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SFS Annual Meeting

Wednesday, June 5, 2024
10:30 - 12:00

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S04 Contaminant Ecology of Freshwaters

10:30 - 10:45 | Freedom Ballroom F | HOT, STRESSED, AND CONTAMINATED: THE MOVEMENT OF ENERGY THROUGH STREAM ECOSYSTEMS IN URBANIZED AND FORESTED WATERSHEDS

6/05/2024  |   10:30 - 10:45   |  Freedom Ballroom F

Hot, Stressed, and Contaminated: The Movement of Energy through Stream Ecosystems in Urbanized and Forested Watersheds The production of animal biomass in stream ecosystems is constrained by the availability of organic matter that is fixed in situ by primary production or provided as organic matter subsidies from adjacent ecosystems. However, distinct chemical, physical, and hydrological disturbance regimes prevalent in urban watersheds can alter the efficiency at which energetic inputs are converted into producer biomass and incorporated into consumers and higher trophic organisms. Yet, few studies have explored the efficiency of energy conversion from energy inputs into primary and secondary production in urban stream ecosystems. Thus, we extensively sampled 3 watersheds in the Piedmont region of North Carolina that are forested, wastewater-dominated, and urban stormwater dominated. The highest metabolic activity was measured in our urban site dominated by treated wastewater site, while the greatest macroinvertebrate biomass and production was achieved in our forested stream. Despite dramatically different rates of basal metabolism and secondary production across each of these ecosystems, the amount of emergent aquatic insect biomass produced was remarkably similar. Our results show how different disturbance regimes in two forms of urban watersheds, stormwater and wastewater dominated, can lead to drastically different energetic regimes. In turn, even under favorable energetic inputs when basal metabolism is enhanced, disturbance regimes can reduce secondary production and insect emergence.

Jonathan Behrens (Primary Presenter/Author), Duke University, jrb146@duke.edu;

Nick Marzolf (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Jones Center, nmarzolf@jonesctr.org;

Emily Bernhardt (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Duke University, ebernhar@duke.edu;

10:45 - 11:00 | Freedom Ballroom F | INSECT-MEDIATED CONTAMINANT AND POLYUNSATURATED FATTY ACID FLUXES FROM PRAIRIE POTHOLE WETLANDS

6/05/2024  |   10:45 - 11:00   |  Freedom Ballroom F

Insect-mediated contaminant and polyunsaturated fatty acid fluxes from prairie pothole wetlands Wetlands provide many ecosystem services including flood control, carbon storage and nutrient cycling. An understudied and undercounted ecosystem service from wetlands is the production of emergent and migratory aquatic insects as providers of food for fish and wildlife. However, these insects carry both beneficial (long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids – LC-PUFA) and harmful (mercury, pesticides) compounds in their bodies. To contextualize these fluxes and estimate the relative benefits and harms to recipient food webs, we examined two groups of insects in prairie pothole wetlands. First, we assessed densities of migratory water boatmen (Corixidae) prior to their seasonal flight to rivers where they are eaten by fish, and measured their mercury and LC-PUFA concentrations to estimate fluxes across the landscape. Next, we characterized emergence of insects (dominated by Diptera and Odonata) from 12 sites across a gradient of agricultural intensity and measured concentrations of pesticides and LC-PUFA. Corixidae densities averaged 9-18 individuals per m2, corresponding to 6000 metric tons of biomass, 6 kg of mercury and 26 metric tons of LC-PUFA being mobilized annually across the ~8 million hectares of wetlands in the prairie pothole region. Insect emergence averaged 0.014 g/m2/day, amounting to ~180,000 metric tons over the growing season with expected pesticide and LC-PUFA fluxes of 39 kg and 270 metric tons moving out of wetlands per year. Overall, these fluxes suggest a complex contaminant ecology for prairie wetlands that may be affected by surrounding land use.

Tim Jardine (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Saskatchewan, tim.jardine@usask.ca;

Christy Morrissey (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Saskatchewan, christy.morrissey@usask.ca;

Sonia Cabezas (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Saskatchewan, sonia.cabezas@usask.ca;

Stephen Srayko (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Saskatchewan, shs176@mail.usask.ca;

Chloe Rawlings (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Saskatchewan, crr855@mail.usask.ca;

Greg Frie (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Saskatchewan, gdf233@mail.usask.ca;

Matthew Schultz (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Saskatchewan, mgs132@mail.usask.ca;

Iain Phillips (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Water Security Agency of Saskatchewan, iain.phillips@wsask.ca;

Johanna Kraus (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), United States Geological Survey, jkraus@usgs.gov;

John Headley (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Environment and Climate Change Canada, john.headley@canada.ca;

Michelle Hladik (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), United States Geological Survey, mhladik@usgs.gov;

Patrick Lloyd-Smith (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Saskatchewan, patrick.lloydsmith@usask.ca;

11:00 - 11:15 | Freedom Ballroom F | MIXED PESTICIDE EXPOSURE RESULTS IN TRANSPORT OF NEONICOTINOID INSECTICIDES INTO RIPARIAN FOOD WEBS AND ALTERATIONS TO INSECT AND SPIDER MICROBIOME COMMUNITIES

6/05/2024  |   11:00 - 11:15   |  Freedom Ballroom F

Mixed pesticide exposure results in transport of neonicotinoid insecticides into riparian food webs and alterations to insect and spider microbiome communities Aquatic ecosystems within agricultural basins receive mixed pesticide inputs from surface and subsurface pathways, resulting in chronic exposure for aquatic insects. The AltEn bioenergy plant generated ethanol from feedstock by recycling roughly 95% of North America’s excess pesticide-treated seed corn, generating 85,000 tons of wet cake (spent grains) over six years. The pesticide-contaminated wet cake was stored on-site and then applied to surrounding farmland. Aquatic insects are critical links between aquatic and riparian food webs and simultaneously serve as a predominant exposure pathway for riparian insectivores. Here, we investigated the accumulation and fate of pesticides driven by bioaccumulation of pesticides in larval aquatic insects, the degree of pesticide retention in adult aquatic insects during metamorphosis, and trophic transfer of pesticides to riparian spiders eating adult aquatic insects. We found that non-seed treatment pesticides (e.g., atrazine) bioaccumulated in larval insects and were retained through metamorphosis in adult insects but were not found in spiders. In contrast, seed treatment pesticides (e.g., neonicotinoid insecticides) were retained through metamorphosis, present at relatively high concentrations in emerging adult insects, and biomagnified in riparian spiders. Interestingly, the microbial community composition of larval insects and riparian spiders followed a pattern consistent with pesticide exposure gradients. In contrast, adult insect microbiomes were determined by the taxonomy of the insect host. Our results demonstrate that aquatic-derived neonicotinoid exposure has a significant bioaccumulation and transport potential across the aquatic-riparian boundary via transport by adult insects, and pesticide exposure significantly shapes the microbiome community in larval insects and riparian spiders.

Brittany Perrotta (Primary Presenter/Author), United States Geological Survey, bperrotta@usgs.gov;

Karen Kidd (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), McMaster University, karenkidd@mcmaster.ca;

Michelle Hladik (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), United States Geological Survey, mhladik@usgs.gov;

Shannon Bartelt-Hunt (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Nebraska, sbartelt@unl.edu;

Brenda Densmore (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), United States Geological Survey, bdensmore@usgs.gov;

Carrie Givens (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), United States Geological Survey, cgivens@usgs.gov;

Laura Hubbard (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), United States Geological Survey , lhubbard@usgs.gov;

Christopher Kotalik (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), United States Geological Survey, ckotalik@usgs.gov;

David Rus (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), United States Geological Survey, dlrus@usgs.gov;

Daniel Snow (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Nebraska, dsnow1@unl.edu;

Dana Kolpin (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), United States Geological Survey, dwkolpin@usgs.gov;

Johanna Kraus (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), United States Geological Survey, jkraus@usgs.gov;

David Walters (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), United States Geological Survey, waltersd@usgs.gov;

11:15 - 11:30 | Freedom Ballroom F | WILDFIRE IN MINED LANDS: DOES HISTORICAL MINING ALTER EFFECTS OF FIRE ON LINKED AQUATIC-TERRESTRIAL FOOD WEBS?

6/05/2024  |   11:15 - 11:30   |  Freedom Ballroom F

Wildfire in mined lands: Does historical mining alter effects of fire on linked aquatic-terrestrial food webs? With a changing climate, large wildfires are becoming increasingly common in drier regions of the world including the western United States. Many of these ecosystems are fire-adapted due to millennia of exposure to natural and anthropogenic fire, with positive outcomes from burning expected. However, increased fire intensity combined with other anthropogenic stressors such as historic mining could lead to negative outcomes for biota. We evaluated the effects of recent wildfire (2022 Moose Fire) on trace metal mobilization, exposure, and accumulation in linked aquatic-terrestrial food webs in an historically mined region of Idaho, USA. We expected fire to increase mobilization of trace metals into streams. Instead, trace metals lead, arsenic, zinc, and nickel concentrations were elevated in biota from streams impacted by placer mining compared with unmined sites regardless of fire history. Food web components including seston, aquatic vegetation, aquatic insect larvae, aquatic insect adults, riparian spiders, and riparian plants varied in their accumulation patterns based on known processes of bioaccumulation potential and metamorphic transfer for individual metals. Because biota from mined lands had the additional stressor of higher tissue metal concentrations, we predict that food webs in watersheds with a history of mining could respond differently after fire compared with unmined areas. Future studies will evaluate the ecological responses of aquatic insects and riparian spiders to these stressors, specifically if mining could reverse the positive effects that fire has on stream food web productivity.

Johanna Kraus (Primary Presenter/Author), United States Geological Survey, jkraus@usgs.gov;

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

Ben N. McGee (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), USGS, bmcgee@usgs.gov;

Margaret Goldman (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), USGS, mgoldman@usgs.gov;

William E. Dean (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), USGS, wdean@usgs.gov;

Colden Baxter (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Idaho State University, baxtcold@isu.edu;

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

JoAnn M. Holloway (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), USGS, jholloway@usgs.gov;

11:30 - 11:45 | Freedom Ballroom F | HG CONCENTRATIONS OF SPIDERS FROM GREENLAND: POTENTIAL AS SENTINELS OF HG CONTAMINATION IN HIGH ARCTIC LENTIC SYSTEMS AND RISK TO ARACHNIVOROUS BIRDS

6/05/2024  |   11:30 - 11:45   |  Freedom Ballroom F

Hg concentrations of spiders from Greenland: Potential as sentinels of Hg contamination in High Arctic lentic systems and risk to arachnivorous birds Mercury (Hg) emitted in temperate and tropical regions can be transported to the Arctic where it is disproportionately deposited across the landscape. In aquatic systems, inorganic forms of Hg can be methylated to the toxic and bioaccumulative species, methylmercury (MeHg). In temperate zones, riparian spiders that specialize in consuming adult insects emerging from aquatic systems (e.g., Araneidae and Tetragnathidae) accumulate high concentrations of MeHg and have been used as sentinels of MeHg contamination. In addition, these taxa frequently accumulate concentrations of MeHg that may pose a risk to arachnivorous songbirds. Although these taxa are useful sentinels in risk assessment studies in the temperate zone, they are not present in the High Arctic. The purpose of the present study was to assess the potential of a generalist spider species, the Arctic wolf spider (Pardosa glacialis), to serve as a sentinel of Hg pollution in the Arctic. In summer 2022, we collected 1460 wolf spiders and 8090 emergent aquatic insects (Chironomidae) from six ponds in Northwest Greenland (centered around 76.5° N, 68.8° W). Spiders and insects were composited by body size and collection site. Hg concentrations for spiders and insects ranged from 230 - 1100 ng/g dry weight (dw) and 75 - 297 ng/g dw, respectively. Spider Hg concentrations were strongly correlated with insect Hg concentrations (R2 = 0.83), suggesting that wolf spiders can be used as sentinels of Hg contamination in Arctic lentic systems and had Hg concentrations that exceeded risk thresholds for arachnivorous songbirds.

Benjamin Strang (Primary Presenter/Author), Texas Christian University, b.strang@tcu.edu;

Matthew Chumchal (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Texas Christian University, m.m.chumchal@tcu.edu;

Kurt Burnham (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), High Arctic Institute, kburnham@higharctic.org;

Benjamin Barst (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Alaska, Fairbanks, bdbarst@alaska.edu;

Aleah Appel (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Texas Christian University, aleah.appel@tcu.edu;

Morgan Capone (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Texas Christian University, morgan.capone@tcu.edu;

Maddy Hannappel (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), California Academy of Sciences, mphannappel@gmail.com;

Reuben Heine (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Augustana College, reubenheine@augustana.edu;

Benjamin Katzenmeyer (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Texas Christian University, b.katzenmeyer@tcu.edu;

Kevin Myer (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), High Arctic Institute, kmyer226@gmail.com;

Iris Schmeder (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Texas Christian University, irischmeder@gmail.com;

Sarah Scott (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), High Arctic Institute, Sarah.scott@gmail.com;

Emma Sullivan (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Texas Christian University, emma.sullivan@tcu.edu;

Tyler Williams (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Texas Christian University, tyler.williams@tcu.edu;

11:45 - 12:00 | Freedom Ballroom F | SPIDERS AS SENTINELS OF MINING CONTAMINATION IN THE CLARK FORK RIVER, MT

6/05/2024  |   11:45 - 12:00   |  Freedom Ballroom F

Spiders as Sentinels of Mining Contamination in the Clark Fork River, MT Riparian spiders occupy a critical position in linking aquatic and terrestrial food webs as they feed on emergent aquatic resources and are consumed by terrestrial predators. As such, spiders, have been used as sentinels of bioaccumulative contaminant flux in a variety of aquatic systems, with a focus on the Tetragnathidae and Araneidae families. Here, we explore how individual characteristics (sex, body size, and taxonomic family), food web processes (trophic level), and environmental metal exposures affect metal concentrations in spiders. During Summer 2023, we collected riparian spiders from six families (Tetragnathidae, Araneidae, Philodromidae, Salticidae, Thomisidae, and Dictynidae) across 21 sites that represent a contamination gradient in the Clark Fork River (Montana, USA). Legacy mining activity has led to elevated metal concentrations in the Clark Fork, prompting active restoration efforts and earning it the designation of largest Superfund site in the United States. Using results of ongoing stable isotope composition and metals analyses, this presentation will provide an overview of the accumulation of mine-related metals (e.g., As, Pb, Se, and Hg) in riparian spider tissue to better understand their fate and transport through aquatic terrestrial linkages in this system. We will also investigate the relationships between metal concentrations in spiders and those in ambient water, bed sediment, and biofilm, and whether these relationships remain consistent between sites across varying degrees of contamination. We expect these results to improve understanding of the efficacy of riparian spiders as sentinels of mining contamination and to contribute valuable insights to inform environmental monitoring and restoration efforts.

Chloe Zampetti (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Connecticut, chloe.zampetti@uconn.edu;

Molly Moloney (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), USGS, mmoloney@usgs.gov;

Ashley Bussell (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), United States Geological Survey, abussell@usgs.gov;

Travis Schmidt (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), USGS WY-MT Water Science Center, tschmidt@usgs.gov;

Bridger Creel (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Montana, bridget.creel@umconnect.umt.edu;

Benjamin Colman (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Montana, ben.colman@umontana.edu;

Johanna Kraus (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), United States Geological Survey, jkraus@usgs.gov;

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