Aquatic - Rivers and Estuaries

EPA Grant Number: R825433C073
Subproject: this is subproject number 073 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R825433
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: EERC - Center for Ecological Health Research (Cal Davis)
Center Director: Rolston, Dennis E.
Title: Aquatic - Rivers and Estuaries
Investigators: Hinton, David E. , Botsford, Louis , Fan, Teresa W-M. , Fry, D. Michael , Higashi, Richard M. , Jassby, Alan D. , Moyle, Peter , Orlob, Gerald , Quinn, James
Institution: University of California - Davis
EPA Project Officer: Levinson, Barbara
Project Period: June 30, 1995 through June 30, 1998
Project Amount: Refer to main center abstract for funding details.
RFA: Exploratory Environmental Research Centers (1992) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Targeted Research


The overall goal of this research is to determine adverse effects of multiple stressors on tissues, cells and macromolecules of fish, crayfish and fish-eating birds within a waterway and to incorporate these findings into hydrodynamic and biologically-based models enabling better understanding of the role of multiple stressors in population level responses. The overall result should enable ecologically-based management and a reduction in stressors.


The refinement and extension of computational models for surface water systems provides an interdisciplinary research tool for making quantitative assessments of ecosensitivity to combined stresses. A finite-elements model of transport of water and waterborne substances provides a common basis for modeling temperature, salinity, plankton and fish population dynamics, and potentially, the transport and fate of a variety of toxic compounds. Both the spatial scope and resolution of the model continue to increase, refined by verification runs against historical patterns in several years in the 1980s and 90s.

Ecosystems effects of multiple pollutants are being assessed through chemical analysis and physiological measurements of fish and birds living within the San Francisco Bay and Delta. Controlled laboratory studies with specific fish and birds at different life stages are determining the most sensitive times at which to observe effects.

Expected Results:

The investigators expect to move from observations at the individual level to those at the population level and to determine the percent of the population decline in striped bass that could be attributed to toxicant stressors. It is this type of integration and interaction between hydrologic and biological modelers and physiologists/toxicologists that they expect will yield important insight on the effects of multiple stressors and devise ways in which management of the river might protect specific life stages and populations of resident fishes and birds.

Supplemental Keywords:

Aquatic ecosystem, California, environmental monitoring, multiple stressers, hydrological modeling, toxicology, fish, birds, wildlife habitat., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Geographic Area, Water, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Aquatic Ecosystems & Estuarine Research, Ecology, Ecosystem/Assessment/Indicators, Ecosystem Protection, exploratory research environmental biology, Restoration, Aquatic Ecosystem, Ecological Effects - Environmental Exposure & Risk, Biochemistry, Ecological Effects - Human Health, Ecological Risk Assessment, Ecology and Ecosystems, West Coast, Biology, Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration, Ecological Indicators, anthropogenic stress, aquatic, cellular biology, fish, estuaries, Sacramento River, San Francisco Bay, fish communities, fish-eating birds, multiple stressors, river systems, rivers, crayfish, estuarine ecosystems, aquatic ecosystems, environmental stress, Sacremento River

Main Center Abstract and Reports:

R825433    EERC - Center for Ecological Health Research (Cal Davis)

Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
R825433C001 Potential for Long-Term Degradation of Wetland Water Quality Due to Natural Discharge of Polluted Groundwater
R825433C002 Sacramento River Watershed
R825433C003 Endocrine Disruption in Fish and Birds
R825433C004 Biomarkers of Exposure and Deleterious Effect: A Laboratory and Field Investigation
R825433C005 Fish Developmental Toxicity/Recruitment
R825433C006 Resolving Multiple Stressors by Biochemical Indicator Patterns and their Linkages to Adverse Effects on Benthic Invertebrate Patterns
R825433C007 Environmental Chemistry of Bioavailability in Sediments and Water Column
R825433C008 Reproduction of Birds and mammals in a terrestrial-aquatic interface
R825433C009 Modeling Ecosystems Under Combined Stress
R825433C010 Mercury Uptake by Fish
R825433C011 Clear Lake Watershed
R825433C012 The Role of Fishes as Transporters of Mercury
R825433C013 Wetlands Restoration
R825433C014 Wildlife Bioaccumulation and Effects
R825433C015 Microbiology of Mercury Methylation in Sediments
R825433C016 Hg and Fe Biogeochemistry
R825433C017 Water Motions and Material Transport
R825433C018 Economic Impacts of Multiple Stresses
R825433C019 The History of Anthropogenic Effects
R825433C020 Wetland Restoration
R825433C021 Sierra Nevada Watershed Project
R825433C022 Regional Transport of Air Pollutants and Exposure of Sierra Nevada Forests to Ozone
R825433C023 Biomarkers of Ozone Damage to Sierra Nevada Vegetation
R825433C024 Effects of Air Pollution on Water Quality: Emission of MTBE and Other Pollutants From Motorized Watercraft
R825433C025 Regional Movement of Toxics
R825433C026 Effect of Photochemical Reactions in Fog Drops and Aerosol Particles on the Fate of Atmospheric Chemicals in the Central Valley
R825433C027 Source Load Modeling for Sediment in Mountainous Watersheds
R825433C028 Stress of Increased Sediment Loading on Lake and Stream Function
R825433C029 Watershed Response to Natural and Anthropogenic Stress: Lake Tahoe Nutrient Budget
R825433C030 Mercury Distribution and Cycling in Sierra Nevada Waterbodies
R825433C031 Pre-contact Forest Structure
R825433C032 Identification and distribution of pest complexes in relation to late seral/old growth forest structure in the Lake Tahoe watershed
R825433C033 Subalpine Marsh Plant Communities as Early Indicators of Ecosystem Stress
R825433C034 Regional Hydrogeology and Contaminant Transport in a Sierra Nevada Ecosystem
R825433C035 Border Rivers Watershed
R825433C036 Toxicity Studies
R825433C037 Watershed Assessment
R825433C038 Microbiological Processes in Sediments
R825433C039 Analytical and Biomarkers Core
R825433C040 Organic Analysis
R825433C041 Inorganic Analysis
R825433C042 Immunoassay and Serum Markers
R825433C043 Sensitive Biomarkers to Detect Biochemical Changes Indicating Multiple Stresses Including Chemically Induced Stresses
R825433C044 Molecular, Cellular and Animal Biomarkers of Exposure and Effect
R825433C045 Microbial Community Assays
R825433C046 Cumulative and Integrative Biochemical Indicators
R825433C047 Mercury and Iron Biogeochemistry
R825433C048 Transport and Fate Core
R825433C049 Role of Hydrogeologic Processes in Alpine Ecosystem Health
R825433C050 Regional Hydrologic Modeling With Emphasis on Watershed-Scale Environmental Stresses
R825433C051 Development of Pollutant Fate and Transport Models for Use in Terrestrial Ecosystem Exposure Assessment
R825433C052 Pesticide Transport in Subsurface and Surface Water Systems
R825433C053 Currents in Clear Lake
R825433C054 Data Integration and Decision Support Core
R825433C055 Spatial Patterns and Biodiversity
R825433C056 Modeling Transport in Aquatic Systems
R825433C057 Spatial and Temporal Trends in Water Quality
R825433C058 Time Series Analysis and Modeling Ecological Risk
R825433C059 WWW/Outreach
R825433C060 Economic Effects of Multiple Stresses
R825433C061 Effects of Nutrients on Algal Growth
R825433C062 Nutrient Loading
R825433C063 Subalpine Wetlands as Early Indicators of Ecosystem Stress
R825433C064 Chlorinated Hydrocarbons
R825433C065 Sierra Ozone Studies
R825433C066 Assessment of Multiple Stresses on Soil Microbial Communities
R825433C067 Terrestrial - Agriculture
R825433C069 Molecular Epidemiology Core
R825433C070 Serum Markers of Environmental Stress
R825433C071 Development of Sensitive Biomarkers Based on Chemically Induced Changes in Expressions of Oncogenes
R825433C072 Molecular Monitoring of Microbial Populations
R825433C073 Aquatic - Rivers and Estuaries
R825433C074 Border Rivers - Toxicity Studies