Science Inventory

Evaluating Causes of Ecological Impairments in the Estuaries of Ukraine

Citation:

BURGESS, R. M., A. N. Petrov, E. L. Nevrova, N. G. Sergeeva, N. K. Revkov, V. A. Grintsov, A. V. Lyashenko, S. Afanasiev, L. Kipnis, I. Konovets, A. V. Terletskaya, M. V. Milyukin, M. I. Povolotskii, AND K. T. HO. Evaluating Causes of Ecological Impairments in the Estuaries of Ukraine. Presented at SETAC Europe 19th Annual Meeting, Goteborg, SWEDEN, May 31 - June 04, 2009.

Impact/Purpose:

Assess ecological condition of benthic environments in Ukrainian estuaries using diagnostic methods.

Description:

Ukrainian estuaries have not undergone a systematic evaluation of the causes of ecological impairments caused by anthropogenic contamination. The objective of this evaluation is to use recently developed diagnostic tools to determine the causes of benthic ecological impairments. In the first year of a three year investigation, over 70 sediments and several organisms from the Dnieper and Boh Estuaries, Danube River Delta, Sevastopol Bay, Balaklava Bay, and the adjacent coastal Black Sea were collected. Ecological analyses included benthic community structure, abundance, and diversity of macro-, meio- and microbenthic organisms. Whole sediments were tested for toxicity using a freshwater midge Camptochironomus pallidivittatus and marine amphipod Echinogammarus olivii. Analyses for organic and inorganic contaminants included polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls, pesticides, and eight metals. Ukrainian estuaries were found to be moderately contaminated as compared to estuaries in North America, Europe and worldwide. Further, estuarine organisms were found to be contaminated at levels comparable to those found globally except for high concentrations of mercury. Because of decades of use as naval ports, Sevastopol Bay and Balaklava Bay were especially contaminated with industrial chemicals as compared to the mainland estuaries (i.e., Dnieper and Boh, Danube). Black Sea sediments were not found to be impacted substantially by anthropogenic contamination. Moderate toxicity was observed in a small number of sediments indicating many contaminants were not bioavailable. Analyses are on-going with these data to determine if endpoints such as the structure of benthic complexes can be used to diagnose contaminants adversely affecting the benthos.

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/POSTER)
Product Published Date: 06/04/2009
Record Last Revised: 06/11/2009
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 201750

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LABORATORY

ATLANTIC ECOLOGY DIVISION

HABITATS EFFECT BRANCH