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Assessment of Population Status for a White Sucker (Catostomus commersoni) Population Exposed to Bleached Kraft Pulp Mill Effluent
MILLER, D. H., J. E. TIETGE, M. E. MCMASTER, K. R. MUNKITTRICK, X. XIA, AND G. T. ANKLEY. Assessment of Population Status for a White Sucker (Catostomus commersoni) Population Exposed to Bleached Kraft Pulp Mill Effluent. ENVIRONMENTAL TOXICOLOGY AND CHEMISTRY. Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Pensacola, FL, 32(7):1592-1603, (2013).
Credible ecological risk assessments often need to include analysis of population-level impacts. In the present study, a predictive model was developed to translate changes in the fecundity and the age structure of a breeding population of white sucker (Catostomus commersoni) collected in the field to alterations in population growth rate. The modeling construct that is applied uniquely combines a Leslie population projection matrix and the logistic equation. Application of this density-dependent population projection model requires only a life table for the organism of interest, a measure of carrying capacity for the given population, and estimation of the effect of stressors on vital rates. The model was used to investigate population dynamics for white sucker exposed to the pulp mill effluent at a well-studied study site located in Jackfish Bay, Lake Superior. Individual-level responses for white suckers exposed to pulp mill effluent were used to demonstrate the model’s capability to project alterations in the population existing at the Jackfish Bay site. A white sucker population occurring at carrying capacity and subsequently exposed to pulp mill effluent equivalent to a documented exposure period of 1988-1994 would be expected to exhibit a 34 to 51% annual decrease in recruitment during the first 5 years following exposure, and reach an equilibrium population size of approximately 71 % of carrying capacity. The Jackfish Bay study site contains monitoring data for biochemical endpoints of interest that could be combined with population modeling to extrapolate the construct demonstrated at the Jackfish Bay study site to other white sucker populations at sites that are less data rich.
To document research results.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB
MID-CONTINENT ECOLOGY DIVISION
LARGE LAKES & RIVER FORECASTING RESEARCH