Olympia, WA, United States
Olympia, WA, United States

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Henny C.J.,U.S. Geological Survey | Grove R.A.,U.S. Geological Survey | Kaiser J.L.,U.S. Geological Survey | Johnson B.L.,U.S. Geological Survey | And 2 more authors.
Ecotoxicology | Year: 2011

Several polybrominated biphenyl ether (PBDE) congeners were found in all 175 osprey (Pandion haliaetus) eggs collected from the Columbia River Basin between 2002 and 2009. ∑PBDE concentrations in 2008-2009 were highest in osprey eggs from the two lowest flow rivers studied; however, each river flowed through relatively large and populous metropolitan areas (Boise, Idaho and Spokane, Washington). We used the volume of Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) discharge, a known source of PBDEs, as a measure of human activity at a location, and combined with river flow (both converted to millions of gallons/day) created a novel approach (an approximate Dilution Index) to relate waterborne contaminants to levels of these contaminants that reach avian eggs. This approach provided a useful understanding of the spatial osprey egg concentration patterns observed. Individual osprey egg concentrations along the Upper Willamette River co-varied with the Dilution Index, while combined egg data (geometric means) from rivers or segments of rivers showed a strong, significant relationship to the Dilution Index with one exception, the Boise River. There, we believe osprey egg concentrations were lower than expected because Boise River ospreys foraged perhaps 50-75% of the time off the river at ponds and lakes stocked with fish that contained relatively low ∑PBDE concentrations. Our limited temporal data at specific localities (2004-2009) suggests that ∑PBDE concentrations in osprey eggs peaked between 2005 and 2007, and then decreased, perhaps in response to penta- and octa-PBDE technical mixtures no longer being used in the USA after 2004. Empirical estimates of biomagnification factors (BMFs) from fish to osprey eggs were 3.76-7.52 on a wet weight (ww) basis or 4.37-11.0 lipid weight. Our earlier osprey study suggested that ∑PBDE egg concentrations >1,000 ng/g ww may reduce osprey reproductive success. Only two of the study areas sampled in 2008-2009 contained individual eggs with ∑PBDE concentrations >1,000 ng/g, and non-significant (P > 0.30) negative relationships were found between ∑PBDEs and reproductive success. Additional monitoring is required to confirm not only the apparent decline in PBDE concentrations in osprey eggs that occurred during this study, but also to better understand the relationship between PBDEs in eggs and reproductive success. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.


PubMed | University of Michigan, Environmental Assessment Program, Wilfrid Laurier University, University of Ottawa and 16 more.
Type: | Journal: The Science of the total environment | Year: 2016

For the Western North America Mercury Synthesis, we compiled mercury records from 165 dated sediment cores from 138 natural lakes across western North America. Lake sediments are accepted as faithful recorders of historical mercury accumulation rates, and regional and sub-regional temporal and spatial trends were analyzed with descriptive and inferential statistics. Mercury accumulation rates in sediments have increased, on average, four times (4) from 1850 to 2000 and continue to increase by approximately 0.2g/m(2) per year. Lakes with the greatest increases were influenced by the Flin Flon smelter, followed by lakes directly affected by mining and wastewater discharges. Of lakes not directly affected by point sources, there is a clear separation in mercury accumulation rates between lakes with no/little watershed development and lakes with extensive watershed development for agricultural and/or residential purposes. Lakes in the latter group exhibited a sharp increase in mercury accumulation rates with human settlement, stabilizing after 1950 at five times (5) 1850 rates. Mercury accumulation rates in lakes with no/little watershed development were controlled primarily by relative watershed size prior to 1850, and since have exhibited modest increases (in absolute terms and compared to that described above) associated with (regional and global) industrialization. A sub-regional analysis highlighted that in the ecoregion Northwestern Forest Mountains, <1% of mercury deposited to watersheds is delivered to lakes. Research is warranted to understand whether mountainous watersheds act as permanent sinks for mercury or if export of legacy mercury (deposited in years past) will delay recovery when/if emissions reductions are achieved.


Long E.R.,Environmental Assessment Program | Dutch M.,Environmental Assessment Program | Weakland S.,Environmental Assessment Program | Chandramouli B.,AXYS Analytical Services | Benskin J.P.,AXYS Analytical Services
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry | Year: 2013

Concentrations of 119 pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) and 13 perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in marine sediments measured throughout Puget Sound (n=10) and Bellingham Bay (n=30), Washington, USA, are reported. These data are among the first measurements of PPCPs and PFASs in marine sediments from the Pacific Northwest and provide a comparison to previous measurements of these chemicals in influent, effluent, and biosolids from municipal wastewater treatment plants throughout the region. The concentrations of both PPCPs and PFASs in sediments from Puget Sound and Bellingham Bay ranged from very low to non-detectable for most compounds. Only 14 of the 119 PPCPs and 3 of 13 PFASs were quantifiable in sediments. Diphenhydramine (an antihistamine) was most frequently detected (87.5% of samples), with a maximum concentration of 4.81ng/g dry weight and an estimated mean detected concentration of 1.68ng/g. Triclocarban (an antibacterial) was detected in 35.0% of the samples, with a maximum concentration of 16.6ng/g dry weight. Perfluoroalkyl substances were detected in 2.5% of analyses. Perfluorobutanoate, perfluorooctane sulfonate, and perfluorooctane sulfonamide were detected in 7, 5, and 1 sample(s) each, respectively, with the highest concentrations observed for perfluorooctane sulfonate (1.5ng/g). Detected concentrations were often highest within the industrial harbor in Bellingham Bay and near the cities of Seattle and Bremerton. © 2013 SETAC.


Pennino M.J.,US Ecology | Kaushal S.S.,The Interdisciplinary Center | Mayer P.M.,US Ecology | Utz R.M.,Chatham University | Cooper C.A.,Environmental Assessment Program
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences | Year: 2016

An improved understanding of sources and timing of water, carbon, and nutrient fluxes associated with urban infrastructure and stream restoration is critical for guiding effective watershed management globally. We investigated how sources, fluxes, and flowpaths of water, carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) shift in response to differences in urban stream restoration and sewer infrastructure. We compared an urban restored stream with two urban degraded streams draining varying levels of urban development and one stream with upland stormwater management systems over a 3-year period. We found that there was significantly decreased peak discharge in response to precipitation events following stream restoration. Similarly, we found that the restored stream showed significantly lower (p < 0.05) monthly peak runoff (9.4±1.0mmday-1) compared with two urban degraded streams (ranging from 44.9±4.5 to 55.4±5.8mmday-1) draining higher impervious surface cover, and the stream-draining stormwater management systems and less impervious surface cover in its watershed (13.2±1.9mmday-1). The restored stream exported most carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus at relatively lower streamflow than the two more urban catchments, which exported most carbon and nutrients at higher streamflow. Annual exports of total carbon (6.6±0.5 kg ha-1 yr-1), total nitrogen (4.5±0.3 kg ha-1 yr-1), and total phosphorus (161±15 kg ha-1 yr-1) were significantly lower in the restored stream compared to both urban degraded streams (p < 0.05), but statistically similar to the stream draining stormwater management systems, for N exports. However, nitrate isotope data suggested that 55±1% of the nitrate in the urban restored stream was derived from leaky sanitary sewers (during baseflow), statistically similar to the urban degraded streams. These isotopic results as well as additional tracers, including fluoride (added to drinking water) and iodide (contained in dietary salt), suggested that groundwater contamination was a major source of urban nutrient fluxes, which has been less considered compared to upland sources. Overall, leaking sewer pipes are a problem globally and our results suggest that combining stream restoration with restoration of aging sewer pipes can be critical to more effectively minimizing urban nonpoint nutrient sources. The sources, fluxes, and flowpaths of groundwater should be prioritized in management efforts to improve stream restoration by locating hydrologic hot spots where stream restoration is most likely to succeed. © Author(s) 2016.


Janisch J.E.,Environmental Assessment Program | Wondzell S.M.,Jefferson Lab | Ehinger W.J.,Environmental Assessment Program
Forest Ecology and Management | Year: 2012

We examined stream temperature response to forest harvest in small (<9. ha) forested headwater catchments in western Washington, USA over a seven year period (2002-2008). These streams have very low discharge in late summer X̄≈0.3Ls-1) and many become spatially intermittent. We used a before-after, control-impact (BACI) study design to contrast the effect of clearcut logging with two riparian buffer designs, a continuous buffer and a patch buffer. We focused on maximum daily temperature throughout July and August, expecting to see large temperature increases in the clearcut streams (n= 5), much smaller increases in the continuously buffered streams (n= 6), with the patch-buffered streams (n= 5) intermediate. Statistical analyses indicated that all treatments resulted in significant (α= 0.05) increases in stream temperature. In the first year after logging, daily maximum temperatures during July and August increased in clearcut catchments by an average of 1.5 °C (range 0.2 to 3.6 °C), in patch-buffered catchments by 0.6 °C (range -0.1 to 1.2 °C), and in continuously buffered catchments by 1.1 °C (range 0.0 to 2.8 °C). Temperature responses were highly variable within treatments and, contrary to our expectations, stream temperature increases were small and did not follow expected trends among the treatment types. We conducted further analyses in an attempt to identify variables controlling the magnitude of post-harvest treatment responses. These analyses showed that the amount of canopy cover retained in the riparian buffer was not a strong explanatory variable. Instead, spatially intermittent streams with short surface-flowing extent above the monitoring station and usually characterized by coarse-textured streambed sediment tended to be thermally unresponsive. In contrast, streams with longer surface-flowing extent above the monitoring station and streams with substantial stream-adjacent wetlands, both of which were usually characterized by fine-textured streambed sediment, were thermally responsive. Overall, the area of surface water exposed to the ambient environment seemed to best explain our aggregate results. Results from our study suggest that very small headwater streams may be fundamentally different than many larger streams because factors other than shade from the overstory tree canopy can have sufficient influence on stream energy budgets to strongly moderate stream temperatures even following complete removal of the overstory canopy. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Long E.R.,Environmental Assessment Program | Dutch M.,Environmental Assessment Program | Partridge V.,Environmental Assessment Program | Weakland S.,Environmental Assessment Program | Welch K.,Environmental Assessment Program
Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management | Year: 2013

The Washington State Department of Ecology annually conducts sediment quality monitoring in Puget Sound as a component of the Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program. Sediment samples are analyzed to determine the concentrations of about 170 chemical and physical variables. A Sediment Chemistry Index (SCI) was derived using the State of Washington Sediment Management Standards to account for the presence and concentrations of mixtures of toxicants. Mean Sediment Quality Standard quotients (mSQSq) were calculated as the basis for the SCI and compared to the incidence and degree of toxicity in laboratory tests and to metrics of the diversity and abundance of resident benthic assemblages in a database consisting of as many as 664 samples. These data were evaluated with co-occurrence analyses to identify "cut points" (i.e., thresholds) in the index below which the frequency and magnitude of biological effects were relatively low and above which they occurred with increasing frequency or magnitude. Iterative trials of different sets of cut points established the final cut points in mSQSq of 0.1, 0.3, and 0.5. They defined 4 ranges in chemical exposure: Minimum (<0.1), Low (0.1-<0.3), Moderate (0.3-<0.5), and Maximum (≥0.5). Across these 4 exposure ranges both the incidence and magnitude of toxicity in some laboratory tests increased, the abundance of most stress-sensitive benthic taxa decreased, and the abundance of most stress-tolerant taxa increased. The mSQSq cut point of 0.1 appears to be the target value for protection of benthic resources, the value below which the probability and magnitude of adverse effects either in the laboratory or the field are the lowest. The mSQSq values are rescaled from 0 to 100 to form the SCI, used by the Puget Sound Partnership and environmental managers as a Dashboard Indicator, with biologically relevant targets selected to monitor ecosystem recovery. © 2012 SETAC.


Janisch J.E.,Environmental Assessment Program | Foster A.D.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Ehinger W.J.,Environmental Assessment Program
Forest Ecology and Management | Year: 2011

In 2002, we initiated a study to clarify the response of headwater catchments to logging on timberlands in the Coast Range of Washington, USA. Most of the predominantly first-order streams studied (summer low flows typically<0.3Ls-1) were hydrologically complex, consisting of a main surface channel connected to multiple, small wetlands. To better understand the forest management implications of headwater systems with two surface hydrology components of potentially differing areal extents (i.e., broad wetlands and narrow, channelized flow), we examined in more detail the wetlands associated with 30 headwater channels. On average, 2.3 wetlands occurred per channel. All 68 surveyed wetlands were, individually, smaller than 0.1ha, which is a minimum survey-and-manage size criterion for forested wetlands in use in the Pacific Northwest. Seventy-nine percent of the wetlands surveyed by the full-triad method met regional wetland triad criteria for wetland delineation (qualifying wetland soils, hydrology, and vegetation indicators). These headwater wetlands were associated with several landscape variables: (1) northerly-facing catchments, (2) perennial surface water, and (3) down, channel-associated large wood originating from adjacent riparian forest. Our results show that small forested wetlands are quite common and that the surface area of small wetlands can rival the surface area of the associated first-order streams. This initial effort to quantify characteristics of small headwater wetlands suggests small wetlands could dominate or influence headwater surface area processes including those associated with stream responses to disturbances such as logging. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Larson C.A.,Environmental Assessment Program | Adumatioge L.,University of Texas at Arlington | Passy S.I.,University of Texas at Arlington
Microbial Ecology | Year: 2016

The role of the number of limiting resources (NLR) on species richness has been the subject of much theoretical and experimental work. However, how the NLR controls temporal beta diversity and the processes of community assembly is not well understood. To address this knowledge gap, we initiated a series of laboratory microcosm experiments, exposing periphyton communities to a gradient of NLR from 0 to 3, generated by supplementation with nitrogen, phosphorus, iron, and all their combinations. We hypothesized that similarly to alpha diversity, shown to decrease with the NLR in benthic algae, temporal beta diversity would also decline due to filtering. Additionally, we predicted that the NLR would also affect turnover and community nestedness, which would show opposing responses. Indeed, as the NLR increased, temporal beta diversity decreased; turnover, indicative of competition, decreased; and nestedness, suggestive of complementarity, increased. Finally, the NLR determined the role of deterministic versus stochastic processes in community assembly, showing respectively an increasing and a decreasing trend. These results imply that the NLR has a much greater, yet still unappreciated influence on producer communities, constraining not only alpha diversity but also temporal dynamics and community assembly. © 2016 Springer Science+Business Media New York


PubMed | Environmental Assessment Program
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Environmental toxicology and chemistry | Year: 2013

Concentrations of 119 pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) and 13 perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in marine sediments measured throughout Puget Sound (n=10) and Bellingham Bay (n=30), Washington, USA, are reported. These data are among the first measurements of PPCPs and PFASs in marine sediments from the Pacific Northwest and provide a comparison to previous measurements of these chemicals in influent, effluent, and biosolids from municipal wastewater treatment plants throughout the region. The concentrations of both PPCPs and PFASs in sediments from Puget Sound and Bellingham Bay ranged from very low to non-detectable for most compounds. Only 14 of the 119 PPCPs and 3 of 13 PFASs were quantifiable in sediments. Diphenhydramine (an antihistamine) was most frequently detected (87.5% of samples), with a maximum concentration of 4.81ng/g dry weight and an estimated mean detected concentration of 1.68ng/g. Triclocarban (an antibacterial) was detected in 35.0% of the samples, with a maximum concentration of 16.6ng/g dry weight. Perfluoroalkyl substances were detected in 2.5% of analyses. Perfluorobutanoate, perfluorooctane sulfonate, and perfluorooctane sulfonamide were detected in 7, 5, and 1 sample(s) each, respectively, with the highest concentrations observed for perfluorooctane sulfonate (1.5ng/g). Detected concentrations were often highest within the industrial harbor in Bellingham Bay and near the cities of Seattle and Bremerton. Environ Toxicol Chem 2013;32:1701-1710. 2013 SETAC.


PubMed | Environmental Assessment Program
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Integrated environmental assessment and management | Year: 2013

The Washington State Department of Ecology annually conducts sediment quality monitoring in Puget Sound as a component of the Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program. Sediment samples are analyzed to determine the concentrations of about 170 chemical and physical variables. A Sediment Chemistry Index (SCI) was derived using the State of Washington Sediment Management Standards to account for the presence and concentrations of mixtures of toxicants. Mean Sediment Quality Standard quotients (mSQSq) were calculated as the basis for the SCI and compared to the incidence and degree of toxicity in laboratory tests and to metrics of the diversity and abundance of resident benthic assemblages in a database consisting of as many as 664 samples. These data were evaluated with co-occurrence analyses to identify cut points (i.e., thresholds) in the index below which the frequency and magnitude of biological effects were relatively low and above which they occurred with increasing frequency or magnitude. Iterative trials of different sets of cut points established the final cut points in mSQSq of 0.1, 0.3, and 0.5. They defined 4 ranges in chemical exposure: Minimum (<0.1), Low (0.1-<0.3), Moderate (0.3-<0.5), and Maximum (0.5). Across these 4 exposure ranges both the incidence and magnitude of toxicity in some laboratory tests increased, the abundance of most stress-sensitive benthic taxa decreased, and the abundance of most stress-tolerant taxa increased. The mSQSq cut point of 0.1 appears to be the target value for protection of benthic resources, the value below which the probability and magnitude of adverse effects either in the laboratory or the field are the lowest. The mSQSq values are rescaled from 0 to 100 to form the SCI, used by the Puget Sound Partnership and environmental managers as a Dashboard Indicator, with biologically relevant targets selected to monitor ecosystem recovery.

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