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Aquatic communities and contaminants in fish from streams of the Red River of the North basin, Minnesota and North Dakota

Water-Resources Investigations Report 95-4047

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Abstract

Available data on the ecology of aquatic organisms in the Red River of the North Basin, a study unit of the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment program, were collated from numerous sources. Lack of information for invertebrates and algae precluded a general summary of distribution and ecology throughout the basin. Data on fish species distributions in the major streams of the Red River of the North Basin were analyzed based on the drainage area of the stream and the number of ecoregions the stream flowed through. Species richness increased with both drainage area (1oS drainage area in square kilometers, R2=0.41, p--0.0055) and the number of ecoregions a river flowed through. However, theses two factors are autocorrelated because the larger the drainage, the more likely that the river will flow through more than one ecoregion. A cluster analysis identified five river groups based on similarity of species within the fish community Analysis of trophic and taxonomic composition provided justification for the duster groups. There were significant differences (p=O.05) in the trophic composition of the river cluster groups with respect to the number of predator species, omnivore species, benthic insectivore species, and general insectivore species. Although there were no significant differences in the number of species in the bass and sunfish family or the sucker family, the number of species in the minnow family and the darter subfamily were different C0=0.05) among the groups identified by cluster analysis. Data on contaminant concentrations in fish from the Red River of the North indicated that most trace elements and organochlorine compounds present in tissues were not at levels toxic to fish or humans. Minnesota and North Dakota have issued a fish consumption advisory based on levels of mercury and (or) PCBs found in some species.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Aquatic communities and contaminants in fish from streams of the Red River of the North basin, Minnesota and North Dakota
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
95-4047
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1995
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey ; U.S.G.S. Earth Science Information Center, Open-File Reports Section [distributor],
Description:
vi, 34 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.