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The Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends (BEST) program of the Department of the Interior is focused to identify and understand effects of contaminant stressors on biological resources under their stewardship. One BEST program activity involves evaluation of retrospective data to assess and predict the condition of biota in Atlantic coast estuaries. A 'Contaminant Exposure and Effects--Terrestrial Vertebrates' database (CEE-TV) has been compiled through computerized literature searches of Fish and Wildlife Reviews, BIOSIS, AGRICOLA, and TOXLINE, review of existing databases (e.g., US EPA Ecological Incident Information System, USGS Diagnostic and Epizootic Databases), and solicitation of unpublished reports from conservation agencies, private groups, and universities. Summary information has been entered into the CEE-TV database, including species, collection date (1965-present), site coordinates, sample matrix, contaminant concentrations, biomarker and bioindicator responses, and reference source, utilizing a 96-field dBase format. Currently, the CEE-TV database contains 3500 georeferenced records representing >200 vertebrate species and > 100,000 individuals residing in estuaries from Maine through Florida. This relational database can be directly queried, imported into the ARC/INFO geographic information system (GIS) to examine spatial tendencies, and used to identify 'hot-spots', generate hypotheses, and focus ecotoxicological assessments. An overview of temporal, phylogenetic, and geographic contaminant exposure and effects information, trends, and data gaps will be presented for terrestrial vertebrates residing in estuaries in the northeast United States.
Additional Publication Details
Identification of contaminant trends and data gaps for terrestrial vertebrates residing in northeastern estuaries of the United States
Proceedings of The Wildlife Society Annual Conference