A macroinvertebrate assessment of Ozark streams located in lead-zinc mining areas of the Viburnum Trend in southeastern Missouri, USA

Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
By: , and 

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Abstract

The Viburnum Trend lead-zinc mining subdistrict is located in the southeast Missouri portion of the Ozark Plateau. In 2003 and 2004, we assessed the ecological effects of mining in several watersheds in the region. We included macroinvertebrate surveys, habitat assessments, and analysis of metals in sediment, pore water, and aquatic biota. Macroinvertebrates were sampled at 21 sites to determine aquatic life impairment status (full, partial, or nonsupport) and relative biotic condition scores. Macroinvertebrate biotic condition scores were significantly correlated with cadmium, nickel, lead, zinc, and specific conductance in 2003 (r = -0.61 to -0.68) and with cadmium, lead, and pore water toxic units in 2004 (r = -0.55 to -0.57). Reference sites were fully supporting of aquatic life and had the lowest metals concentrations and among the highest biotic condition scores in both years. Sites directly downstream from mining and related activities were partially supporting, with biotic condition scores 10% to 58% lower than reference sites. Sites located greater distances downstream from mining activities had intermediate scores and concentrations of metals. Results indicate that elevated concentrations of metals originating from mining activities were the underlying cause of aquatic life impairment in several of the streams studied. There was general concurrence among the adversely affected sites in how the various indicators responded to mining activities during the overall study.


Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title A macroinvertebrate assessment of Ozark streams located in lead-zinc mining areas of the Viburnum Trend in southeastern Missouri, USA
Series title Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
DOI 10.1007/s10661-009-0864-2
Volume 163
Issue 1-4
Year Published 2010
Language English
Publisher Springer
Contributing office(s) Contaminant Biology Program, Columbia Environmental Research Center
Description 22 p.
First page 619
Last page 641
Country United States
State Missouri