxicogenomics to Support Ecological Risk Assessment: A Case Study with Bisphenol A in Fish

    EPA Science Inventory

    Toxicogenomic approaches are being increasingly applied in the field of ecotoxicology. Given the growing availability of ecotoxicogenomic data, the Agency and the broader scientific community are actively engaged in considering how best to use those data to support ecological ris...

  16. USING FISHER INFORMATION TO ASSESS THE RISK OF DYNAMIC REGIME CHANGES IN ECOLOGICAL SYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The sustainable nature of particular dynamic regimes of ecosystems is an increasingly integral aspect of many ecological, economic, and social decisions. As ecosystems experience perturbations of varying regularity and intensity, they may either remain within the state space neig...

  17. Mathematical models and methods of risk assessment in ecologically hazardous industries

    SciTech Connect

    Mikhalevich, V.S.; Knopov, P.S.; Golodnikov, A.N.

    1994-11-01

    Analysis of critical industrial situations leading to accidents or catastrophes has shown that the main factors responsible for accidents include technological inadequacy of ecologically hazardous facilities, equipment design errors, and insufficient preventive maintenance of facilities with an enhanced level of environmental hazard. The scale of the accident after-effects essentially depends on the location of the ecologically hazardous facility, timely development of preventive measures, and prompt implementations of these measures in emergency in compliance with strict deadlines for decision making.

  18. Site specific risk assessment of an energy-from-waste/thermal treatment facility in Durham Region, Ontario, Canada. Part B: Ecological risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Ollson, Christopher A; Whitfield Aslund, Melissa L; Knopper, Loren D; Dan, Tereza

    2014-01-01

    The regions of Durham and York in Ontario, Canada have partnered to construct an energy-from-waste (EFW) thermal treatment facility as part of a long term strategy for the management of their municipal solid waste. In this paper we present the results of a comprehensive ecological risk assessment (ERA) for this planned facility, based on baseline sampling and site specific modeling to predict facility-related emissions, which was subsequently accepted by regulatory authorities. Emissions were estimated for both the approved initial operating design capacity of the facility (140,000 tonnes per year) and the maximum design capacity (400,000 tonnes per year). In general, calculated ecological hazard quotients (EHQs) and screening ratios (SRs) for receptors did not exceed the benchmark value (1.0). The only exceedances noted were generally due to existing baseline media concentrations, which did not differ from those expected for similar unimpacted sites in Ontario. This suggests that these exceedances reflect conservative assumptions applied in the risk assessment rather than actual potential risk. However, under predicted upset conditions at 400,000 tonnes per year (i.e., facility start-up, shutdown, and loss of air pollution control), a potential unacceptable risk was estimated for freshwater receptors with respect to benzo(g,h,i)perylene (SR=1.1), which could not be attributed to baseline conditions. Although this slight exceedance reflects a conservative worst-case scenario (upset conditions coinciding with worst-case meteorological conditions), further investigation of potential ecological risk should be performed if this facility is expanded to the maximum operating capacity in the future.

  19. Environmental occurrence and ecological risk assessment of organic UV filters in marine organisms from Hong Kong coastal waters.

    PubMed

    Sang, Ziye; Leung, Kelvin Sze-Yin

    2016-10-01

    Organic UV filters, now considered to be emerging contaminants in aquatic ecosystems, are being intensively tracked in environmental waters worldwide. However, their environmental fate and impact of these contaminants on marine organisms remains largely unknown, especially in Asia. This work elucidates the occurrence and the ecological risks of seven UV filters detected in farmed fish, wild mussels and some other wild organisms collected from local mariculture farms in Hong Kong. For all of the organisms, ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate (EHMC) and octyl dimethyl p-aminobenzoic acid (OD-PABA) were the predominant contaminants with the highest concentrations up to 51.3 and 24.1ng/g (dw), respectively; lower levels were found for benzophenone-8 (BP-8), octocrylene (OC) and benzophenone-3 (BP-3) from ecological risk assessment specific to the marine aquatic environment was carried out. The risk quotient (RQ) values of EHMC and BP-3 were calculated as 3.29 and 2.60, respectively, indicating these two UV filters may pose significant risks to the marine aquatic environment.

  20. Industrial release of fluoroquinolones (FQs) in the waste water bodies with their associated ecological risk in Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Riaz, Luqman; Mahmood, Tariq; Kamal, Atif; Shafqat, Mateen; Rashid, Audil

    2017-03-15

    The unchecked production and use of fluoroquinolones (FQs) for the treatment of infections in human and livestock has increased in Pakistan, which resulted in large amount of antibiotics in water bodies. In the current study, the prevalence and associated ecological risk of three FQs were investigated in waste-water bodies and sludge samples of Kahuta and Hattar industrial zones. The average concentrations of ciprofloxacin (CIP), enrofloxacin (ENR) and levofloxacin (LEV) in the waste-water samples were slightly higher in Kahuta (i.e. 58, 32.9, and 36.7μgL(-1) respectively), than those in Hattar sites (i.e. 42.1, 41.2, and 48.9μgL(-1) respectively). However, the concentrations of CIP, ENR and LEV in the sludge samples were significantly higher (i.e. 159; 153 and 164μgkg(-1) respectively) in Hattar sites, compared to those in Kahuta sites (i.e. 129, 58 and 91μgkg(-1) respectively). The uses of FQs in the health sector resulted in water pollution and poses the ecological risk to aquatic organisms. The individual risk associated with CIP was highest in Kahuta industrial sites for green algae ranging (2900-9100) followed by M. aeruginosa (5800-18200), cyanobacteria (580-18204) and invertebrates (24.2-75.8). These values suggested that the prevalence of antibiotics in the waste-disposal sites could be potential risk for the aquatic ecosystem, and harmful to biodiversity.

  1. A review of ecological risk assessment methods for amphibians: Comparative assessment of testing methodologies and available data.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Mark S; Aubee, Catherine; Salice, Christopher J; Leigh, Katrina B; Liu, Elissa; Pott, Ute; Pillard, David

    2016-12-12

    Historically, ecological risk assessments have rarely included amphibian species, focusing preferentially on other aquatic (fish, invertebrates, algae) and terrestrial wildlife (birds and mammal) species. Often this lack of consideration is due to a paucity of toxicity data, significant variation in study design, uncertainty with regard to exposure, or a combination of all three. Productive risk assessments for amphibians are particularly challenging, given variations in complex life history strategies. Further consideration is needed for the development of useful laboratory animal models and appropriate experimental test procedures that can be effectively applied to the examination of biological response patterns. Using these standardized techniques, risk estimates can be more accurately defined to ensure adequate protection of amphibians from a variety of stress agents. Patterns in toxicity may help to ascertain whether test results from 1 amphibian group (e.g., Urodela) could be sufficiently protective of another (e.g., Anura) and/or whether some nonamphibian aquatic taxonomic groups (e.g., fish or aquatic invertebrates) may be representative of aquatic amphibian life stages. This scope is intended to be a guide in the development of methods that would yield data appropriate for ecological risk decisions applicable to amphibians. Integr Environ Assess Manag. © 2016 SETAC.

  2. Influence of Host Ecology and Behavior on Campylobacter jejuni Prevalence and Environmental Contamination Risk in a Synanthropic Wild Bird Species

    PubMed Central

    Weis, Allison M.; Wheeler, Sarah; Hinton, Mitchell G.; Weimer, Bart C.; Barker, Christopher M.; Jones, Melissa; Logsdon, Ryane; Smith, Woutrina A.; Boyce, Walter M.; Townsend, Andrea K.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Campylobacter jejuni is a foodborne pathogen that often leads to human infections through the consumption of contaminated poultry. Wild birds may play a role in the transmission of C. jejuni by acting as reservoir hosts. Despite ample evidence that wild birds harbor C. jejuni, few studies have addressed the role of host ecology in transmission to domestic animals or humans. We tested the hypothesis that host social behavior and habitat play a major role in driving transmission risk. C. jejuni infection and host ecology were studied simultaneously in wild American crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos) in Davis, CA, over 3 years. We found that 178 of 337 samples tested were culture positive (53%), with infection varying by season and host age. Among adult crows, infection rates were highest during the winter, when migrants return and crows form large communal roosts. Nestlings had the highest risk of infection, and whole-genome sequencing supports the observation of direct transmission between nestlings. We deployed global positioning system (GPS) receivers to quantify habitat use by crows; space use was nonrandom, with crows preferentially occupying some habitats while avoiding others. This behavior drastically amplified the risk of environmental contamination from feces in specific locations. This study demonstrates that social behavior contributes to infection within species and that habitat use leads to a heterogeneous risk of cross-species transmission. IMPORTANCE Campylobacter jejuni is the most common cause of gastroenteritis in industrialized countries. Despite efforts to reduce the colonization of poultry flocks and eventual infection of humans, the incidence of human C. jejuni infection has remained high. Because wild birds can harbor strains of C. jejuni that eventually infect humans, there has long been speculation that wild birds might act as an important reservoir in the C. jejuni infection cycle. We simultaneously studied infection prevalence, social

  3. Ecological risks of shale oil and gas development to wildlife, aquatic resources and their habitats

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brittingham, Margaret C.; Maloney, Kelly O.; Farag, Aida M.; Harper, David D.; Bowen, Zachary H.

    2014-01-01

    Technological advances in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have led to the exploration and exploitation of shale oil and gas both nationally and internationally. Extensive development of shale resources has occurred within the United States over the past decade, yet full build out is not expected to occur for years. Moreover, countries across the globe have large shale resources and are beginning to explore extraction of these resources. Extraction of shale resources is a multistep process that includes site identification, well pad and infrastructure development, well drilling, high-volume hydraulic fracturing and production; each with its own propensity to affect associated ecosystems. Some potential effects, for example from well pad, road and pipeline development, will likely be similar to other anthropogenic activities like conventional gas drilling, land clearing, exurban and agricultural development and surface mining (e.g., habitat fragmentation and sedimentation). Therefore, we can use the large body of literature available on the ecological effects of these activities to estimate potential effects from shale development on nearby ecosystems. However, other effects, such as accidental release of wastewaters, are novel to the shale gas extraction process making it harder to predict potential outcomes. Here, we review current knowledge of the effects of high-volume hydraulic fracturing coupled with horizontal drilling on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in the contiguous United States, an area that includes 20 shale plays many of which have experienced extensive development over the past decade. We conclude that species and habitats most at risk are ones where there is an extensive overlap between a species range or habitat type and one of the shale plays (leading to high vulnerability) coupled with intrinsic characteristics such as limited range, small population size, specialized habitat requirements, and high sensitivity to disturbance

  4. Integrating bioassessment and ecological risk assessment: an approach to developing numerical water-quality criteria.

    PubMed

    King, Ryan S; Richardson, Curtis J

    2003-06-01

    Ioassessment is used worldwide to monitor aquatic health but is infrequently used with risk-assessment objectives, such as supporting the development of defensible, numerical water-quality criteria. To this end, we present a generalized approach for detecting potential ecological thresholds using assemblage-level attributes and a multimetric index (Index of Biological Integrity-IBI) as endpoints in response to numerical changes in water quality. To illustrate the approach, we used existing macroinvertebrate and surface-water total phosphorus (TP) datasets from an observed P gradient and a P-dosing experiment in wetlands of the south Florida coastal plain nutrient ecoregion. Ten assemblage attributes were identified as potential metrics using the observational data, and five were validated in the experiment. These five core metrics were subjected individually and as an aggregated Nutrient-IBI to nonparametric changepoint analysis (nCPA) to estimate cumulative probabilities of a threshold response to TP. Threshold responses were evident for all metrics and the IBI, and were repeatable through time. Results from the observed gradient indicated that a threshold was > or = 50% probable between 12.6 and 19.4 microg/L TP for individual metrics and 14.8 microg/L TP for the IBI. Results from the P-dosing experiment revealed > or = 50% probability of a response between 11.2 and 13.0 microg/L TP for the metrics and 12.3 microg/L TP for the IBI. Uncertainty analysis indicated a low (typically > or = 5%) probability that an IBI threshold occurred at < or = 10 microg/L TP, while there was > or = 95% certainty that the threshold was < or = 17 microg/L TP. The weight-of-evidence produced from these analyses implies that a TP concentration > 12-15 microg/L is likely to cause degradation of macroinvertebrate assemblage structure and function, a reflection of biological integrity, in the study area. This finding may assist in the development of a numerical water-quality criterion for

  5. Ecological risks of shale oil and gas development to wildlife, aquatic resources and their habitats.

    PubMed

    Brittingham, Margaret C; Maloney, Kelly O; Farag, Aïda M; Harper, David D; Bowen, Zachary H

    2014-10-07

    Technological advances in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have led to the exploration and exploitation of shale oil and gas both nationally and internationally. Extensive development of shale resources has occurred within the United States over the past decade, yet full build out is not expected to occur for years. Moreover, countries across the globe have large shale resources and are beginning to explore extraction of these resources. Extraction of shale resources is a multistep process that includes site identification, well pad and infrastructure development, well drilling, high-volume hydraulic fracturing and production; each with its own propensity to affect associated ecosystems. Some potential effects, for example from well pad, road and pipeline development, will likely be similar to other anthropogenic activities like conventional gas drilling, land clearing, exurban and agricultural development and surface mining (e.g., habitat fragmentation and sedimentation). Therefore, we can use the large body of literature available on the ecological effects of these activities to estimate potential effects from shale development on nearby ecosystems. However, other effects, such as accidental release of wastewaters, are novel to the shale gas extraction process making it harder to predict potential outcomes. Here, we review current knowledge of the effects of high-volume hydraulic fracturing coupled with horizontal drilling on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in the contiguous United States, an area that includes 20 shale plays many of which have experienced extensive development over the past decade. We conclude that species and habitats most at risk are ones where there is an extensive overlap between a species range or habitat type and one of the shale plays (leading to high vulnerability) coupled with intrinsic characteristics such as limited range, small population size, specialized habitat requirements, and high sensitivity to disturbance

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

    DOE PAGES

    Rigg, David K.; Wacksman, Mitch N.; Iannuzzi, Jacqueline; ...

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    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 article 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. This study demonstrates that a thorough and detailed investigation using multiple measurement endpoints is needed to properly evaluate

  8. Spatial modeling of receptor species for ecological risk assessment activities on the Department of Energy's Savannah River Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaines, Karen Frances

    To assist risk assessors on the Department of Energy's Savannah River Site (SRS), a Geographic Information System (GIS) was developed to provide relevant information about specific receptor species that can be used for ecological risk assessment (ERA). Although this GIS is a useful tool, it is limited in that it can only provide information about a species if it was studied in that particular area and does not describe the site-wide spatial distribution or life history of a receptor species, which may be crucial when developing an ecological impact assessment. The GIS was expanded by modeling wildlife species on the SRS to provide information regarding their over-all distribution (probability of being in an area) and habitat utilization. Each model is a stand-alone tool consisting of algorithms that are applied within a GIS and therefore dynamic enough to respond to stochastic events such as natural and anthropogenic habitat disturbances and/or long-term changes such as natural succession. Spatial analyses suggest toxicant exposure and accumulation risk in relation to the species probability of occurrence in the area. This modeling effort provides the tools that are crucial for the Department of Energy to conduct ERA activities for specific contaminants on the SRS. Further, it serves as a template for DOE managed lands and other large government facilities to establish a framework for site-specific ecological impact assessments that use wildlife species as endpoints. Predictive distribution models for the raccoon (Procyon lotor) and wild hog (Sus scrofa ) are used to demonstrate the construction and utilization of these models to: (1) estimate wildlife toxicant exposure, (2) identify possible contaminant vectors, and (3) construct human-based risk assessments from consuming wild game.

  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. Sources of heavy metals in surface sediments and an ecological risk assessment from two adjacent Plateau reservoirs.

    PubMed

    Wu, Binbin; Wang, Guoqiang; Wu, Jin; Fu, Qing; Liu, Changming

    2014-01-01

    The concentrations of heavy metals (mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu) and arsenic (As)) in surface water and sediments were investigated in two adjacent drinking water reservoirs (Hongfeng and Baihua Reservoirs) on the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau in Southwest China. Possible pollution sources were identified by spatial and statistical analyses. For both reservoirs, Cd was most likely from industrial activities, and As was from lithogenic sources. For the Hongfeng Reservoir, Pb, Cr and Cu might have originated from mixed sources (traffic pollution and residual effect of former industrial practices), and the sources of Hg included the inflows, which were different for the North (industrial activities) and South (lithogenic origin) Lakes, and atmospheric deposition resulting from coal combustion. For the Baihua Reservoir, the Hg, Cr and Cu were primarily derived from industrial activities, and the Pb originated from traffic pollution. The Hg in the Baihua Reservoir might also have been associated with coal combustion pollution. An analysis of ecological risk using sediment quality guidelines showed that there were moderate toxicological risks for sediment-dwelling organisms in both reservoirs, mainly from Hg and Cr. Ecological risk analysis using the Hakanson index suggested that there was a potential moderate to very high ecological risk to humans from fish in both reservoirs, mainly because of elevated levels of Hg and Cd. The upstream Hongfeng Reservoir acts as a buffer, but remains an important source of Cd, Cu and Pb and a moderately important source of Cr, for the downstream Baihua Reservoir. This study provides a replicable method for assessing aquatic ecosystem health in adjacent plateau reservoirs.

  11. Sources of Heavy Metals in Surface Sediments and an Ecological Risk Assessment from Two Adjacent Plateau Reservoirs

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Binbin; Wang, Guoqiang; Wu, Jin; Fu, Qing; Liu, Changming

    2014-01-01

    The concentrations of heavy metals (mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu) and arsenic (As)) in surface water and sediments were investigated in two adjacent drinking water reservoirs (Hongfeng and Baihua Reservoirs) on the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau in Southwest China. Possible pollution sources were identified by spatial and statistical analyses. For both reservoirs, Cd was most likely from industrial activities, and As was from lithogenic sources. For the Hongfeng Reservoir, Pb, Cr and Cu might have originated from mixed sources (traffic pollution and residual effect of former industrial practices), and the sources of Hg included the inflows, which were different for the North (industrial activities) and South (lithogenic origin) Lakes, and atmospheric deposition resulting from coal combustion. For the Baihua Reservoir, the Hg, Cr and Cu were primarily derived from industrial activities, and the Pb originated from traffic pollution. The Hg in the Baihua Reservoir might also have been associated with coal combustion pollution. An analysis of ecological risk using sediment quality guidelines showed that there were moderate toxicological risks for sediment-dwelling organisms in both reservoirs, mainly from Hg and Cr. Ecological risk analysis using the Hakanson index suggested that there was a potential moderate to very high ecological risk to humans from fish in both reservoirs, mainly because of elevated levels of Hg and Cd. The upstream Hongfeng Reservoir acts as a buffer, but remains an important source of Cd, Cu and Pb and a moderately important source of Cr, for the downstream Baihua Reservoir. This study provides a replicable method for assessing aquatic ecosystem health in adjacent plateau reservoirs. PMID:25010771

  12. Composition profiles, levels, distributions and ecological risk assessments of trihalomethanes in surface water from a typical estuary of Bohai Bay, China.

    PubMed

    Niu, Zhiguang; Li, Xiaonan; Zhang, Ying

    2017-01-31

    To characterize the spatiotemporal distribution and potential ecological risk for trihalomethanes (THMs) in the surface water of a river estuary, surface water samples were collected over five consecutive months (from March to July 2016) from four sites in the Haihe River estuary of Bohai Bay. The potential ecological risks of THMs were evaluated quantitatively based on a species sensitivity distribution (SSD) model. The results demonstrate that trichloromethane (TCM) was the predominant THM in surface water of the Haihe River estuary (2.93±1.98μg/L) followed by tribromomethane (TBM) (0.42±0.33μg/L), bromodichloromethane (BDCM) (0.14±0.06μg/L) and dibromochloromethane (DBCM) (0.09±0.10μg/L). The concentration of TCM was higher in summer than that in spring, while TBM displayed the opposite trend. The TCM concentration decreased from the estuary to the adjacent sea. However, the levels of TBM and DBCM in the adjacent sea were higher than those in the estuary. The ecological risks of THMs in surface water of Haihe River were notably low, and the ecological risks of THMs in freshwater were generally higher than those in seawater. Compared with other contaminants in water and surface sediment from rivers and coastal areas, the ecological risk levels of THMs in surface water can be considered low. This study is a contribution to the progress of ecological risk assessment of THMs.

  13. Aquatic predicted no-effect concentration for three polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and probabilistic ecological risk assessment in Liaodong Bay of the Bohai Sea, China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ying; Wang, Juying; Mu, Jingli; Wang, Zhen; Yao, Ziwei; Lin, Zhongsheng

    2014-01-01

    Predicted no-effect concentration (PNEC) is often used in ecological risk assessment to determine low-risk concentrations for chemicals. In the present study, native marine species were selected for toxicity testing. The PNECs for three polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), specifically phenanthrene (Phe), pyrene (Pyr), and benzo[a]pyrene (BaP), were derived from chronic and acute toxicity data with log-normal statistical methods. The achieved PNECs for Phe, Pyr, and BaP were 2.33, 1.09, and 0.011 μg/L, respectively. In Jinzhou Bay and the Shuangtaizi River Estuary of Liaodong Bay in the Bohai Sea, China, the surface water concentrations of the three PAHs were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Based on two probabilistic ecological risk assessment (PERA) methods, namely probabilistic risk quotient and joint probability curve, the potential risk of Phe, Pyr, and BaP in Jinzhou Bay and Shuangtaizi River Estuary was assessed. The same order of ecological risk (BaP > Phe > Pyr) was found by both models. Our study considered regional characteristics of marine biota during the calculation of PNECs, and the PERA methods provided probabilities of potential ecological risks of chemicals. Within the study area, further research on BaP is required due to its high potential ecological risk.

  14. [Heavy metal accumulation during last hundred years and its assessment of potential ecological risk in the coastal wetland of Qi'ao Island, Pearl River Estuary of China].

    PubMed

    Wang, Ai-jun; Ye, Xiang; Li, Tuan-jie; Huang, Cai-bin

    2011-05-01

    The processes of fine sediment transport and deposition can record some relative anthropogenic information in estuarine environments. Grain size analysis of the sediment core collected from coastal wetland of Qi'ao Island in the Pearl River Estuary of China show that the sediment is mainly composed by clayey silt, and the mean grain size, contents of clay and silt increase upward gradually. Chronology analysis show that the sedimentation rate above 59 cm is about 4.15 cm x a(-1), and 0.97 cm x a(-1) beneath 59 cm. Heavy metal analysis indicate that the contents of the each heavy metal increased slowly with a slight intensity of potential ecological risk; however, from 1966 to 1992, the heavy metal contents increased obviously because of the quick social-economy development around the Pearl River Estuary area, and the order of polluting degree of these heavy metals in core sediment is Cd > Ni > Pb > Cu > Cr > Zn. The potential ecological risk intensity of Cd increased from slight risk before 1966 to strong risk since 1992, and the potential ecological risk intensities other heavy metal are slight risk; the potential ecological risk index is weak level. The variations of core sediment heavy metal contents and its ecological risk assessments along the vertical profile reveal the interaction processes and intent of anthropogenic influences from the areas around the Pearl River Estuary and the catchments.

  15. The Apache Longbow-Hellfire Missile Test at Yuma Proving Ground: Ecological Risk Assessment for Helicopter Overflight

    SciTech Connect

    Efroymson, Rebecca Ann; Hargrove, William Walter; Suter, Glenn

    2008-01-01

    A multi-stressor risk assessment was conducted at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, as a demonstration of the Military Ecological Risk Assessment Framework. The focus of the assessment was a testing program at Cibola Range, which involved an Apache Longbow helicopter firing Hellfire missiles at moving targets, M60-A1 tanks. This paper focuses on the wildlife risk assessment for the helicopter overflight. The primary stressors were sound and the view of the aircraft. Exposure to desert mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus crooki) was quantified using Air Force sound contour programs NOISEMAP and MR_NMAP, which gave very different results. Slant distance from helicopters to deer was also used as a measure of exposure that integrated risk from sound and view of the aircraft. Exposure-response models for the characterization of effects consisted of behavioral thresholds in sound exposure level or maximum sound level units or slant distance. Available sound thresholds were limited for desert mule deer, but a distribution of slant-distance thresholds was available for ungulates. The risk characterization used a weight-of-evidence approach and concluded that risk to mule deer behavior from the Apache overflight is uncertain, but that no risk to mule deer abundance and reproduction is expected.

  16. Approach and Strategy for Performing Ecological Risk Assessments for the Department of Energy Oak Ridge Field Office Environmental Restoration Program

    SciTech Connect

    Suter, G.W. II

    1992-01-01

    This technical memorandum provides guidance for planning and performing ecological risk assessments (ERAs) on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR). This work was performed under Work Breakdown Structure 1.4.12.2.3.04.07.02 (Activity Data Sheet 8304) and meets an Environmental Restoration Program milestone for FY 95. The strategy discussed in this report is consistent with the overall strategy for site management and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) compliance developed for the ORR and relevant U.S. Environmental Protection Agency documents and guidance. The general approach and strategy presented herein was developed for the ORR, but it could be applicable to other complex CERCLA sites that possess significant ecological resources.

  17. Incorporating ecological risk assessment into remedial investigation/feasibility study work plans

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1994-06-01

    This guidance document (1) provides instructions on preparing the components of an ecological work plan to complement the overall site remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS) work plan and (2) directs the user on how to implement ecological tasks identified in the plan. Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), as amended by the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA), and RI/FS work plan will have to be developed as part of the site-remediation scoping process. Specific guidance on the RI/FS process and the preparation of work plans has been developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA 1988a). This document provides guidance to US Department of Energy (DOE) staff and contractor personnel for incorporation of ecological information into environmental remediation planning and decision making at CERCLA sites.

  18. Level and ecological risk of four common metals in surface water along the Qinhuangdao coastal areas, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Liping; Lei, Kun; Qiao, Yanzhen; Hao, Chenlin

    2017-01-01

    Heavy metals have been a widespread environmental contamination. Due to their associated ecological risk, the presence in water environment has attracted broad attention to public. Here 4 most common metals including copper (Cu), lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd) and zinc (Zn) were determined in surface water along the Qinhuangdao coastal areas, China. And their ecological risk was assessed using species sensitivity distribution (SSD) method. Total 12 stations were designed near the main estuary in the study area. The results showed that the concentrations of Cu, Pb, Cd and Zn of surface water were in the range of 847.81-1602.81µg/L, 0.42-1.59µg/L, 1.82-7.99µg/L and 26.9 -59.36µg/L, respectively. According to the National Seawater Quality Standard of China (GB3097-1997), Cu concentration in each station was much higher than the standard value of IV level (50µg/L), thus Cu could not even met the lowest level of water quality. In contrast, Pb met the I or II level of water quality, Cd and Zn met the II or III level. The HC5 (hazardous concentration for 5% of species) of each metal was obtained from their corresponding SSD curve. In case of Cu and Zn, the concentration at all sites exceeded their HC5 values, suggesting both of them had adverse effect on the aquatic organism, especially Cu. While Pb concentration at all sites was much lower than its HC5 value, thus Pb had no negative effect on aquatic life. In case of Cd, the concentration at 5 sites was higher than its HC5 value, and the other 7 sites was lower than its HC5 value, suggesting that adverse effect only occur at partial region in the study area. The RQ (risk quotient) value of Cu varied between 1355.41 and 2621.28, far larger than 1, indicating that 100% of sites had a much higher risk. The RQ of Zn varied between 6.06 and 13.88 (>1) indicating that Zn had a high risk in the study area. In case of Cd, the RQ ranged from 0.94 to 4.41 and about 92% of sites were larger than 1, suggesting that Cd had a high risk

  19. Potential ecological risk of heavy metals and metalloid in the sediments of Wuyuer River basin, Heilongjiang Province, China.

    PubMed

    Cui, Jia; Zang, Shuying; Zhai, Danlei; Wu, Bin

    2014-05-01

    The spatial distribution, sources, and potential ecological risk of heavy metals and metalloid were evaluated in sediments of the Wuyuer River and its tributaries. Metal and metalloid concentrations and chemical speciation (Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, Cd, As, Zn and Hg) in 187 surface sediment samples were measured using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Metals and metalloid in the sediments of the Wuyuer River were greater than the background values of the Songnen Plain, and mean heavy metal concentrations were greater in downstream segments of the river than in upstream segments. Speciation results indicated that Cd was chemically mobile and Cu, Pb, Zn, Cr, and Ni were potentially bioavailable. Mercury and As existed mainly in the residual fraction. Hakanson's potential risk index indicated that the total potential ecological risk of these elements was moderate in the Wuyuer River. Among the selected metals and metalloid, Hg and Cd were the most potentially toxic and mainly distributed near the cities of Keshan, Yi'an and Fuyü. Because the speciation of Cd in the river sediments is highly bioavailable, the concentrations of Cd should be closely monitored. This research provides managers with information needed to better regulate the environment of the Wuyuer River.

  20. Possible ecological risks of transgenic organism release when transgenes affect mating success: Sexual selection and the Trojan gene hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Muir, William M.; Howard, Richard D.

    1999-01-01

    Widespread interest in producing transgenic organisms is balanced by concern over ecological hazards, such as species extinction if such organisms were to be released into nature. An ecological risk associated with the introduction of a transgenic organism is that the transgene, though rare, can spread in a natural population. An increase in transgene frequency is often assumed to be unlikely because transgenic organisms typically have some viability disadvantage. Reduced viability is assumed to be common because transgenic individuals are best viewed as macromutants that lack any history of selection that could reduce negative fitness effects. However, these arguments ignore the potential advantageous effects of transgenes on some aspect of fitness such as mating success. Here, we examine the risk to a natural population after release of a few transgenic individuals when the transgene trait simultaneously increases transgenic male mating success and lowers the viability of transgenic offspring. We obtained relevant life history data by using the small cyprinodont fish, Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) as a model. Our deterministic equations predict that a transgene introduced into a natural population by a small number of transgenic fish will spread as a result of enhanced mating advantage, but the reduced viability of offspring will cause eventual local extinction of both populations. Such risks should be evaluated with each new transgenic animal before release. PMID:10570162

  1. Ecological risk assessment of on-site soil washing with iron(III) chloride in cadmium-contaminated paddy field.

    PubMed

    Nagai, Takashi; Horio, Takeshi; Yokoyama, Atsushi; Kamiya, Takashi; Takano, Hiroyuki; Makino, Tomoyuki

    2012-06-01

    On-site soil washing with iron(III) chloride reduces Cd levels in soil, and thus the human health risks caused by Cd in food. However, it may threaten aquatic organisms when soil washing effluent is discharged to open aquatic systems. Therefore, we conducted trial-scale on-site soil washing and ecological risk assessment in Nagano and Niigata prefectures, Japan. The ecological effect of effluent water was investigated by two methods. The first was bioassay using standard aquatic test organisms. Twice-diluted effluent water from the Nagano site and the original effluent water from the Niigata site had no significant effects on green algae, water flea, caddisfly, and fish. The safe dilution rates were estimated as 20 times and 10 times for the Nagano and Niigata sites, respectively, considering an assessment factor of 10. The second method was probabilistic effect analysis using chemical analysis and the species sensitivity distribution concept. The mixture effects of CaCl(2), Al, Zn, and Mn were considered by applying a response additive model. The safe dilution rates, assessed for a potentially affected fraction of species of 5%, were 7.1 times and 23.6 times for the Nagano and Niigata sites, respectively. The actual dilution rates of effluent water by river water at the Nagano and Niigata sites were 2200-67,000 times and 1300-110,000 times, respectively. These are much larger than the safe dilution rates derived from the two approaches. Consequently, the ecological risk to aquatic organisms of soil washing is evaluated as being below the concern level.

  2. Ecological risk assessment of ecosystem services in the Taihu Lake Basin of China from 1985 to 2020.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xibao; Yang, Guishan; Tan, Yan; Zhuang, Qianlai; Li, Hengpeng; Wan, Rongrong; Su, Weizhong; Zhang, Jian

    2016-06-01

    There are tremendous theoretical, methodological and policy challenges in evaluating the impact of land-use change on the degradation of ecosystem services (ES) at the regional scale. This study addresses these challenges by developing an interdisciplinary methodology based on the Procedure for Ecological Tiered Assessment of Risk (PETAR). This novel methodology integrates ecological models with a land-use change model. This study quantifies the multi-dimensional degradation risks of ES in the Taihu Lake Basin (TLB) of China from 1985 to 2020. Four key ES related to water purification, water quantity adjustment, carbon sequestration and grain production are selected. The study employs models of Denitrification-Decomposition (DNDC), Soil-Water-Atmosphere-Plant (SWAP), Biome-BGC and Agro-ecological Zoning (AEZ) for assimilations. Land-use changes by 2020 were projected using a geographically weighted multinomial logit-cellular automata (GWML-CA) model. The results show that rapid land-use change has posed a great degradation risk of ES in the region in 1985-2020. Slightly less than two-thirds of the basin experienced degradation of ES over the 1985-2010 period, and about 12% of the basin will continue to experience degradation until 2020. Hot spots with severe deterioration in 2010-2020 are projected to be centered around some small and less developed cities in the region. Regulating accelerated urban sprawl and population growth, reinforcing current environmental programs, and establishing monitoring systems for observing dynamics of regional ES are suggested as practical counter-measures.

  3. Assessment of Ecological and Human Health Risks of Heavy Metal Contamination in Agriculture Soils Disturbed by Pipeline Construction

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Peng; Xiao, Jun; Wang, Yafeng; Chen, Liding

    2014-01-01

    The construction of large-scale infrastructures such as nature gas/oil pipelines involves extensive disturbance to regional ecosystems. Few studies have documented the soil degradation and heavy metal contamination caused by pipeline construction. In this study, chromium (Cr), cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) levels were evaluated using Index of Geo-accumulation (Igeo) and Potential Ecological Risk Index (RI) values, and human health risk assessments were used to elucidate the level and spatial variation of heavy metal pollution risks. The results showed that the impact zone of pipeline installation on soil heavy metal contamination was restricted to pipeline right-of-way (RoW), which had higher Igeo of Cd, Cu, Ni and Pb than that of 20 m and 50 m. RI showed a declining tendency in different zones as follows: trench > working zone > piling area > 20 m > 50 m. Pipeline RoW resulted in higher human health risks than that of 20 m and 50 m, and children were more susceptible to non-carcinogenic hazard risk. Cluster analysis showed that Cu, Ni, Pb and Cd had similar sources, drawing attention to the anthropogenic activity. The findings in this study should help better understand the type, degree, scope and sources of heavy metal pollution from pipeline construction to reduce pollutant emissions, and are helpful in providing a scientific basis for future risk management. PMID:24590049

  4. Ecological risk assessment of toxic organic pollutant and heavy metals in water and sediment from a landscape lake in Tianjin City, China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ying; Liu, Yuanyuan; Niu, Zhiguang; Jin, Shaopei

    2017-03-29

    To estimate the ecological risk of toxic organic pollutant (formaldehyde) and heavy metals (mercury (Hg), arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), and chromium (Cr)) in water and sediment from a landscape Lake in Tianjin City, an ecological risk assessment was performed. The risk quotient (RQ) method and the AQUATOX model were used to assess the ecological risk of formaldehyde in landscape water. Meanwhile, the RQ method and the potential ecological risk index method were used to assess the ecological risk of four heavy metals in water and sediment from the studied landscape lake, respectively. The results revealed that the maximum concentration of formaldehyde in landscape water was lower than the environmental quality standards of surface water in China. The maximum simulated concentrations of formaldehyde in phytoplankton and invertebrates were 3.15 and 22.91 μg/L, respectively, which were far less than its toxicity data values (1000 and 510 μg/L, respectively), suggesting that formaldehyde in landscape water was at a safe level for aquatic organisms. The RQ model indicated that the risks of phytoplankton and invertebrates were higher than that of fish posed by Hg and Cd in landscape water, and the risks from As and Cr were acceptable for all test organisms. Cd is the most important pollution factor among all heavy metals in sediment from studied landscape lake, and the pollution factor sequence of heavy metals was Hg > As > Cr > Cd. The values of risk index (RI) for four heavy metals in samples a and b were 43.48 and 72.66, which were much lower than the threshold value (150), suggesting that the ecological risk posed by heavy metals in sediment was neg