Effects of the kingston ash spill on amphibians and reptiles
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Effects of the Kingston Ash Spill on Amphibians and Reptiles. , Elizabeth Burton 1 , Jesse Morris 1 , Suzy Young 2 , Amber Stojak 2 , Travis Hill Henry 3 1 Restoration Services, Inc., 2 ARCADIS U.S., Inc.; 3 Tennessee Valley Authority.

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Effects of the Kingston Ash Spill on Amphibians and Reptiles

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Effects of the kingston ash spill on amphibians and reptiles

Effects of the Kingston Ash Spill on Amphibians and Reptiles

, Elizabeth Burton1, Jesse Morris1, Suzy Young2, Amber Stojak2, Travis Hill Henry3

1Restoration Services, Inc., 2ARCADIS U.S., Inc.; 3Tennessee Valley Authority


Introduction

December 22

2008

March 20

2009

August

2009

April

2009

Introduction

Affected areas include:

5.4 million cy of ash into Emory R. and surrounding areas

55.1 acres of riparian zone

2.5 acres of wetland

www.oal-ash-spill.com

media.knoxnews.com

www.nationalgeographic.com

www.wild-facts.com


Conceptual exposure model

Conceptual Exposure Model

thegreatsmokeymountains.org

mayo.personcounty.net


Amphibians

Amphibians

American Toad

Anaxyrusamericanus

Spring Peeper

Pseudacris crucifer

Upland chorus frog Pseudacrisferiarum

  • Family: BufonidaeFamily: Hylidae

    (True Toads)(Treefrogs)

    • Common species

    • Different Families

    • Different Life Histories

Photo credit: Dr. J.D. Wilson

Species selection

Photo credit: Dr. J.D. Wilson


Effects of the kingston ash spill on amphibians and reptiles

Reference Site: Timberlake

Amphibians

Sites = 5

n = 76 (2009)

n = 121 (2010)

n = 156 (2011)

Kingston Fossil Plant


Amphibians analysis

Amphibians- Analysis

  • Two-way ANOVA within species across years and locations

    • Combined reference and non-impacted sites within years (Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney, p=0.629)

  • Post hoc tests: Tukey-Kramer

  • Significant differences found in 11 of 26

    trace elements:

Barium

Calcium

Iron

Magnesium

Sodium

Potassium

Selenium

Strontium

Copper

Zinc

Manganese


Selenium toxicity

Selenium Toxicity

  • One of the most toxic substances known to developing amphibians (Herfenist et al. 1989)

  • Maternally transferred from parent to egg – retained in tissue as they undergo metamophosis (Hopkins et al. 2006; Snodgrass 2005)

  • Teratogenic effects (Hopkins et al. 2000; Rowe et al 1996, 1998)

D.J. Fort/The Stover Group

Venesky et al. 2010


Selenium amphibians

Selenium - Amphibians

1.02.0 3.0 4.0

Selenium Concentration in Whole Body (mg/kg)

Spring Peeper

Selenium Concentration in Whole Body (mg/kg)

1.01.5 2.0 2.5

Upland Chorus Frog

Selenium Concentration in Whole Body (mg/kg)

Selenium Concentration in Whole Body (mg/kg)

Selenium Concentration in Whole Body (mg/L)

Location/Year

Location/Year

North Embayment

West Embayment

Background

North Embayment

West Embayment

Background

Hopkins, W.A., Mendonça, M.T., C.L., and Congdon, J.D. 1998. Elevated trace element concentrations in southern toads, Bufoterrestris, exposed to coal combustion wastes. Archives of Environmental Contamination & Toxicology 35:325-329.

Location/Year

Spring Peeper: 2-way ANOVA, Location (p=0.001), Year*Location (p=0.0317)

Location/Year

Upland Chorus Frog: 2-way ANOVA, Location (p=0.006)

Location/Year


Effects of the kingston ash spill on amphibians and reptiles

Strontium Toxicity

  • Maternally transferred from parent to egg (Hopkins et al. 2006)

  • No previous laboratory studies specifically examining impacts of strontium in amphibians

  • Replaces calcium resulting in soft and brittle bones (Kabata-Pendias and Pendias, 1999, Szostek et al. 2009)

www.tnfish.org


Effects of the kingston ash spill on amphibians and reptiles

Strontium - Amphibians

50100 150 200 250

Strontium Concentration in Whole Body (mg/kg)

American Toad

25 50 75 100 125

Strontium Concentration in Whole Body (mg/kg)

Spring Peeper

Strontium Concentration in Whole Body (mg/kg)

Strontium Concentration in Whole Body (mg/kg)

Strontium Concentration in Whole Body (mg/kg)

Location/Year

North Embayment

West Embayment

Background

West Embayment

North Embayment

Background

Location/Year

Hopkins, W.A., Mendonça, M.T., C.L., and congdon, J.D. 1998. Elevated trace element concentrations in southern toads, Bufoterrestris, exposed to coal combustion wastes. Archives of Environmental Contamination & Toxicology 35:325-329.

Location/Year

American Toads: 2-way ANOVA, Year*Location (p=0.012)

Spring Peeper: 2-way ANOVA, Year (p=0.048),Location (p<0.0001)

Location/Year

Location/Year


Effects of the kingston ash spill on amphibians and reptiles

Copper Toxicity

  • Copper radicals lead to oxidative stress in the body – can damage proteins, lipids, DNA, etc.

  • Chronic exposure may negatively affect growth of larvae (Lande and Guttman 1973)

  • Impacts larval behavior, heart rate, and neuromuscular coordination (Kaplan and Yogh 1961)

  • Loss of equilibrium and death (Rao and Madhayastha 1987)

virginiaherpetologicalsociety.com


Effects of the kingston ash spill on amphibians and reptiles

Copper - Amphibians

10 20 30 40

10 20 30 40

Copper Concentration in Whole Body (mg/kg)

Spring Peeper

Upland Chorus Frog

Copper Concentration in Whole Body (mg/kg)

Copper Concentration in Whole Body (mg/kg)

Copper Concentration in Whole Body (mg/kg)

Copper Concentration in Whole Body (mg/kg)

Selenium Concentration in Whole Body (mg/L)

Location/Year

Location/Year

West Embayment

North Embayment

Background

North Embayment

West Embayment

Hopkins, W.A., Mendonça, M.T., C.L., and Congdon, J.D. 1998. Elevated trace element concentrations in southern toads, Bufoterrestris, exposed to coal combustion wastes. Archives of Environmental Contamination & Toxicology 35:325-329.

Hall, R.J., and B.M. Mulhern. 1984. Are anuran amphibians heavy metal accuculators? In: R.A. Seigel et al, (eds), Vertebrate ecology and systematics-A tribute to Henry S. Fitch. University of Kansas Museum of Natural History, Lawrence, Kansas. pgs 123-133

Background

Location/Year

Location/Year

Upland Chorus Frog: 2-way ANOVA, Year (p=0.003), Interaction (p=0.003)

Spring Peeper: 2-way ANOVA, Year (p=0.002),Location (p<0.0001)

Location/Year

Location/Year


Effects of the kingston ash spill on amphibians and reptiles

a-z-animals.com

Turtles

Herpnet

Turtlesite.info


Turtles

Turtles

Feed in sediment on river bottom

Eat any type of aquatic plant, animal or invertebrate(living or dead)

http://www.ctherpconsultant.com/images/

http://www.on.ec.gc.ca/wildlife/homepage/images/

www.marshall.edu/herp/images/

Musk /Mud Turtles

Sternotherus sp./ Kinosternon sp.

Eastern Spiny softshell

Apalonespiniferaspinifera

Common Snapping Turtle

Chelydraserpentina

  • Bury themselves in sandy river bottom

  • Seldom leave river

  • Have permeable shell

  • Eat insects, crayfish, fish

  • Consumed by humans

  • Utilize any aquatic environment

  • Eat wide variety of plants, animals, invertebrates, frogs, salamanders, water snakes, turtles; actively hunt prey and are proficient scavengers

  • Consumed by humans


Effects of the kingston ash spill on amphibians and reptiles

Kingston Fossil Plant

Turtles

Trap locations = 347

Total turtles captured

n = 587 (2009)

n = 3,806 (2010)


Methods turtles

Methods - Turtles

  • 2010Collections

  • Target Species

    • Snapping Turtles (58)

    • Musk/Mud Turtles (350)

    • Eastern Spiny Softshell Turtles (89)

  • Non-Target Species

    • Sliders

    • Painted

    • River Cooters

    • Map


Effects of the kingston ash spill on amphibians and reptiles

Selenium Concentration in Blood (mg/kg wet weight)

Selenium in Turtle Blood

Snapping Turtle Blood

Eastern Spiny Softshell Turtle Blood

Selenium Concentration in Blood

(mg/kg wet weight)

Selenium Concentration in Blood

(mg/kg wet weight)

Kruskal-Wallis, Site differences

  • Common Musk / Mud Turtle (p<0.001);

  • Snapping Turtle (p=0.214);

  • Softshell Turtle (p=0.102)

Common Musk / Mud Turtle Blood

Selenium Concentration in Blood

(mg/kg wet weight)


Effects of the kingston ash spill on amphibians and reptiles

Selenium in Turtle Blood

Selenium Concentration in Turtle Blood (mg/kg wet weight)

Downstream

TN River

Clinch River

Emory River

Upstream

TN River

2-way ANOVA, Location (p=0.0002); Species (p<0.0001); Interaction (p=0.0192)


Effects of the kingston ash spill on amphibians and reptiles

Selenium in Turtle Blood

  • No similar studies for comparison of impacted vs. non-impacted

  • Snappers have similar Se concentrations to free ranging Alligator snapping turtles in Florida (Chaffin et al. 2008)

  • Mud/musk and softshells show variation by location but not snappers

  • Further research

    • Relationship between concentrations

      in blood, carapace, toenail samples


Conclusions

Conclusions

  • Concentrations of trace elements in amphibians and reptiles have not reached levels of concern, although they are increased in certain species at impacted sites

  • Species specific differences

    • Feeding ecology

    • Sensitivity to contaminates

    • Legacy issues

  • Looking toward the future

www.pc.gc.ca/nature/

virginiaherpetologicalsociety.com


Effects of the kingston ash spill on amphibians and reptiles

Additional Acknowledgements

Dr. William Hopkins

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency

Adam Johnson

Travis Walls

Mirtha Martin

Neil Carriker

Wes James

Jacqueline Iannuzzi

Tom Bock

Jason Brown

David Greenberg


Effects of the kingston ash spill on amphibians and reptiles

Questions?

bullmarketfrogs.com


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