Accession Number:

ADA609779

Title:

Interactive Effects of Metals and PAHs on Benthic Food Webs

Descriptive Note:

Annual rept.

Corporate Author:

LOUISIANA STATE UNIV BATON ROUGE DEPT OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

Report Date:

2000-09-30

Pagination or Media Count:

7.0

Abstract:

Our long-term goals are to understand how complex mixtures of contaminants influence benthic communities at the levels of microorganisms, microalgae, invertebrate grazers, and fish predators. In particular, we are interested in how contaminants influence foodweb interactions among these groups of organisms. Our research examines the interactive effects of metal Cu, Cr, Cd, Hg, and Pb and diesel-fuel contaminants on the benthic food web of a coastal salt marsh, the specific role that Cu plays in this suite of contaminants, and how hypoxia influences the manifestation of toxic effects. Specifically, we are examining how diesel and metal contaminants interact to influence the microbial bacteria and microalgae, invertebrate, and juvenile fish components of the benthic community, and how their interactions influence trophic relationships among organisms. Previous studies have focused on either the ecotoxicological effects of metals or the effects of hydrocarbons, but essentially nothing is known about how these two classes of contaminants interact. The modes of toxicity of hydrocarbons and metals are quite different, and individually they may elicit different, sometimes opposite, ecological responses. Impacted field sediments, especially in harbors, are typically contaminated with both metals and hydrocarbons, and thus ecological impacts may be a consequence of their interactive effects. Our experimental approach to this problem will provide fundamental information on the ecological manifestations of metals-hydrocarbons interactions, and provide the basis for making ecologically sound decisions concerning appropriate bioremediation or mitigation strategies for contaminated field sites.

Subject Categories:

  • Ecology
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Biological Oceanography
  • Properties of Metals and Alloys
  • Water Pollution and Control
  • Environmental Health and Safety

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE