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SFS Annual Meeting

Poster Details

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The moratorium on uranium (U) mining in federal lands of the Grand Canyon Region motivates study of the impacts that mining may have on water and wildlife resources. The Colorado River watershed contains tributaries that receive U inputs naturally from the land that they drain, making an understanding of the effects of U on aquatic biota crucial to understanding the risk of increased U introduction through mining. Among the aquatic biota, insects play a key role in linking aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. However, little is known about the mechanisms governing U bioaccumulation by insect larvae or the transfer of U to terrestrial ecosystems via metamorphosis. We conduct experiments to parameterize U uptake and elimination rate constants in a model aquatic insect, the mayfly Neocloeon triangulifer. Results showed that mayflies efficiently accumulate U from the aqueous phase, but marginally from diet. Nearly 90% of the accumulated U was eliminated within 24 hours. Assessment of U content in mayflies exposed across development further revealed that >90% of U accumulated by larvae is lost by adulthood. These results indicate a relatively low risk of U transfer from mayflies to insect consumers on land.

Brianna Henry (Primary Presenter/Author), University of South Dakota,;

Marie-Noele Croteau (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), U.S. Geological Survey,;

David Walters (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), US Geological Survey,;

Daniel J Cain (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), US Geological Survey,;

Janet Miller (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), USGS,;

Jeff Wesner (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of South Dakota,;