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SFS Annual Meeting

Wednesday, May 22, 2019
09:00 - 10:30

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09:00 - 09:15: / 150 DEF IGNORANCE IS BLISS: THE CURRENT STATE OF SEPTIC SYSTEMS IN THE U.S. AND THE RISKS THEY POSE TO FRESHWATER SYSTEMS

5/22/2019  |   09:00 - 09:15   |  150 DEF

IGNORANCE IS BLISS: THE CURRENT STATE OF SEPTIC SYSTEMS IN THE U.S. AND THE RISKS THEY POSE TO FRESHWATER SYSTEMS Septic systems are a fundamental component of global wastewater infrastructure. In the US, one in three residences relies on septic systems for wastewater treatment, but the vast majority of these systems are poorly documented and maintained. Improperly managed septic systems can fail and lead to groundwater and surface water contamination through increases in nutrient concentrations and the release of potentially harmful pathogens and contaminants. However, most municipalities have limited information regarding the total number, location, age, and maintenance history of septic infrastructure in their jurisdiction. Here, we discuss the important role that septic systems play in wastewater infrastructure in the US, summarize the policies governing the installation, maintenance, and oversight of septic systems, and describe the potential risk factors failing septic systems pose to freshwater systems in the US. We use septic data collected by Athens-Clarke County, Georgia--a county that has invested significant effort in accurately accounting for and regulating septic systems in their jurisdiction--to highlight important information gaps faced by counties throughout the US. We identify some methods stakeholders can employ to overcome information gaps \and predict the potential impact of septic systems on in-stream water quality.

Rebecca Parsons (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Georgia, beccap97@gmail.com;


Jacob M. McDonald (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Georgia, jmcdon@uga.edu;


Phillip Bumpers (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia, bumpersp@gmail.com;


Nandita Gaur (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Georgia, nandita.gaur@uga.edu;


Krista Capps (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Georgia, kcapps@uga.edu;


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09:15 - 09:30: / 150 DEF CAN TREATED WASTEWATER SERVE AS HABITAT FOR DESERT FISHES?

5/22/2019  |   09:15 - 09:30   |  150 DEF

CAN TREATED WASTEWATER SERVE AS HABITAT FOR DESERT FISHES? Discharge of treated wastewater has been instrumental in returning aquatic biodiversity to the Santa Cruz River in southern Arizona. The endangered Gila Topminnow has recently recolonized effluent-dependent reaches of the river, but the implications of living in this treated wastewater are unknown. Using Western Mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) in the lower Santa Cruz River (Tucson, AZ) as a proxy for native topminnow, we explore the challenges of living in effluent-dominated streams: (1) fluctuating water levels, (2) the effects of emerging contaminants on sexual maturation, and (3) the potential for altered diets, including consumption of microplastics. Diurnal fluctuations in discharge of effluent create daily drying events in lower reaches of the river, which sometimes results in fish mortality. Furthermore, estrogen compounds in effluent can alter sex ratios in fish. However, we were unable to detect any trends. Finally, diet analysis on a subset of 200 mosquitofish revealed differences in preferred prey and documented 3 ingested plastic microfibers. Faced with increasing human population growth and uncertainties of climate change, effluent systems will become increasingly important sources of aquatic habitat, but further studies are needed to assess their ability to support native fishes.

Kelsey Hollien (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Arizona, hollienk@email.arizona.edu ;


Hamdhani Hamdhani (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Arizona, hamdhani@email.arizona.edu;


Zach Nemec (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Arizona, nemecz@email.arizona.edu ;


David Quanrud (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Arizona, quanrud@email.arizona.edu ;


Michael Bogan (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), School of Natural Resources and the Environment, The University of Arizona, mbogan@email.arizona.edu;


Drew Eppehimer (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Arizona, deppehimer@gmail.com;


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09:30 - 09:45: / 150 DEF UNDERSTANDING THE PHYSIOLOGICAL MECHANISMS UNDERLYING SEASONAL MOVEMENTS OF COMMON MUDPUPPIES (NECTURUS MACULOSUS) IN AN URBAN, LAKE.

5/22/2019  |   09:30 - 09:45   |  150 DEF

UNDERSTANDING THE PHYSIOLOGICAL MECHANISMS UNDERLYING SEASONAL MOVEMENTS OF COMMON MUDPUPPIES (NECTURUS MACULOSUS) IN AN URBAN, LAKE. The Earth is experiencing its sixth mass extinction event and freshwater animals, particularly amphibians such as the common mudpuppy (Necturus maculosus), are at highest risk. Mudpuppies are the most widely distributed fully aquatic salamander in North America, but population sizes and basic natural history, including seasonal movements, are poorly studied. Mudpuppies are threatened in Illinois, however, historic population sizes are generally unknown, and this lack of information, coupled with sampling at the wrong time of year, could lead to incorrect assumptions of declines or extirpations. In collaboration with Shedd Aquarium veterinary staff, we implanted radio-telemetry transmitters in 20 mudpuppies in March 2017 and 7 more in December 2017, in Wolf Lake, Chicago, IL. Mudpuppies were located every ~16 days from April 2017 - July 2018. Greatest movements by individuals generally occurred immediately after release. Greatest overall movements were correlated with water temperature increases during March 2017-December 2017, but not during December 2017 – July 2018. Analyses of hormone levels and metabolic activity will allow us to determine if movements are related to reproduction or foraging. Increased understanding of the mechanisms underlying seasonal movements and habitat selection will facilitate conservation efforts.

Jared Bilak (Primary Presenter/Author), Southern Illinois University, Shedd Aquarium, bilak@siu.edu;


Matt Whiles (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Florida, mwhiles@zoology.siu.edu;


Robin Warne (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Southern Illinois University, rwarne@siu.edu;


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09:45 - 10:00: / 150 DEF EFFECTS OF TREATED EFFLUENT ADDITION IN STREAMS: WATER QUALITY, ECOLOGY, AND FUTURE DIRECTIONS

5/22/2019  |   09:45 - 10:00   |  150 DEF

EFFECTS OF TREATED EFFLUENT ADDITION IN STREAMS: WATER QUALITY, ECOLOGY, AND FUTURE DIRECTIONS Environmental laws in many countries require wastewater treatment plants to process sewage before treated effluent can be discharged into streams, but relatively little is known about ecological impacts of effluent. In this study, we reviewed 148 published papers focusing on effluent-fed streams across the globe to synthesize geographic patterns, water quality issues, and ecological impacts of effluent. Studies were concentrated in developed countries, and the majority of studies addressed water quality issues. Water quality changes noted with the addition of effluent included elevated temperatures and nutrient levels (e.g. nitrate, ammonia, and phosphate) and decreased dissolved oxygen levels. There is also growing research attention on novel emerging contaminants, such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products. Effluent-fed stream communities differed from non-impacted or reference streams in several ways, including: (1) increased algal biomass and abundance counts, (2) decreased richness of sensitive Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera taxa, and (3) increased relative abundances of female and intersex fish. More studies are needed to better understand the ecological impacts of effluent on other taxa (e.g. amphibians, macrophytes), especially as cities continue to grow and more effluent is produced and discharged into streams.

Hamdhani Hamdhani (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Arizona, hamdhani@email.arizona.edu;


Drew Eppehimer (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Arizona, deppehimer@gmail.com;


Michael Bogan (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), School of Natural Resources and the Environment, The University of Arizona, mbogan@email.arizona.edu;


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10:00 - 10:15: / 150 DEF PROJECTED VARIATION IN URBAN STREAM LENGTH BASED ON CLIMATE AND LAND USE SCENARIOS

5/22/2019  |   10:00 - 10:15   |  150 DEF

PROJECTED VARIATION IN URBAN STREAM LENGTH BASED ON CLIMATE AND LAND USE SCENARIOS The impact of the projected urbanization for US cities in the 21st century on freshwater ecosystems is dependent on urban management and design decisions over the next 100 years. Integrated Climate and Land Use Scenarios (ICLUS) provide projections of a range of potential patterns of future urban development based on storylines of population growth and economic development and correspond to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s future climate projections. We used existing ICLUS projections to quantify urban stream length and impairment across two scenarios of urbanization for the southeastern US (South Atlantic Gulf watershed), an area both rich in biodiversity and home to multiple rapidly expanding metropolitan areas (Atlanta-Charlotte mega-region). We compared these projections for 2100 to baseline conditions to estimate potential change in urban stream length across these scenarios at the local sub-watershed level (Hydrologic Unit Code 12). Our work reveals low and high thresholds of urbanization and demonstrates the extreme variation of urban impacts on streams both in terms of scale and the role of land management.

Anika Bratt (Primary Presenter/Author), Duke University, anikabratt@gmail.com;


Jim Heffernan (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Duke University, james.heffernan@duke.edu;


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10:15 - 10:30: / 150 DEF FLOOD PROTECTION ECOSYSTEM SERVICES IN THE COAST OF PUERTO RICO: ASSOCIATIONS BETWEEN EXTREME WEATHER, FLOOD HAZARD MITIGATION AND GASTROINTESTINAL ILLNESS

5/22/2019  |   10:15 - 10:30   |  150 DEF

FLOOD PROTECTION ECOSYSTEM SERVICES IN THE COAST OF PUERTO RICO: ASSOCIATIONS BETWEEN EXTREME WEATHER, FLOOD HAZARD MITIGATION AND GASTROINTESTINAL ILLNESS Floods are becoming increasingly important due to the projected intensification of extreme weather events. The impacts of flooding go beyond damages to infrastructure, it also affects human health. During floods, discharge of sewage into streets, farms, and waterbodies increases human exposure to fecal contaminants causing gastrointestinal (GI) illnesses. A potential strategy for protection during weather hazards is the use of natural infrastructure and flood protection ecosystem services. Here we explore the relationship between extreme rainfall, flood protection ecosystem services, and Medicare claims for gastrointestinal (GI) illnesses in the coast of Puerto Rico. Our results show that flood impact varies inversely with flood protection ecosystem services, particularly due to the presence of karst soils. The protective effect of karst soils in mitigating flood impact, is lost when there is a high percentage of people living in flood prone areas. Our results support the linkage between extreme weather events, flood damages and GI illnesses, and suggests a potential buffering role of ecosystem services that promote rainfall infiltration. The relevance of these ecosystem services, however, is affected by planning decisions such as residential development in flood prone areas.

Rebeca de Jesus Crespo (Primary Presenter/Author), Louisiana State University, rdejesuscrespo1@lsu.edu;


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