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1 April 2009 Assessment of the Ecological Effects of Arsenic on a Southern Ohio, USA Stream
George M. Huddleston, Philip B. Dorn, W. Barry Gillespie, Diana C. L. Wong, John P. Slocomb
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Abstract

Davis Creek is a southern Ohio, USA stream that receives a permitted discharge from the Belpre Elastomers Plant (BEP). A sediment quality triad investigation of Davis Creek was conducted over a 2-y period that included sediment and surface water chemistry measurements, toxicity tests of whole sediment, interstitial and surface water, and benthic and artificial substrate community assessments. The concentration of arsenic in surface and interstitial water was below United States Environmental Protection Agency ambient water quality criteria and was not toxic in laboratory tests (Ceriodaphnia dubia, Pimephales promelas). Similarly, sediments did not significantly affect survival and growth of Hyalella azteca and Chironomus tentans at most sampling locations despite sediments exceeding arsenic sediment screening values in nearly all samples collected. Differences in benthic community structure, determined by rapid bioassessment and Hester–Dendy sampling methods, were related primarily by variations in sediment moisture, particle size, and ammonia and not to arsenic concentrations. The Invertebrate Community Index (ICI) for Davis Creek was lower than values established for other warm-water ecoregional reference streams in Ohio. However, this ICI comparison may have been invalid because, unlike the reference streams, the Davis Creek watershed is small with intermittent headwater flow that limits macroinvertebrate recruitment and energy input. The sediment quality triad investigation indicated that Davis Creek was not significantly affected by arsenic associated with the BEP discharge despite having measured arsenic concentrations that exceeded sediment screening values.

George M. Huddleston, Philip B. Dorn, W. Barry Gillespie, Diana C. L. Wong, and John P. Slocomb "Assessment of the Ecological Effects of Arsenic on a Southern Ohio, USA Stream," Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management 5(2), 302-319, (1 April 2009). https://doi.org/10.1897/IEAM_2008-006.1
Received: 18 January 2008; Accepted: 1 November 2008; Published: 1 April 2009
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KEYWORDS
Arsenic
benthic community
sediment
toxicity
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