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Corvallis, OR, United States

Sullivan T.J.,EandS Environmental Chemistry Inc.
Water (Switzerland)

Land management and natural resource public policy decision-making in the United States can benefit from two resource damage/recovery concepts: ecosystem service (ES) and critical load (CL). The purpose of this paper is to suggest an integrated approach to the application of ES and CL principles for public land management and natural resource policy decision-making. One well known example that is appropriate for ES and CL evaluation is examined here: the acidification of soil and drainage water by atmospheric deposition of acidifying sulfur and nitrogen compounds. A conceptual framework illustrates how the ES and CL approaches can be combined in a way that enhances the strengths of each. This framework will aid in the process of translating ES and CL principles into land management and natural resource policy decision-making by documenting the impacts of pollution on environmental goods and services that benefit humans. © 2012 by the authors. Source

Nierzwicki-Bauer S.A.,Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute | Boylen C.W.,Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute | Eichler L.W.,Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute | Harrison J.P.,Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute | And 8 more authors.
Environmental Science and Technology

The Adirondack Mountains in New York State have a varied surficial geology and chemically diverse surface waters that are among the most impacted by acid deposition in the U.S. No single Adirondack investigation has been comprehensive in defining the effects of acidification on species diversity, from bacteria through fish, essential for understanding the full impact of acidification on biota. Baseline midsummer chemistry and community composition are presented for a group of chemically diverse Adirondack lakes. Species richness of all trophic levels except bacteria is significantly correlated with lake acid?base chemistry. The loss of taxa observed per unit pH was similar: bacterial genera (2.50), bacterial classes (1.43), phytoplankton (3.97), rotifers (3.56), crustaceans (1.75), macrophytes (3.96), and fish (3.72). Specific pH criteria were applied to the communities to define and identify acid-tolerant (pH < 5.0), acid-resistant (pH 5.0-5.6), and acid-sensitive (pH > 5.6) species which could serve as indicators. Acid-tolerant and acid-sensitive categories are at end-points along the pH scale, significantly different at P < 0.05; the acid-resistant category is the range of pH between these end-points, where community changes continually occur as the ecosystem moves in one direction or another. The biota acid tolerance classification (batc) system described herein provides a clear distinction between the taxonomic groups identified in these subcategories and can be used to evaluate the impact of acid deposition on different trophic levels of biological communities. © 2010 American Chemical Society. Source

Otten T.G.,Oregon State University | Crosswell J.R.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Mackey S.,EandS Environmental Chemistry Inc. | Dreher T.W.,Oregon State University
Harmful Algae

Microcystis is a globally distributed cyanobacterium that forms dense surface scums in eutrophic freshwater bodies and is also capable of producing potent liver toxins (microcystins). Although it is not commonly observed in riverine environments, high concentrations of Microcystis cells - and microcystins - have been observed on a recurring basis in recent years throughout the Klamath River system (Oregon/California). In this study, a variety of genetic approaches were used to assess the connectivity of Microcystis populations found throughout the Klamath River. In 2012, samples were collected bi-weekly from 16 sites spanning the entire system, including all five reservoirs and Upper Klamath Lake. A newly designed QPCR assay targeting a conserved region within the c-phycocyanin β-subunit gene (. cpcB) was used along with a microcystin synthetase gene (. mcyE) targeting QPCR assay to quantify the spatiotemporal patterns of total and toxigenic Microcystis. These data were compared with traditional metrics, such as microscopic cell counts and analytical toxin measurements, and the public health implications are discussed. Overall, Microcystis was a minor constituent of the phytoplankton community above Copco and Iron Gate Reservoirs, although it was highly prolific within these reservoirs and our data indicate that most of these populations originate internally. Spatiotemporal variations in the proportional abundances of a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), identified by 454 deep sequencing of the cpcBA genes, was used to fingerprint Iron Gate Reservoir as the source of downriver Microcystis assemblages. Throughout the study period, the Microcystis populations remained highly toxic, with total microcystin concentrations ranging from 165. μg/L in Copco Reservoir to 3.6. μg/L within the lower estuary (0.8. km from the Pacific Ocean). These results demonstrate that large quantities of intact and toxic Microcystis cells can withstand passage through hydroelectric installations and transport over distances exceeding 300. km. This finding emphasizes that public health risk assessments should consider the impact of cyanobacterial blooms even when they originate in distant upstream locations within a watershed. © 2015. Source

Sullivan T.J.,EandS Environmental Chemistry Inc. | Jenkins J.,Wildlife Conservation Society
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences

We discuss the potential for adopting a critical load (CL) of air pollutant-deposition approach to inform natural resource protection and management in New York. The CL reflects the quantitative exposure to pollutants below which significant harmful effects on specified sensitive elements of the environment do not occur. Here, we discuss how CLs can be used to protect sensitive ecosystems against the harmful effects of atmospheric sulfur and nitrogen deposition and associated soil and water acidification and nutrient enrichment. The CL can be used diagnostically to determine resources at risk and prescriptively to evaluate the effectiveness of regulations and to manage resources. © 2014 New York Academy of Sciences. Source

Sverdrup H.,Lund University | McDonnell T.C.,EandS Environmental Chemistry Inc. | Sullivan T.J.,EandS Environmental Chemistry Inc. | Nihlgard B.,Lund University | And 5 more authors.
Water, Air, and Soil Pollution

The ForSAFE-VEG model was used to estimate atmospheric nitrogen deposition and climate effects on soil chemistry and ground vegetation in alpine and subalpine zones of the northern and central Rocky Mountains region in the USA from 1750 to 2500. Model simulations for a generalized site illustrated how the critical load of atmospheric nitrogen deposition could be estimated to protect plant biodiversity. The results appear reasonable compared with past model applications in northern Europe. Atmospheric N deposition critical loads estimated to protect plant biodiversity were 1 to 2 kg N/ha/year. This range could be greater, depending on the values selected for critical sitespecific parameters (precipitation, temperature, soil chemistry, plant nutrient uptake, and any eventual harvest of biomass) and the amount of biodiversity change allowed. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011. Source

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