1. Use of a novel laboratory stream system to study the ecological impact of PCB exposure in a periphytic biolayer

Jill A. Kostel, Hong Wang, Ann L. St. Amand, Kimberly A. Gray*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

This research on PCB impact in stream sediments seeks to integrate ecological perspectives into the traditional physicochemical approach to hydrophobic organic chemical (HOC) study. This paper presents the design and use of a novel laboratory stream system with a natural sediment substrate to study the response of a periphytic biolayer to low level PCB exposure over a 2-month time period. The results demonstrate that the laboratory stream system is a powerful tool to evaluate the biological impact and fate of PCBs. The results of biological monitoring demonstrated that the structure of the periphytic community changed with exposure to PCBs. The periphytic community shifted from one dominated solely by a diverse array of diatom taxa to one co-dominated by fewer types of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) and a single diatom taxon. This suggests that the structural changes in the community are a good early bioindicator of contamination, whereas periphyton biomass (chlorophyll a and biovolume), cell number or the presence/absence of particular species are not sensitive measures for assessing the ecological impact of pollutants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3735-3748
Number of pages14
JournalWater Research
Volume33
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1999

Keywords

  • Community structure
  • Laboratory streams
  • Natural substrate
  • Periphyton
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecological Modeling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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