Uranium bioaccumulation dynamics in the mayfly Neocloeon triangulifer and application to site-specific prediction

Environmental Science & Technology
By: , and 

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Abstract

Little is known about the underlying mechanisms governing the bioaccumulation of uranium (U) in aquatic insects. We experimentally parameterized conditional rate constants for aqueous U uptake, dietary U uptake, and U elimination for the aquatic baetid mayfly Neocloeon triangulifer. Results showed that this species accumulates U from both the surrounding water and diet, with waterborne uptake prevailing. Elevated dietary U concentrations decreased feeding rates, presumably by altering food palatability or impairing the mayfly’s digestive processes, or both. Nearly 90% of the accumulated U was eliminated within 24 h after the waterborne exposure ceased, reflecting the desorption of weakly bound U from the insect’s integument. To examine whether the experimentally derived rate constants for N. triangulifer could be generalized to baetid mayflies, mayfly U concentrations were predicted using the water chemistry and U measured in periphyton from springs in Grand Canyon (United States) and were compared to U concentrations in spring-dwelling mayflies. Predicted and observed mayfly U concentrations were in good agreement. Under the modeled site-specific conditions, waterborne U uptake accounted for 52–93% of the bioaccumulated U. U accumulation was limited in these wild populations due to a combination of factors including low concentrations of bioavailable dissolved U species, slow U uptake rates from food, and fast U elimination.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Uranium bioaccumulation dynamics in the mayfly Neocloeon triangulifer and application to site-specific prediction
Series title Environmental Science & Technology
DOI 10.1021/acs.est.0c03372
Volume 54
Issue 18
Year Published 2020
Language English
Publisher American Chemical Society
Contributing office(s) Fort Collins Science Center, WMA - Earth System Processes Division
Description 9 p.
First page 11313
Last page 11321
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