Use of Central Stonerollers (Cyprinidae: Campostoma anomalum) from Tennessee as a Bioindicator of Metal Contamination
- Cite this article as:
- Burger, J., Campbell, K.R., Campbell, T.S. et al. Environ Monit Assess (2005) 110: 171. doi:10.1007/s10661-005-6689-8
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We compared the levels of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese, mercury and selenium in a small species of fish (Central stonerollers, Campostoma anomalum) collected from East Fork Poplar Creek (EFPC) and a reference site in eastern Tennessee. Stonerollers are minnows in the Cyprinidae family that serve as prey for many carnivores in aquatic systems. Fish were collected from East Fork Poplar Creek within the U.S. Department of Energy's Y-12 National Security Complex, part of the Oak Ridge Reservation, and from a reference stretch of the Little River in East Tennessee. Whole fish were homogenized for analysis. Concentrations of all metals (except arsenic) were significantly higher in stonerollers from EFPC compared to the reference site. Mercury levels in minnows from EFPC averaged 0.4 ppm (μg/g), four times higher than the average for fish in the U.S. in general. This was higher than levels in fish from the nearby Clinch River and higher than fillets of white bass (Morone chrysops) from the same creek. Most metal levels were inversely related to size and weight of the stonerollers, perhaps due to growth dilution.