Uptake of environmental contaminants by small mammals in pickleweed habitats at San Francisco Bay, California

  • Donald R. ClarkJr.
  • Kevin S. Foerster
  • Carolyn M. Marn
  • Roger L. Hothem
Article

Abstract

Small mammals were live-trapped in pickleweed (Salicornia virginica) habitats near San Francisco Bay, California in order to measure the uptake of several contaminants and to evaluate the potential effects of these contaminants on the endangered salt marsh harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris). Tissues of house mice (Mus musculus), deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus), and California voles (Microtus californicus) from nine sites were analyzed for chemical contaminants including mercury, selenium, cadmium, lead, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Concentrations of contaminants differed significantly among sites and species. Mean concentrations at sites where uptake was greatest were less than maximum means for the same or similar species recorded elsewhere. Harvest mice (Reithrodontomys spp.) were captured only at sites where concentrations of mercury or PCBs were below specific levels in house mice. Additional studies aimed at the protection of the salt marsh harvest mouse are suggested. These include contaminant feeding studies in the laboratory as well as field monitoring of surrogate species and community structure in salt marsh harvest mouse habitats.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Anderson TJ, Barrett GW, Clark CS, Elia VJ, Majeti VA (1982) Metal concentrations in tissues of meadow voles from sewage sludge-treated fields. J Environ Qual 11:272–277Google Scholar
  2. Anthony RG, Kozlowski R (1982) Heavy metals in tissues of small mammals inhabitating waste-water-irrigated habitats, J Environ Qual 11:20–22Google Scholar
  3. Batty J, Leavitt RA, Biondo N, Polin D (1990) An ecotoxicological study of a population of the white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) inhabiting a polychlorinated biphenyls-contaminated area. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 19:283–290Google Scholar
  4. Botti F, Warenycia D, Becker D (1986) Utilization by salt marsh harvest mice Reithrodontomus raviventris halicoetes of non-pick-leweed marsh. Calif Fish Game 72:62–64Google Scholar
  5. Catlett RH, Shellhammer HS (1962) A comparison of behavorial and biological characteristics of house mice and harvest mice. J Mamm 43:133–144Google Scholar
  6. Clark DR Jr (1987) Selenium accumulation in mammals exposed to contaminated California irrigation drainwater. Sci Total Environ 66:147–168Google Scholar
  7. Fimreite N, Fyfe RW, Keith JA (1970) Mercury contamination of Canadian prairie seed eaters and their avian predators. Can Field Nat 84:269–276Google Scholar
  8. Fisler GF (1965) Adaptations and speciation in harvest mice of the marshes of San Fransisco Bay. Univ California Publ Zool 77:1–108Google Scholar
  9. — (1971) Age structure and sex ratio in populations of Reithrodontomys. J Mamm 52:653–662Google Scholar
  10. Flegal AR (1977) Mercury in the seston of the San Francisco Bay estuary. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 17:733–738Google Scholar
  11. Geissel W, Shellhammer H, Harvey HT (1988) The ecology of the salt-marsh harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris) in a diked salt marsh. J Mamm 69:696–703Google Scholar
  12. Getz LL, Verner L, Prather M (1977) Lead concentrations in small mammals living near highways. Environ Pollut 13:151–157Google Scholar
  13. Gunther AJ, Davis JA, Phillips DJH (1987) An assessment of the loading of toxic contaminants to the San Fransico Bay-Delta. Aquatic Habitat Institute, Richmond, CA, 330ppGoogle Scholar
  14. Hood CS, Robbins LW, Baker RJ, Shellhammer HS (1984) Chromosomal studies and evolutionary relationships of an endangered species, Reithrodontomys raviventris. J Mamm 65:655–667Google Scholar
  15. Ingles LG (1965) Mammals of the Pacific States. Stanford Univ Press, Stanford, CA, 506 ppGoogle Scholar
  16. Jameson EW Jr, Peeters HJ (1988) California mammals. California Natural History Guide 52, Univ Califrornia Press, Berkeley, 403 ppGoogle Scholar
  17. Jefferies DJ, French MC (1976) Mercury, cadmium, zinc, copper and organochlorine insecticide levels in small mammals trapped in a wheat field. Environ Pollut 10:175–182Google Scholar
  18. Josselyn M (1983) The ecology of San Francisco Bay tidal marshes: a community profile. US Fish Wildlife Serv, Div Biological Services, Washington, DC, FWS/OBS-83/23, 102 ppGoogle Scholar
  19. Law LM, Goerlitz DF (1974) Selected chlorinated hydrocarbons in bottom material from streams tributary to San Francisco Bay. Pesticide Monitoring J 8:33–36Google Scholar
  20. Long E, McDonald D, Matta MB, VanNess K, Buchman M, Harris H (1988) Status and trends in concentrations of contaminants and measures of biological stress in San Francisco Bay. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS OMA 41, Seattle, WA 268 ppGoogle Scholar
  21. Luoma SN, Cloern JE (1982) The impact of waste-water discharge on biological communities in San Francisco Bay, In: Kockelman WJ, Conomos TJ, Leviton AE (eds) San Francosco Bay: Use and protection, Sixty-first Annual Meeting Pacific Division, Am Assoc Advancement Sci, Univ California, Davis, Ca, pp 137–160Google Scholar
  22. Moyer BR, Budinger TF (1974) Cadmium levels in the shoreline sediments of San Francisco Bay. In: Hemphill DD (ed) Trace substances in environmental health—VIII. Proc Univ Missouri's 8th Annual Conference on Trace Substances in Environmental Heath, Columbia, MO, pp 127–160Google Scholar
  23. Nelson K, Baker RJ, Shellhammer HS, Chesser RK (1984) Test of alternative hypotheses concerning the origin of Reithrodontomys raviventris: genetic analysis. J Mamm 65:668–673Google Scholar
  24. Neter J, Wasserman W (1974) Applied Linear Statistical Models, Richard D. Irwin, Homewood, Il, 842 ppGoogle Scholar
  25. Ohlendorf HM (1989) Bioaccumulation and effects of selenium in wildlife. In: Jacobs LW (ed) Selenium in agriculture and the environment. Spec Publ 23, Soil Sci Soc Am, Madison, WI, pp 133–177Google Scholar
  26. Ohlendorf HM, Fleming WJ (1988) Birds and environmental contaminants in San Francisco and Chesapeake Bays. Marine Pollut Bull 19:487–495Google Scholar
  27. Ohlendorf HM, Marois KC (1990) Organochlorines and selenium in California night-heron and egret eggs. Environ Monit Assess 15:91–104Google Scholar
  28. Ohlendorf HM, Custer TW, Lowe RW, Rigney M, Cromartie E (1988) Organochlorines and mercury in eggs of coastal terns and herons in California, USA. Colonial Waterbirds 11:85–94Google Scholar
  29. O'Neil LJ (1988) Feasibility study of contamination remediation at Naval Weapons Station, Concord, California, Vol. II: Biological assessment. Misc. Paper EL-86–3. U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, MS 50 pp + A1–15, B1, and C1–2.Google Scholar
  30. Phillips DJH (1987) Toxic contaminants in the San Francisco Bay-Delta and their possible biological effects. Aquatic Habitat Institute, Richmond, CA, 413 ppGoogle Scholar
  31. Shellhammer HS (1977) Of men and marshes. San Jose Studies, San Jose State Univ 3:23–35PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. — (1982) Reithrodontomys raviventris. Mammalian Species. Amer Soc Mammalogists 169:1–3Google Scholar
  33. — (1989) Salt marsh harvest mice, urban development and rising sea levels. Conserv Biol 3:59–65Google Scholar
  34. Shellhammer HS, Jackson R, Davilla W, Gilroy AM, Harvey HT, Simmons L (1982) Habitat preferences of salt marsh harvest mice (Reithrodontomys raviventris). Wasmann J Biol 40:102–114Google Scholar
  35. Talmage SS, Walton BT (1991) Small mammals as monitors of environmental contaminants. Rev Environ Contam Toxicol 119:47–145Google Scholar
  36. US Fish and Wildlife Service (1984) Salt marsh harvest mouse and California clapper rail recovery plan. US Fish Wildlife Serv, Portland, Oregon, 141 ppGoogle Scholar
  37. Welch WR, Dick DL (1975) Lead concentrations in tissues of roadside mice. Environ Pollut 8:15–21Google Scholar
  38. Zetterquist DK (1977) The salt marsh harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris raviventris) in marginal habitats. Wassmann J Biol 35:68–76Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald R. ClarkJr.
    • 1
  • Kevin S. Foerster
    • 2
  • Carolyn M. Marn
    • 3
  • Roger L. Hothem
    • 3
  1. 1.U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServicePatuxent Wildlife Research CenterLaurelUSA
  2. 2.U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceSan Francisco Bay National Wildlife RefugeNewarkUSA
  3. 3.U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Pacific Coast Research Group, c/o Department of Wildlife and Fisheries BiologyUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA

Personalised recommendations