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SFS Annual Meeting

2021 Detailed Schedule

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ASSESSING CONCENTRATIONS OF MICROPLASTIC AND MICROFIBER PARTICLES IN URBAN TEXAS LAKE SURFACE WATERS AND ADJACENT TERRESTRIAL VEGETATION. [Oral Presentation]

Andrea Norton (Primary Presenter/Author)
Texas Tech University, andrnort@ttu.edu;

Scott Collins (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Texas Tech University, Scott.Collins@ttu.edu;

Abstract: Microplastics (i.e., particles <5 mm) are a growing ecological concern because of their ubiquity in the environment. Microplastics take many forms (e.g. fiber, fragment, films, nurdles) and come from many sources. Urban waterbodies may be prone to high levels of microplastic pollution because they are surrounded by many sources of plastics. To our knowledge, assessments of plastic pollution in small urban lakes remain few. Here, we examined the composition and abundance of microplastics in surface waters and adjacent terrestrial vegetation in small urban lakes (n = 20 lakes; 5 subsampling sites per lake) of Lubbock, TX. Plastic particles were identified, measured, and counted. In surfaces waters, only 6 films were detected. Microfiber concentrations were, on average, of 3 orders of magnitude greater than plastic fragments. No nurdles were detected in surface waters. In contrast, all four types were identified in adjacent terrestrial vegetation, with fragments being the most abundant. Microfibers were not counted in vegetation samples due to sampling inefficiencies but were observed. Although terrestrial vegetation and surface waters were in close proximity, we observed the types and numbers of plastics and microplastics differed considerably between the two habitats.

DISTRIBUTION OF ANTHROPOGENIC LITTER: MONITORING METHODS AND CONNECTIONS TO WATERSHED FEATURES, STREAM FEATURES, AND BIOTIC INDICATORS OF STREAM HEALTH [Oral Presentation]

Lauren Wisbrock (Primary Presenter/Author)
Loyola University Chicago, lreynolds1@luc.edu;

Timothy Hoellein (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Loyola University Chicago, thoellein@luc.edu;

Shelly Moore (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
San Francisco Estuary Institute, shellym@sfei.org;

Tony Hale (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
San Francisco Estuary Institute, tonyh@sfei.org ;

Abstract: Anthropogenic litter (i.e., trash; AL) is increasing in aquatic ecosystems worldwide, and AL in rivers may soon be managed as a pollutant. Because AL is diverse in material types, uses, sources, and mobility, developing rapid assessment techniques to measure AL assemblage is a major challenge. Our objective was to compare 3 AL measurement methods 1) qualitative assessment, 2) quantitative visual assessment, and 3) manual collection. Methods 1 and 2 are in development for use in California. Using all methods, we measured AL in 30-m reaches of streams across northeast Illinois. Streams were selected based on landscape-scale land uses (urban, agricultural, and forested), and indexes of biotic integrity (macroinvertebrates and fish). Reaches were associated with various in-stream features such as the presence of physical structures like bridges, bank accessibility, and immediate land use. Visual methods of AL assessment were highly predictive of AL measured by manual collection (linear regression, p<0.001, R=0.86). Reaches in urban watersheds have significantly higher densities of AL than agricultural watersheds (ANOVA, p=0.015). The study will improve measurement methods for AL as a newly regulated pollutant and inform policies and practices for stream ecosystem management.

DRUGS AND MICROPLASTICS IN STREAM ECOSYSTEMS: A MESOCOSM APPROACH TO STUDYING INTERACTIONS AMONG ANTHROPOGENIC CONTAMINANTS [Oral Presentation]

Erinn Richmond (Primary Presenter/Author)
Monash University , erinn.richmond@monash.edu;

Megan Fork (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, forkm@caryinstitute.org;

Emma Rosi (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, rosie@caryinstitute.org;

Stephen Hamilton (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, hamilton@caryinstitute.org;

Heather Malcom (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, malcomh@caryinstitute.org;

David Fisher (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies , fisherd@caryinstitute.org;

Timothy Hoellein (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Loyola University Chicago, thoellein@luc.edu;

John Kelly (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Loyola University Chicago, Jkelly7@luc.edu;

Jerker Fick (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Umeå University, jerker.fick@umu.se;

Barbara Han (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Cary Institute, hanb@caryinstitute.org;

Abstract: Pharmaceuticals and microplastics are ubiquitous contaminants of concern. Emerging research on each class of materials has measured their ecological impacts separately, but little is known about interactions between pharmaceuticals and microplastics in the environment. We examined consumption of microplastics by stream invertebrates and tested microplastic-pharmaceutical interactions. We conducted a replicated, artificial stream experiment with 3 treatments: control, pharmaceuticals (mixture of f 16 common compounds), and pharmaceuticals x microplastics. We measured stream ecosystem function and uptake by invertebrates over 5–10 days. Neither microplastics or pharmaceutical exposure affected aquatic insect emergence, algal productivity, or diatom community composition. However, aquatic invertebrate taxa consumed microplastics, and accumulated many pharmaceuticals in their tissues. Moreover, microplastics increased the concentration of pharmaceuticals in certain taxa (Isonychia, Psephenus). These findings suggest that interactions of pharmaceuticals and microplastics may increase contaminant exposure in stream and riparian food webs.

Estimating transport of plastic pollution from rivers to sea on the island of Puerto Rico [Oral Presentation]

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

Gourav Divan (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Louisiana State University, gdivan1@lsu.edu;

Abstract: An important source of plastic pollution to marine environments are rivers and streams. Previous models have estimated the transport of plastics from land to sea, but they have been conducted at coarse spatial resolutions that make it difficult to establish tractable management programs. Here we address this limitation for the island of Puerto Rico (PR). PR has an emerging waste management problem due to the age and management status of landfills and due to frequent natural disasters. Having a better understanding of how and where to manage plastic waste is needed in order to protect coastal resources of economic importance on the island. We applied an existing model of riverine transport of plastics, and improved the resolution of this model by using finer scale spatial datasets. Our results may inform future research on this topic, and the development of mitigation strategies against mismanaged plastic exports from rivers of Puerto Rico.

Extraction of microplastics from the gastrointestinal tract of Gobiomorus dormitor and its feeding behavior with Tarebia granifera [Oral Presentation]

Edgar Lozada (Primary Presenter/Author)
University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras campus, edgar.lozada@upr.edu;

Abstract: Over the past century, there has been an exponential increase in the demand and production of plastics polluting aquatic environments on a large scale. It is believed that the ingestion of microplastics (<5 mm diameter) by numerous aquatic organisms are retained in the digestive tract affecting their quality of life. In this study, the presence of microplastics in the gastrointestinal tract (GI) of the Gobiomorus dormitor is evaluated. Samples were taken in the streams of Río Sabana (forested) and Río Piedras (urban), to attest to the appearance of microplastics in the GI and serve as a reference for the proliferation of plastic pollutants in aquatic environments. This study involves the use of two alkaline digestion methods to identify microplastics: 1) The use of aqueous KOH to break down large solids and disperse microplastics from feces; 2) The use of alcoholic KOH to destroy organic matter and isolate microplastics from GI. In turn, the diet of G. dormitor in urban and forested streams is compared with the snail Tarebia granifera, designing an experiment to determine the selection and competitiveness in the quantity, size and frequency of the predator before its prey.

Longitudinal Distribution Of Microplastic In A River, Potential Sinks And Implications For Biota [Oral Presentation]

Friederike Gabel (Primary Presenter/Author)
University of Münster, gabelf@uni-muenster.de;

Pia Eibes (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
University of Münster, eibes@geo.uni-frankfurt.de;

Madeleine Hübner (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
University of Münster, madeleine.huebner@web.de;

Diana Michler-Kozma (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
University of Münster, diana.michler@wwu.de;

Abstract: It is assumed that 80% of the marine plastic originates from land and major parts may be transported via rivers. In each river studied so far for plastic contamination, plastic was found. However, the longitudinal distribution of plastic in rivers is largely unknown. We investigated the microplastic distribution along a 70 km long stretch of a German river, starting at the source. We sampled floating microplastic every seventh kilometer and upstream and downstream of major inflows, towns and waste water treatment plants. Results showed that the amount of suspended plastic does not correlate with the kilometers flew. Some sampling points downstream other contain less plastic than sites located more upstream. Weirs and reservoirs may act as sinks for microplastics as decreasing flow velocities lead to higher sedimentation rates. This may enhance the uptake of plastic by benthic organisms and (temporally) excludes plastic from the water column. This may result in unexpected patterns of plastic distribution in freshwaters and diverse impacts on freshwater fauna.

MICROPLASTIC CONCENTRATIONS IN AN URBAN RIVER ARE TEMPORALLY VARIABLE AND IMPACTED BY STORM EVENTS [Oral Presentation]

Elizabeth Berg (Primary Presenter/Author)
Loyola University Chicago, eberg@luc.edu;

Deb Dila (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, dila@uwm.edu;

Sandra McLellan (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, mclellan@uwm.edu;

Ryan Newton (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, newtonr@uwm.edu;

Timothy Hoellein (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Loyola University Chicago, thoellein@luc.edu;

John Kelly (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Loyola University Chicago, Jkelly7@luc.edu;

Abstract: Microplastics (particles <5 mm) are an emerging pollutant of concern in aquatic ecosystems worldwide. Rivers are important conduits and retention sites for microplastics, so time series data on microplastic movement in lotic ecosystems are needed to assess the role of rivers in the global microplastic budget. Lotic ecosystems are highly variable, but most research extrapolates stream microplastic loads based on measurements with little temporal variability. This limits the accuracy of models of microplastic dynamics in rivers, where frequent changes in discharge drive retention and transport of fine particles. In this study, we used automated samplers to collect high-frequency water samples from the Milwaukee River during four storm events in the spring and summer of 2018. Microplastic concentrations varied significantly across the four sampling periods, highlighting the temporal variability of microplastic transport. When data from the sampling periods were pooled, there was a significant decrease in microplastic concentration in the water column after storm events, indicating that floods may “flush” microplastics from the river. Recognizing the patterns and variability of microplastic transport in rivers is critical to creating more accurate estimates of global microplastic export to oceans.

MICROPLASTICS AND CHEMICAL CONTAMINANTS IN INVASIVE MUSSELS: SPATIAL AND TEMPORAL PATTERNS IN AN URBAN ESTUARY (MILWAUKEE HARBOR, USA) [Oral Presentation]

Timothy Hoellein (Primary Presenter/Author)
Loyola University Chicago, thoellein@luc.edu;

Catherine Rovegno (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Loyola University Chicago, crovegno@luc.edu;

Amy Uhrin (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
NOAA Marine Debris Program, amy.uhrin@noaa.gov;

Ed Johnson (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
NOAA, ed.johnson@noaa.gov;

Carlie Herring (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Lynker, carlie.herring@noaa.gov;

Abstract: Invasive zebra and quagga mussels (Dreissena sp.) are biomonitors for contaminants in North American’s Great Lakes and are exposed to microplastics (< 5mm). Little research has examined microplastics in dreissenids, or relationships between microplastics and contaminants. In June 2018, mussels were collected from open water in Milwaukee Harbor (Lake Michigan, USA), deployed in cages at 5 sites that varied in contaminant concentration, collected after 30 and 60 days in situ, sorted by size class, and analyzed for microplastics and contaminants. Microplastic composition (mainly fibers) in mussels was consistent with previous studies in the watershed, and at levels expected for filter feeders. At a wastewater-adjacent site, we found high microplastics in the largest mussels in July. However, microplastics showed no difference among smaller sizes, and no differences among sites in August. Lastly, microplastics and chemical contaminants in mussels were largely unrelated. Microplastics and contaminants have a diversity of factors which influence their abundance in mussels, and mussels are not likely plastic pollution 'indicators'. These data will inform understanding of the distribution of microplastics in urban freshwaters and the role of dreissenid mussels in plastic budgets in the Great Lakes and elsewhere.

Nanoparticles and nutrients alter snail gut microbiome and periphyton assemblages in stream microcosm experiment [Oral Presentation]

Benjamin Castellon (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Baylor University, benjamin_castellon@baylor.edu;

Jeffrey A. Back (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Baylor University, Jeff_Back@baylor.edu;

Cole Matson (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Baylor University, Cole_Matson@baylor.edu;

Ryan S. King (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Baylor University, Ryan_S_King@baylor.edu;

Brittany Perrotta (Primary Presenter/Author)
Baylor University, bperrotta16@gmail.com;

Abstract: Engineered nanoparticles are being produced and consequently discharged into freshwater ecosystems at increasing rates. Further, nutrient pollution is one of the leading causes of biological impairment in freshwater ecosystems. Previous studies have found that the co-occurrence of nanoparticles and elevated nutrients resulted in altered ecosystem processes, ranging from increased nanoparticle dissolution rates to increased consumer-mediated nutrient recycling rates. The underlying mechanisms for these effects may be facilitated by microbial community response within the consumer gut microbiome. Here we investigated how elevated nutrients, engineered nanoparticles (gold and copper) and a metal control (gold chloride) altered periphyton and freshwater snail gut microbiomes after a 14 d exposure in indoor stream microcosms. Nutrient enrichment had a significant effect on bacterial community composition in periphyton and snail gut microbiome. Gold chloride had the largest influence on microbial communities; exposure significantly lowered diversity and altered microbial community composition. Copper and gold nanoparticles altered periphyton and snail gut microbial composition primarily within low nutrient microcosms. Overall, these results indicate that microbial assemblages in periphyton and within consumers are sensitive to anthropogenic contaminants, and that these impacts may lead to altered ecosystem function.

PLASTICS AS ANTHROPOGENIC PARTICLES IN FRESHWATER BIOFILMS: KNOWLEDGE GAPS AND FUTURE RESEARCH DIRECTIONS [Oral Presentation]

Helena Guasch (Primary Presenter/Author)
Center for Advanced Studies of Blanes (CEAB-CSIC), Spain, helena.guasch@ceab.csic.es;

Susana Bernal (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Center for Advanced Studies of Blanes (CEAB-CSIC), Spain, sbernal@ceab.csic.es;

Chloé Bonnineau (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
INRAE, RIVERLY, France, chloe.bonnineau@inrae.fr;

Daniel Bruno (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Instituto Pirenaico de Ecología (IPE-CSIC), Spain, dbruno@ipe.csic.es ;

Bethanie Carney (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Dept. of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Univ. of Gothenburg, Sweden, bethanie.carney@bioenv.gu.se;

Joaquín Cochero (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Instituto de Limnología “Dr. Raúl A. Ringuelet”, CONICET, Argentina, jcochero@ilpla.edu.ar ;

Natàlia Corcoll (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Dept. of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Univ. of Gothenburg, Sweden, natalia.corcoll@gu.se;

Delfina Cornejo (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Center for Advanced Studies of Blanes (CEAB-CSIC), Spain, dcornejo@ceab.csic.es;

Esperança Gacia (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Center for Advanced Studies of Blanes (CEAB-CSIC), Spain, gacia@ceab.csic.es;

Alexandra Kroll (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Swiss Centre for Applied Ecotoxicology, EAWAG, Switzerland, Alexandra.Kroll@oekotoxzentrum.ch;

Isabelle Lavoie (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique, Centre Eau Terre Environnement, isabelle.lavoie@ete.inrs.ca;

José Ledesma (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Institute of Geography and Geoecology, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany, jose.ledesma@kit.edu;

Anna Lupon (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Center for Advanced Studies of Blanes (CEAB-CSIC), Spain, alupon@ceab.csic.es;

Henar Margenat (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Center for Advanced Studies of Blanes (CEAB-CSIC), Spain, hmargenat@ceab.csic.es;

Soizic Morin (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
INRAE, UR EABX, France, Soizic.Morin@inrae.fr;

Enrique Navarro (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Instituto Pirenaico de Ecología (IPE-CSIC), Spain, enrique.navarro@ipe.csic.es;

Miquel Ribot (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Center for Advanced Studies of Blanes (CEAB-CSIC), Spain, mribot@ceab.csic.es;

Tenna Riis (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Aarhus University, Denmark, Tenna.riis@bio.au.dk;

Mechthild Schmitt-Jansen (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Dept. Bioanalytical Ecotoxicology, Germany, mechthild.schmitt@ufz.de;

Ahmed Tlili (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Department of Environmental Toxicology, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, EAWAG, Switzerland, Ahmed.Tlili@eawag.ch;

Eugènia Martí (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Center for Advanced Studies of Blanes (CEAB-CSIC), Spain, eugenia@ceab.csic.es;

Abstract: Microplastics (MPs, particles <5 mm) are contaminants of emerging concern detected in almost all environments. MPs are extremely persistent pollutants and can act as long-lasting reactive surfaces, containing additives and adsorbing organic matter and toxic substances. However, a systematic understanding of the processes driving the fate and ecological effects of MPs remains unclear. Biofilm communities are complex, diverse and dynamic consortiums, which are ubiquitous and essential for sustaining both biodiversity and functioning of freshwater ecosystems. Aquatic biofilms may act as a sink for MPs, which can alter their structure and manifold functions. However, despite the ecological importance of biofilm communities in freshwaters, no previous knowledge exists about their interactions with MPs, and how such interactions influence the fate and impacts of these pollutants. Here we provide a conceptual framework for exposure and effect characterization and a series of working hypotheses on the multiple interactions between MPs and biofilms in fluvial ecosystems. Moreover, we highlight existing knowledge gaps and future research directions within this conceptual framework. We suggest that the interaction between biofilms and MPs is driven by spatio-temporal patterns of fundamental environmental factors together with the degree of human pressure.

RIVERINE LITTER: BRIDGES IMPACT THE ABUNDANCE AND DISTRIBUTION OF ANTHROPOGENIC LITTER AND MICROPLASTICS IN AN INTERMITTENT RIVER [Oral Presentation]

Rae McNeish (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
California State University Bakersfield, rae.mcneish@gmail.com;

Amy Fetters (Primary Presenter/Author)
California State University, Bakersfield, afetters@csub.edu;

Abstract: Anthropogenic litter (AL) and microplastics (< 5 mm) are ubiquitous contaminants that have become incorporated into ecosystems. We have observed that anthropogenic road bridges could be hotspots for the formation of debris dams (DD) in rivers, capturing natural organic materials and AL. We investigated how a road bridge impacted the distribution and abundance of AL and microplastics in the Kern River, CA. Microplastic and AL samples were collected in the riverbed upstream and downstream (n = 3 transects/location) of the bridge and at bridge structural columns with and without DD present (n = 5 dam pairs). Preliminary results indicated that DD contained the highest relative abundance of plastic items compared to upstream and downstream locations (P < 0.01). The upstream habitat had higher plastic density (0.024 No./m2) compared to the downstream habitat (0.013 No./m2; P = 0.02) with the highest density of plastics in DD (6.84 No./m2; P < 0.001), suggesting that DD are likely to capture plastic AL items and reduce downstream transport and abundance of AL. Future AL pollution management efforts should focus attention on monitoring bridges that could be targeted for AL removal.

RIVERINE MICROPLASTIC: SEASONAL PATTERNS, LAND-USE EFFECTS, AND INTERACTIONS WITH FISH [Oral Presentation]

Melissa Achettu (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Loyola University of Chicago, machettu@luc.edu;

Lisa Kim (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Loyola University Chicago, lisahaneulkim@gmail.com;

John Kelly (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Loyola University Chicago, Jkelly7@luc.edu;

Timothy Hoellein (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Loyola University Chicago, thoellein@luc.edu;

Rae McNeish (Primary Presenter/Author)
California State University Bakersfield, rae.mcneish@gmail.com;

Abstract: Microplastics are a contaminant of emerging concern globally. Recent studies show microplastics are abundant in freshwater ecosystems, but assessments of microplastic sources, biological interactions, and seasonal abundance in freshwaters are limited. We investigated the links between land-use, seasonality, and microplastic abundance in water, sediment, and fish in 8 major rivers throughout Lake Michigan’s watershed. Urban and agricultural land-use were positively related to water column microplastic concentrations across all sites, and watershed forest coverage showed a negative relationship. Microplastic concentration in rivers was greatest in agricultural sites during summer, while forested watersheds had greater microplastic concentrations during the autumn season. Microplastic abundance in fish was significantly greater in zoobenthivore fish compared to all other fish feeding groups, with patterns consistent across seasons (P < 0.05). Results show microplastic abundance in freshwater habitats is influenced by land-use, varies across seasons, and abundance in fish food webs may be linked to trophic position. Ongoing work will integrate these data with measurements of seasonal microplastic abundance in common macroinvertebrate taxa, and with assessments of microplastic-associated microbial communities.

THE COST OF PERSISTENT ORGANIC POLLUTANT TOLERANCE IN FUNDULUS HETEROCLITUS ACROSS A WATER TEMPERATURE GRADIENT [Oral Presentation]

Alitzel Villanueva (Primary Presenter/Author,Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Middlebury College, avillanueva@middlebury.edu;

Eric Moody (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Middlebury College, ekmoody@middlebury.edu;

Abstract: The Atlantic killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus) is remarkably tolerant to a variety of environmental stressors including pollution and temperature. Although Atlantic killifish are tolerant to extreme conditions, it comes at a survival cost, including effects on metabolic rate. We investigated the physiological cost of adaptive tolerance to persistent organic pollutants by focusing on the metabolic rate of F1 thermally stressed embryonic Atlantic killifish. Using 2 pollution-tolerant populations (Newark, New Bedford) and 3 pollution-sensitive populations of Atlantic killifish (Scorton Creek, Jerusalem, Sandy Hook) exposed to ambient and elevated water temperatures, embryo metabolism was measured using a microrespirometry system. We found a significant difference in metabolic rates between the 23°C and 21°C and between the 25°C and 21°C treatment groups. The metabolic rates between the 21°C and 23°C sensitive treatment populations had significant differences in metabolic rates, but none was seen in metabolic rates between the 21°C and 23°C tolerant treatment populations. There was a similar pattern between tolerant and sensitive populations in 25°C and 21°C treatment groups. These differences illustrate the cost of adaptation due to the lack of change in metabolic rate that was expected with an increase in incubation temperature.

WHAT A LOAD OF RUBBISH! LARGE ANTHROPOGENIC LITTER AFFECTS MACROINVERTEBRATE COMMUNITIES IN THE SURROUNDING RIVERBED AS WELL AS ON ITS SURFACE. [Oral Presentation]

Matthew Johnson (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
University of Nottingham, m.johnson@nottingham.ac.uk;

Markus Eichhorn (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
University College Cork, markus.eichhorn@ucc.ie;

Hazel Wilson (Primary Presenter/Author)
University of Nottingham, hazel.wilson@nottingham.ac.uk;

Abstract: Despite evidence of the prevalence of anthropogenic litter in urban streams, its impacts on river habitats and organisms are poorly understood. Here we investigated the effects of large anthropogenic litter (car tires) which because of their size, and consequent interactions with flow and sediment conditions, could affect macroinvertebrates within the surrounding riverbed as well as those inhabiting its surface. These proposed effects are analogous to those of similar sized natural structures like wood or boulders. We compared the macroinvertebrates living on and around car tires, which were experimentally introduced to one sand- and one gravel-bed river and monitored for twelve months in Nottinghamshire, UK. Communities inhabiting tire surfaces in the sand-bed river were significantly more diverse and included more sensitive taxa than the surrounding riverbed, whereas tire surface communities were relatively impoverished in the gravel-bed river. In both rivers, we found that tires significantly affected nearby benthic communities, which we attribute to their influence on local flow and sediment conditions. These results show how relatively simple large structures (including anthropogenic litter) can diversify habitats and influence macroinvertebrates within their vicinity, especially when they provide otherwise scarce, stable and solid habitat.

A Novel Ship Hull Coating: Mitigating Climate Change and Aquatic Invasive Species Transport [Poster Presentation]

Charlotte Lenore Michaluk (Primary Presenter/Author)
TFL, charlotte.michaluk@gmail.com;

Abstract: Our global cargo fleet burns the dirtiest heavy fuel oil. Hull coatings deter transfer of harmful species and reduce climate change emissions. Frictional drag between ship hulls and water contributes to 90% of cargo ship fuel consumption, which contributes 4% to global climate change emissions. Invasive species have devastating effects on ecosystems, costing the US economy over $120 billion per year. The zebra mussel is estimated to cause up to $650M annual economic damage, and spread disease to waterfowl. Antifouling cargo ship coatings prevent the growth of aquatic organisms, from algae to bivalves. This study explored principles of biofouling using a physid snail biological model tested in a water tunnel, and proposes a novel hull coating using biomimicry of shortfin mako shark skin denticles. 3D engineering models were developed for Computational Fluid Dynamics. Variations in surface chemistry and geometry were compared and optimized. DNA Barcoding of the COI (cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1) region positively confirmed the species of biological model organism. Statistical analysis shows this novel composite material of polydimethylsiloxane with encapsulated polyethylene terephthalate “denticles” may limit biofouling and invasive species transfer, and reduce frictional drag and fuel consumption.

ANTHROPOGENIC LITER WITHIN AND SURROUNDING URBAN STREAMS IN CINCINNATI, OHIO [Poster Presentation]

Kylie Joines (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Xavier University, joinesk1@xavier.edu;

Ryan Lingo (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Xavier University, lingor@xavier.edu;

Mollie McIntosh (Primary Presenter/Author)
Xavier University, mcintoshm2@xavier.edu;

Abstract: Urban watersheds can be polluted with substantial amounts of anthropogenic litter. The temporary or permanent presence of this litter and the subsequent breakdown of these materials can potentially impact freshwater ecosystems. More baseline data on the extent of anthropogenic litter is needed to better understand such impacts. The main objective of this study was to assess the presence and abundance of anthropogenic litter within and surrounding urban streams in Cincinnati, Ohio. Nine study sites were selected from four streams within the urbanized Mill Creek Watershed for assessment in July 2019. At each site, anthropogenic litter was collected along a 35m transect (1) within the entire wet (benthic) habitat and (2) within the adjacent 10m of riparian bank. In the laboratory, each piece of litter was cleaned then described by type, weight and abundance. Preliminary results indicate plastic was the dominant litter type across most sites (20-100%), followed by glass (0-70%) and fabrics (0-35%). Variation in litter type and abundance between benthic and riparian habitats and among sites, suggest that specific site characteristics could also be a contributing factor.

Does selenium mediate mercury trophic transfer in the Lower Gunnison River Basin, Colorado? [Poster Presentation]

Travis S. Schmidt (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
U.S. Geological Survey, Helena, MT 59601, tschmidt@usgs.gov;

James J. Roberts (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
U.S. Geological Survey, Ann Arbor, MI 48105, jroberts@usgs.gov;

Craig A. Stricker (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
USGS, cstricker@usgs.gov;

Collin A. Eagles-Smith (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
US Geological Survey, ceagles-smith@usgs.gov ;

Jessica E. Brandt (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
University of Connecticut, jessica.brandt@uconn.edu;

Raul D. Flamenco (Primary Presenter/Author)
Univeristy of Connecticut, raul.flamenco@uconn.edu;

Abstract: Mercury (Hg) is a naturally occurring contaminant that bioaccumulates and biomagnifies in aquatic food webs. Potential consequences of Hg exposure include neurotoxicity, teratogenesis, and mortality, especially in high trophic level consumers. Some studies suggest that selenium (Se) can mediate Hg methylation, bioaccumulation, and toxicity, yet uncertainties remain in the consistency of this phenomenon across taxa and ecosystems. One emerging hypothesis from this literature is that the availability of Se may interfere with Hg trophic transfer by reducing Hg bioavailability or enhancing Hg detoxification and elimination. To address the related question of whether Se limits Hg trophic transfer from prey to predator, we draw on the results of an intensive sampling effort that spanned 60 river miles of the Se-impaired Lower Gunnison River Basin (Colorado) in 2016. Concentrations of Se and Hg in green algae (n=14), macroinvertebrates (n=17), and Speckled Dace (n=93) ranged from 1.45-5.35 and 0.042-0.063 ppm, respectively, and increased with trophic level. Mean Se:Hg molar ratios in macroinvertebrates were 116 ± 56.5 and 92.6 ± 32.0 in Speckled Dace. Initial results provide associative evidence that Hg concentrations in consumers are inversely related to Se concentrations in their diet.

HOW DOES WATER QUALITY RELATE TO SOCIOECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AT THE GLOBAL SCALE? ILLUMINATING THE ‘INVISIBLE WATER CRISIS’ TO ADDRESS GLOBAL WATER POLLUTION [Poster Presentation]

Leslie Lange (Primary Presenter/Author)
Brigham Young University, leslielange8@gmail.com;

Benjamin Abbott (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Michigan State University, USA, benabbo@gmail.com;

Raymond Lee (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Brigham Young University, ramalee420@gmail.com;

David Hannah (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
University of Birmingham, UK, D.M.HANNAH@bham.ac.uk;

Stefan Krause (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, U.K. , S.Krause@bham.ac.uk;

Kieran Khamis (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
University of Birmingham, k.khamis@bham.ac.uk;

Adam Ward (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Indiana University, adamward@indiana.edu;

Christa Kelleher (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Syracuse, ckellehe@syr.edu;

Iseult Lynch (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Birmingham University, I.Lynch@bham.ac.uk;

Margaret Hancock (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
BYU, margarethancock3@gmail.com ;

Abstract: Access to clean water is fundamental to vibrant and equitable societies. However, 2million people still die from poor water quality each year, and billions more experience severe water scarcity, largely in the developing world. We compiled a global database of water quality, which we combined with socioeconomic development indices including per-capita GDP and life expectancy. Following the modern Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC), we hypothesized that the most serious pollution would occur in middle-income countries, while lower and upper-income countries would experience less intense and diverse pollution. Contrary to our hypothesis, we observed three general waves of pollutants with socioeconomic development: 1. Sediment, solid waste, and waterborne pathogens, 2. nutrients, heavy metals, and plastics, and 3. emerging contaminants associated with industrial and medical advances. Additionally, many upper-middle and high-income countries still had substantial presence of second-wave pollutants. However, drinkingwater infrastructure allows high-income countries to insulate their populations from the worst effects of this pollution, resulting in much lower disease burden. We hypothesize that some lower income countries have shown a leapfrog effect, bypassing environmental degradation in some water quality contaminant types due to advances in monitoring and awareness in recent decades.?

LANDSCAPE FEATURES IMPACT ATMOSPHERIC DEPOSITION OF MICROPLASTICS AND NUTRIENTS [Poster Presentation]

Amy Fetters (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
California State University, Bakersfield, afetters@csub.edu;

Rae McNeish (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
California State University Bakersfield, rae.mcneish@gmail.com;

Kaitlin Macaranas (Primary Presenter/Author)
California State University Bakersfield, kmacaranas@csub.edu;

Abstract: Microplastics (particles < 5 mm) are persistent, anthropogenic pollutants ubiquitous in the environment with the potential to impact organisms in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Evidence suggests ecological and weather processes may play critical roles in the environmental transport of microplastics; therefore, it is important to understand how these processes may contribute to the exposure of microplastics to these ecosystems. We investigated the importance of forests in intercepting atmospheric deposition of microplastics during wet (rain) and dry deposition events. Microplastic deposition was predicted to be higher in forests compared to grasslands during wet events but less during dry events. Sample collection occurred by attaching bottles with funnels to PVC pipes just prior to wet events and 24 hr before wet events for dry deposition sampling (n = 12 samples/habitat). Samples were then randomly selected for nutrient and microplastic analyses. Preliminary results indicated wet deposition of microplastics in the grassland habitat were up to 3,000 particles/m2, with clear and blue fibers as the dominant type. These preliminary findings demonstrated precipitation as a significant pathway for microplastic transport into a diverse range of ecosystems.

Temporal dynamics of microplastic deposition in streambed sediments downstream of a point source [Poster Presentation]

Uwe Schneidewind (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
University of Birmingham, U.Schneidewind@bham.ac.uk ;

Nicolai Brekenfeld (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, nxb634@student.bham.ac.uk ;

Holly Nel (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
University of Birmingham, H.A.Nel@bham.ac.uk ;

Anna Kukkola (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
University of Birmingham, Kukkola;

Greg Sambrook-Smith (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
University of Birmingham, G.Smith.4@bham.ac.uk ;

Stefan Krause (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, U.K. , S.Krause@bham.ac.uk;

Jen Drummond (Primary Presenter/Author)
University of Birmingham, j.drummond@bham.ac.uk;

Abstract: Point sources, such as wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), are known sources of microplastics (1-1000 µm) to receiving streams. We analyzed surface water and streambed sediments at ~1km downstream of a WWTP point source in a rural stream near Birmingham, UK. To assess the temporal variation in microplastic transport and accumulation, we conducted a total of five sampling campaigns to sample both during high and low flow conditions. Point sampling was supported by semi-continuous measurements of flow and electrical conductivity to characterize the stream hydrologic conditions, especially in response to the WWTP effluent. We used the high frequency flow data as an input to a mobile-immobile model for microplastic transport in streams that can account for the exchange between the surface water and streambed sediments, deposition and resuspension during baseflow and stormflow conditions. By combining the model with the less frequent microplastic measurements, we estimated inputs from the wastewater treatment plant and timescales of microplastic deposition and retention in the stream. Our findings advance the understanding of the interplay between microplastics depositing during low flows and resuspending during high flows, to improve predictions of microplastic fate and transport in river systems.