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Synthesis of tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) data for Beneficial Use Impairment (BUI) assessment at Wisconsin Areas of Concern

Open-File Report 2018-1032

By:
ORCID iD , ORCID iD , and ORCID iD
https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181032

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Abstract

Assessment of the “Bird or Animal Deformities or Reproductive Problems” Beneficial Use Impairment (BUI) can be accomplished by (1) comparing tissue concentrations to established background and Lowest Observable Effect Level (LOEL) for reproductive effects, or (2) directly measuring reproductive success at Areas of Concern (AOCs) and statistically comparing those rates to minimally impacted reference locations (non-AOCs). Results from recent tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) publications were used to evaluate this BUI based on both approaches. For both endpoints, a 95-percent confidence interval (CI) was used to test for significant differences. Additional information on BUIs, AOCs, and the program in general can be found in the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (2012).

For the first metric, there are good background and reproductive effect threshold LOELs for tree swallow egg concentrations for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins and furans (PCDD/Fs), and mercury, as well as, for some other organic and inorganic contaminants. For the second assessment, comparisons were made between AOC and non-AOC sites for reproductive success, which was measured as the daily probability of egg failure and the percentage of eggs laid that hatched. Multistate modeling was used to assess whether there was an association between the daily probability of egg failure and a suite of contaminants, including PCBs, but also whether there was an association with ecological variables, such as female age and date within season. Both of these ecological variables are known to affect hatching success in birds. The objective of this report is to synthesize the previously published information to assist in the assessment of the “Bird or Animal Deformities or Reproductive Problems” BUI at 16 sites within the 5 Wisconsin AOCs (table 1). The logic behind this interpretation is applicable to other AOCs as well.

Suggested Citation

Custer, C.M., Custer, T.W., and Dummer, P.M., 2018, Synthesis of tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) data for Beneficial Use Impairment (BUI) assessment at Wisconsin Areas of Concern: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1032, 8 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181032.

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Summary of Published Results
  • Conclusions
  • References Cited

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Synthesis of tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) data for Beneficial Use Impairment (BUI) assessment at Wisconsin Areas of Concern
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
2018-1032
DOI:
10.3133/ofr20181032
Year Published:
2018
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Contributing office(s):
Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
Description:
iv, 8 p.
Country:
United States
State:
Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin
Online Only (Y/N):
Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N):
N