Final Report: Freshwater Bioturbators in Riverine Sediments as Enhancers of Contaminant Release

EPA Grant Number: R825513C027
Subproject: this is subproject number 027 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R825513
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: HSRC (1989) - South and Southwest HSRC
Center Director: Reible, Danny D.
Title: Freshwater Bioturbators in Riverine Sediments as Enhancers of Contaminant Release
Investigators: Acholonu, A. D.W. , Thibodeaux, Louis J. , Valsaraj, Kalliat T.
Institution: Alcorn State University , Louisiana State University - Baton Rouge
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: January 1, 1995 through December 31, 1997
RFA: Hazardous Substance Research Centers - HSRC (1989) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Substance Research Centers , Land and Waste Management


The purpose of this study was to collect, identify, and catalog the benthic (bottom-dwelling) invertebrates in the Yazoo River and Yazoo Lake, and to compare the fauna from the two freshwater bodies. It was also conducted to enable us to find and select relevant bioturbators and use them to conduct flux measurement experiments. The general objective of the project is to contribute to knowledge about hazardous substances and how to get rid of them; to measure the magnitude of bioturbation by tubificid worms and other appropriate bioturbators in the laboratory in order to advance modeling of contaminant flux and ultimately understand its ecological implications.

Summary/Accomplishments (Outputs/Outcomes):

During the first year of this study, we surveyed the Yazoo River to find contaminated sediment sites; collect, identify, and catalog benthic fauna in the Yazoo River. Important bioturbators found were to be selected and transplanted into laboratory microcosm. Sediment contaminants were to be identified. Chemical analysis were to be performed and flux measurement experiments are expected to shed more light on physicochemical transport process. This study was directed toward quantifying the increased flux of hydrophobic organics from contaminated sediment due to bioturbation by freshwater oligochaetes found in the Yazoo River bed. The results of the flux measurement experiments are to shed more light on physicochemical transport process.

The dipterans were the most numerous invertebrates recovered from both habitats but they were a little more in the river (9 genera) than in the lake (8 genera). That the dominant in fauna in both the lake and the river were chironomids (Diptera) and tubificid worms (oligochaeta). There were however, more varieties of genera and species from the Yazoo River than from the Yazoo Lake. This does not exist or cannot be found in the lake.

The difference in the diversity between the Yazoo River and Lake Yazoo could be attributed to hydrologic conditions such as: Substrate type (slit, clay, sand) velocity of water, vegetation, organic detritus, and the overall water quality especially with respect to pollution.

PAHs are among the contaminants most frequently detected in sediments, and these were found in several parts of the lake and the river this showing that both bodies of water have some polluted parts. Some of the benthic organism found such as the oligochaetes: Liminodrilus hoffmeisteri, Limnodrilus udekemianus, and Dero digitata, may serve as bioturbators and enhance contaminant release. Chironomids, and Lumbriculus are suspected to have impact on contaminant migration intermediate between the amphipods and tubificids. The midge fly larvae borrow and grow until they emerge as adult flies (Reible et al. 1996). Our next step is to follow up on them and evaluate them as potential bioturbators. Attempts are being made to culture some of these for conducting flux measurement experiments. We also plan to collect sediments in the middle part or deeper parts of the river and lake and compare the fauna with those from the bank area as reported from this study.

Journal Articles on this Report : 1 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other subproject views: All 5 publications 1 publications in selected types All 1 journal articles
Other center views: All 392 publications 154 publications in selected types All 106 journal articles
Type Citation Sub Project Document Sources
Journal Article Acholonu ADW, Stewart TJ, Thibodeaux LJ, Valsaraj KT. Benthic Invertebrates of Lake Yazoo and Yazoo River: A Preliminary Report. Journal of Mississippi Academy of Science 1997;42(1):86-87. R825513C027 (Final)
not available

Supplemental Keywords:

PAHs, benthic invertebrates, and contaminant release, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Waste, Water, Chemical Engineering, Contaminated Sediments, Environmental Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Hazardous Waste, Bioremediation, Ecology and Ecosystems, Hazardous, Environmental Engineering, river sediments, environmental technology, sediment treatment, hazardous waste management, hazardous waste treatment, risk assessment, decontamination of soil and water, soil and groundwater remediation, microbial degradation, biodegradation, decontamination of soil, bioavailability, contaminated sediment, chemical contaminants, PAH, microbes, contaminated soil, bioremediation of soils, contaminants in soil, remediation, biotransformation, anaerobic biotransformation, extraction of metals, bioturbation, phytoremediation, contaminated soils

Progress and Final Reports:

Original Abstract
  • 1995
  • 1996

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R825513    HSRC (1989) - South and Southwest HSRC

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R825513C001 Sediment Resuspension and Contaminant Transport in an Estuary.
    R825513C002 Contaminant Transport Across Cohesive Sediment Interfaces.
    R825513C003 Mobilization and Fate of Inorganic Contaminant due to Resuspension of Cohesive Sediment.
    R825513C004 Source Identification, Transformation, and Transport Processes of N-, O- and S- Containing Organic Chemicals in Wetland and Upland Sediments.
    R825513C005 Mobility and Transport of Radium from Sediment and Waste Pits.
    R825513C006 Anaerobic Biodegradation of 2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene and Other Nitroaromatic Compounds by Clostridium Acetobutylicum.
    R825513C007 Investigation on the Fate and Biotransformation of Hexachlorobutadiene and Chlorobenzenes in a Sediment-Water Estuarine System
    R825513C008 An Investigation of Chemical Transport from Contaminated Sediments through Porous Containment Structures
    R825513C009 Evaluation of Placement and Effectiveness of Sediment Caps
    R825513C010 Coupled Biological and Physicochemical Bed-Sediment Processes
    R825513C011 Pollutant Fluxes to Aquatic Systems via Coupled Biological and Physicochemical Bed-Sediment Processes
    R825513C012 Controls on Metals Partitioning in Contaminated Sediments
    R825513C013 Phytoremediation of TNT Contaminated Soil and Groundwaters
    R825513C014 Sediment-Based Remediation of Hazardous Substances at a Contaminated Military Base
    R825513C015 Effect of Natural Dynamic Changes on Pollutant-Sediment Interaction
    R825513C016 Desorption of Nonpolar Organic Pollutants from Historically Contaminated Sediments and Dredged Materials
    R825513C017 Modeling Air Emissions of Organic Compounds from Contaminated Sediments and Dredged Materials title change in last year to "Long-term Release of Pollutants from Contaminated Sediment Dredged Material"
    R825513C018 Development of an Integrated Optic Interferometer for In-Situ Monitoring of Volatile Hydrocarbons
    R825513C019 Bioremediation of Contaminated Sediments and Dredged Material
    R825513C020 Bioremediation of Sediments Contaminated with Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons
    R825513C021 Role of Particles in Mobilizing Hazardous Chemicals in Urban Runoff
    R825513C022 Particle Transport and Deposit Morphology at the Sediment/Water Interface
    R825513C023 Uptake of Metal Ions from Aqueous Solutions by Sediments
    R825513C024 Bioavailability of Desorption Resistant Hydrocarbons in Sediment-Water Systems.
    R825513C025 Interactive Roles of Microbial and Spartina Populations in Mercury Methylation Processes in Bioremediation of Contaminated Sediments in Salt-Marsh Systems
    R825513C026 Evaluation of Physical-Chemical Methods for Rapid Assessment of the Bioavailability of Moderately Polar Compounds in Sediments
    R825513C027 Freshwater Bioturbators in Riverine Sediments as Enhancers of Contaminant Release
    R825513C028 Characterization of Laguna Madre Contaminated Sediments.
    R825513C029 The Role of Competitive Adsorption of Suspended Sediments in Determining Partitioning and Colloidal Stability.
    R825513C030 Remediation of TNT-Contaminated Soil by Cyanobacterial Mat.
    R825513C031 Experimental and Detailed Mathematical Modeling of Diffusion of Contaminants in Fluids
    R825513C033 Application of Biotechnology in Bioremediation of Contaminated Sediments
    R825513C034 Characterization of PAH's Degrading Bacteria in Coastal Sediments
    R825513C035 Dynamic Aspects of Metal Speciation in the Miami River Sediments in Relation to Particle Size Distribution of Chemical Heterogeneity