Hydrobiologia

, Volume 542, Issue 1, pp 77–93

Recovery in diversity of fish and invertebrate communities following remediation of a polluted stream: investigating causal relationships

Article

Abstract

Spatial and temporal responses of biota to anthropogenic disturbance were measured over a 15 year period in a contaminated stream undergoing remediation and recovery. Along the spatial gradient of the stream, levels of contaminants decreased downstream along with improved responses of instream biota at several levels of biological organization. Recovery of the biota in this stream over the 15 year study period is demonstrated by the temporal relationships between levels of decreasing contaminants and the concomitant responses of the periphyton, macroinvertebrate, and fish communities and changes in the various bioindicators of individual fish health. Decreases in contaminants over a temporal scale were followed closely by an improvement in physiological and organismal-level indicators, increases in the diversity of macroinvertebrate and fish communities, and rapid increases in the chlorophyll a biomass and photosynthesis rate of the periphyton community. These results emphasize that field studies designed to assess and evaluate the effectiveness of restoration activities on stream recovery should incorporate a variety of response endpoints ranging from sensitive and short-term responses to long-term but ecological relevant indicators of change. The close spatial and temporal relationships observed between changes in physicochemical factors and positive responses in various components of the stream biota over the 15-year study period suggest a strong cause and effect relationship between remediation activities and stream recovery. Understanding causal relationships and the mechanistic processes between environmental stressors, stress responses of biota, and the recovery process is important in the effective management and restoration of aquatic ecosystems.

Keywords

recovery restoration fish and macroinvertebrate communities causal relationships 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Adams, S.M. 2003Establishing causality between environmental stressors and effects on aquatic ecosystemsHuman and Ecological Risk Assessment91735Google Scholar
  2. Adams, S.M., Greeley, M.S., Ryon, M.G. 2000Evaluating effects of contaminants on fish health at multiple levels of biological organization: extrapolating from lower to higher levelsHuman and Ecological Risk Assessment61527Google Scholar
  3. Adams, S.M., Hill, W.R., Peterson, M.J., Ryon, M.G., Smith, J.G., Stewart, A.J. 2002Assessing recovery in a stream ecosystem: applying multiple chemical and biological endpointsEcological Applications1215101527Google Scholar
  4. Bagenal, T.B., Tesch, F.W. 1978

    Age and growth

    Bagenal, T. B. eds. Methods for Assessment of Fish Production in Fresh Waters3Blackwell Sci. Pubs.Oxford, England101136
    Google Scholar
  5. Brant, P., Urban, M., Goodman, N., Bissell, S., Spiegal, I. 1999Stability and resilience in benthic macroinvertebrate assemblagesHydrobiologia403123133Google Scholar
  6. Bucolo, G., David, H. 1973Quantitative determination of serum triglycerides by the use of enzymesClinical Chemistry19476482PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Carle, F.L., Strub, M.R. 1978A new method for estimating population size from removal dataBiometrics34621630Google Scholar
  8. Dawson-Shepherd, A., Warwick, R.M., Clarke, K.R., Brown, B.E. 1992An analysis of fish community responses to coral mining in the MaldivesEnvironmental Biology of Fishes33367380Google Scholar
  9. Death, R.G., Winterbourn, M.J. 1995Diversity patterns in stream benthic invertebrate communities:the influence of habitat stabilityEcology7614461460Google Scholar
  10. Depledge, M.H. 1999Recovery of ecosystems and their components following exposure to pollutionJournal of Aquatic Ecosystem Stress and Recovery6199206Google Scholar
  11. Detenbeck, P.W., DeVore, , Niemi, G.J., Lima, A. 1992Recovery of temperate-stream fish communities from disturbances: a review of case studies and synthesis of theoryEnvironmental Management163353Google Scholar
  12. Dickson, K.L., Waller, W.T., Kennedy, J.H., Ammann, L.P. 1992Assessing the relationship between ambient toxicity and instream biological responseEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry1113071322Google Scholar
  13. Elliott J.M. (1977). Some methods for the statistical analysis of samples of benthic invertebrates. Scientific Publication No. 25, Freshwater Biological Association of the United KingdomGoogle Scholar
  14. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 1980. Interim methods for the sampling and analysis of priority pollutants in sediments and fish tissues. EPA 600/4-81-055. Environmental Monitoring and Support Laboratory, US Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, OhioGoogle Scholar
  15. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 1984. Extraction and analysis of priority pollutants in biological tissue, Method PPB 12/83. Environmental Services Division, Region IV, Analytical Support Branch, US Environmental Protection Agency, Athens, GeorgiaGoogle Scholar
  16. Ford, J. 1989

    The effects of chemical stress on aquatic species composition and community structure

    Levine, S.A.Harwell, M.A.Kelley, J. R.Kimball, K. D. eds. Ecotoxicology: Problems and ApproachesSpringer-VerlagNew York, NY99179
    Google Scholar
  17. Fox, C. 1991Practical causal inference for ecoepidemiologistsJournal of Toxicology and Environmental Health33359373PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Goede, R.W., Barton, B.A. 1990Organismic indices and an autopsy-based assessment as indicators of health and condition of fishAmerican Fisheries Society Symposium893108Google Scholar
  19. Gray, J.S., Clarke, K.R., Warwick, R.M., Hobbs, G. 1990Detection of initial effects of pollution on marine benthos: an example from the Ekofish and Eldfish oilfields, North SeaMarine Ecology Progress Series66285299Google Scholar
  20. Heinonen, J.J., Kurronen, K., Holopainen, I.J. 1999The effects of parasites and temperature on the accumulation of xenobiotics in a freshwater clamEcological Applications9475481Google Scholar
  21. Hill, A.B. 1965The environment and disease: association or causation?Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine58295300PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Hill, W.R., Boston, H.L. 1991Community development alters photosynthesis-irradiance relations in stream periphytonLimnology and Oceanography3613751389CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Holdway, D.A. 1996The role of biomarkers in risk assessmentHuman and Ecological Risk Assessment2263267Google Scholar
  24. Jearld, A. 1983

    Age determination

    Nielsen, L. A.Johnson, D. L. eds. Fisheries TechniquesSouthern Printing Co.Blacksburg, Virginia301324
    Google Scholar
  25. Johnson, R.A., Wichern, D.W. 1992Applied multivariate analysis for biologistsJohn Wiley & SonsNew York, NYGoogle Scholar
  26. Karr, J.R. 1993Defining and assessing ecological integrity: beyond water qualityEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry1215211531Google Scholar
  27. Karr, J. R., Fausch K.D., Angermeier P.L., P. R. Yant & 1.J. Schlosser, 1986. Assessing biological integrity in running waters: a method and its rationale. Illinois Natural History Survey Special Publication 5Google Scholar
  28. Kelley, J.R., Harwell, M.A. 1990Indicators of ecosystem recoveryEnvironmental Management14527545Google Scholar
  29. LMES (Lockheed Martin Energy Systems), 1997. Mercury abatement report for the US Department of Energy Oak Ridge Y-12 Plant for fiscal year 1997, Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Report No. Y/ER-297. Lockheed Martin Energy Systems, Inc., Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USAGoogle Scholar
  30. Maltby, L. 1999Studying stress: the importance of organism-level responsesEcological Applications9431440Google Scholar
  31. McCarty, L.S., Munkittrick, K.R. 1996Environmental biomarkers in aquatic toxicology: fiction, fantasy, or functional?Human and Ecological Risk Assessment2268274Google Scholar
  32. Muotka, T., Laasonen, P. 2002Ecosystem recovery in restored headwater streams: the role of enhanced leaf retentionJournal of Applied Ecology39145156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Nienhuis, P.H., Buijse, A.D., Leuven, E.W., Smits, A.J.M., Nooij, R.J.W., Samborska, E.M. 2002Ecological rehabilitation of the lowland basin of the river Rhine (NW Europe)Hydrobiologia4785372Google Scholar
  34. Palumbo, A.V., Mulholland, P.J., Elwood, J.W. 1987Extraction with DMSO to simultaneously measure periphyton photosynthesis, chlorophyll, and ATPLimnology and Oceanography32464471CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Peterson, M. J. & Phipps T.L., 1995. Bioaccumulation monitoring-aquatic. In Rev. 1: Biological Monitoring and Abatement Program Quality Assurance Plan, QAP-X-90-ES-063. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TennesseeGoogle Scholar
  36. Peterson, M.J, Southworth, G.R., Ham, K.D. 1994Effects of sublethal chlorinated discharges on PCB accumulation in transplanted asiatic clams (Corbicula fluminea)Water, Air, and Soil Pollution73169178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Pickett, S.T.A., Kolasa, J., Armesto, J.J., Collins, S.L. 1989The ecological concept of disturbance and its expression at various hierarchial levelsOikos54129136Google Scholar
  38. Plafkin, J. L. 1988

    Water quality-based controls and ecosystems recovery

    Cairns, J.,Jr eds. Rehabilitating damaged ecosystems, Vol. IICRC PressBoca Raton, Florida8796
    Google Scholar
  39. Power, M. 1997Assessing the effects of environmental stressors on fish populationsAquatic Toxicology39151169CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Power, M. 1999Recovery in aquatic ecosystems: an overview of knowledge and needsJournal of Aquatic Ecosystem Stress and Recovery6253257Google Scholar
  41. Railsback, S. F., B. D. Holcomb & Ryon M.G., 1989. A Computer Program for Estimating Fish Population Sizes and Annual Productions Rates. ORNL/TM-11061. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USAGoogle Scholar
  42. Resh, V.H., Brown, A.V., Covich, A.P., Gurtz, M.E., Li, H.W., Minshall, G.W., Reice, S.R., Shelton, A.L., Wallace, J.B., Wissmar, RC. 1988The role of disturbance in stream ecologyJournal of the North American Benthological Society7433455Google Scholar
  43. Rock, R. C., Walker, M. G., Jennings, C.D. 1986

    Nitrogen metabolites and renal function

    Norbert, W. T. eds. Textbook of Clinical ChemistryW. B. Sanders PublishersPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania12711273
    Google Scholar
  44. Rykiel, E.J. 1985Towards a definition of ecological disturbanceAustralian Journal of Ecology10361364Google Scholar
  45. SAS Institute, 1996. SAS/STAT User’s Guide, version 6.1. SAS Institute, Gary, North CarolinaGoogle Scholar
  46. Smith, M. R. & Smith J.G., 1995. Biological Monitoring and Abatement Program (BMAP) Benthic Macroinvertebrate Community Studies Quality Assurance Plan. QAP-90-ES-068. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USAGoogle Scholar
  47. Southworth, G.R. 1990PCB concentrations in stream sunfish (Lepomis auritus and L. macrochirus) in relation to proximity to chronic point sourcesWater, Air, and Soil Pollution51287296Google Scholar
  48. Watanabe, N.C., Harada, S., Komai, Y. 2000Long-term recovery from mine drainage distrubance of a macroinvertebrate community in the Ichi-Kawa River, JapanHydrobiologia429171180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Wolfe, D.A. 1996Insights on the utility of biomarkers or environmental impact assessment and monitoringHuman and Ecological Risk Assessment2245250Google Scholar
  50. Yount, J.D., Niemi, G.J. 1990Recovery of lotic communities and ecosystems following disturbance: theory and applicationEnvironmental Management14515762Google Scholar
  51. Zippin, C. 1956The removal method of population estimationJournal of Wildlife Management228290Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Sciences DivisionOak Ridge National LaboratoryOak RidgeUSA

Personalised recommendations