Document Detail

The role of periphyton in mediating the effects of pollution in a stream ecosystem.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20108138     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The effects of pollutants on primary producers ramify through ecosystems because primary producers provide food and structure for higher trophic levels and they mediate the biogeochemical cycling of nutrients and contaminants. Periphyton (attached algae) were studied as part of a long-term biological monitoring program designed to guide remediation efforts by the Department of Energy's Y-12 National Security Complex on East Fork Poplar Creek (EFPC) in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. High concentrations of nutrients entering EFPC were responsible for elevated periphyton production and placed the stream in a state of eutrophy. High rates of primary production at upstream locations in EFPC were associated with alterations in both invertebrate and fish communities. Grazers represented >50% of the biomass of invertebrates and fish near the Y-12 Complex but <10% at downstream and reference sites. An index of epilithic periphyton production accounted for 95% of the site-to-site variation in biomass of grazing fish. Analyses of heavy metals in EFPC periphyton showed that concentrations of zinc, cadmium, copper and nickel in periphyton decreased exponentially with distance downstream from Y-12. Zinc uptake by periphyton was estimated to reduce the concentration of this metal in stream water approximately 60% over a 5-km reach of EFPC. Management options for mitigating eutrophy in EFPC include additional reductions in nutrient inputs and/or allowing streamside trees to grow and shade the stream. However, reducing periphyton growth may lead to greater downstream transport of contaminants while simultaneously causing higher concentrations of mercury and PCBs in fish at upstream sites.
Walter R Hill; Michael G Ryon; John G Smith; S Marshall Adams; Harry L Boston; Arthur J Stewart
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.     Date:  2010-01-28
Journal Detail:
Title:  Environmental management     Volume:  45     ISSN:  1432-1009     ISO Abbreviation:  Environ Manage     Publication Date:  2010 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-03-22     Completed Date:  2010-06-17     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7703893     Medline TA:  Environ Manage     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  563-76     Citation Subset:  IM    
Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, PO Box 2008, Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6036, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Algae / metabolism*
Conservation of Natural Resources / economics*,  methods
Environmental Monitoring
Metals / metabolism,  toxicity
Nitrogen / metabolism,  toxicity
Time Factors
Water Pollutants, Chemical / metabolism
Water Pollution, Chemical / prevention & control*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Metals; 0/Water Pollutants, Chemical; 7727-37-9/Nitrogen

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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