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GeoHEALTH-USGS Newsletter

GeoHEALTH-USGS Newsletter

The GeoHEALTH-USGS Newsletter provides information on new USGS science activities related to safeguarding the health of fish, wildlife, domesticated animals, livestock, and people from environmental exposures to contaminants and pathogens.

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Featured Science Activities

Featured Science Activities

Lean about our Featured Science Activities through our pages that highlight studies, publications, and results.

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Filter Total Items: 4,059
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Year Published: 2018

Anomalous bioaccumulation of lead in the earthworm Eisenoides lonnbergi (Michaelsen)

Lead concentrations in soil organisms are usually well below those in the associated soil and tend to decrease with each higher trophic level in a food chain. Earthworms of the species Eisenoides lonnbergi provide an exception to this observation, accumulating very high concentrations of lead from acidic soils. Earthworms belonging to...

Beyer, W. Nelson; Codling, Eton E.; Rutzke, Michael A.
Beyer, W. N., Codling, E. E., and Rutzke, M. A., 2018, Anomalous bioaccumulation of lead in the earthworm Eisenoides lonnbergi (Michaelsen): Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, v. 37, no. 3, p. 914-919. https://doi.org/10.1002/etc.4031

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Year Published: 2018

Associations between cyanobacteria and indices of secondary production in the western basin of Lake Erie

Large lakes provide a variety of ecological services to surrounding cities and communities. Many of these services are supported by ecological processes that are threatened by the increasing prevalence of cyanobacterial blooms which occur as aquatic ecosystems experience cultural eutrophication. Over the past 10 yr, Lake Erie experienced...

Larson, James H.; Evans, Mary Anne; Kennedy, Robert J.; Bailey, Sean; Loftin, Keith A.; Laughrey, Zachary; Femmer, Robin; Schaeffer, Jeff; Richardson, William B.; Wynne, Timothy; Nelson, J. C.; Duris, Joseph W.
Larson, J.H., Evans, M.A., Kennedy, R.J., Bailey S.W., Loftin, K.A., Laughrey, Z.R., Femmer, R.A., Schaeffer, J.S., Richardson, W.B., Wynne, T.T., Nelson, J.C., Duris, J.W. 2018. Associations between cyanobacteria and indices of secondary production in the western basin of Lake Erie. Limnology and Oceanography. 63(S1):S232-S243. DOI: 10.1002/lno.10733.

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Year Published: 2018

Environmental contaminants of health-care origin: Exposure and potential effects in wildlife

A diverse range of fauna could be exposed to active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) via diet, dermal absorption or bioconcentration. Low level exposures of free-ranging wildlife to APIs has only been demonstrated for a few pathways (e.g., ingestion of fish in estuaries by piscivorous birds), and many remain hypothetical (e.g., ingestion of...

Bean, Thomas; Rattner, Barnett A.
Bean, T.G. and Rattner, B.A., 2018, Environmental Contaminants of Health-Care Origin: Exposure and Potential Effects in Wildlife, in Boxall, A.B.A. and Kookana, R.S., editors, Health Care and Environmental Contamination, Elsevier, Environmental Contamination 11, p. 87-122.

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Year Published: 2018

Environmental risks and challenges associated with neonicotinoid insecticides

Neonicotinoid use has increased rapidly in recent years, with a global shift towards insecticide applications as seed coatings rather than aerial spraying. While the use of seed coatings can lessen the amount of overspray and drift, the near universal and prophylactic use of neonicotinoid seed coatings on major agricultural crops has led to...

Hladik, Michelle L.; Main, Anson; Goulson, Dave
Hladik, M.L., Main, A.R., Goulson, D., 2018, Environmental risks and challenges associated with neonicotinoid insecticides, Environ. Sci. Technol.

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Year Published: 2018

Foraging and fasting can influence contaminant concentrations in animals: an example with mercury contamination in a free-ranging marine mammal

Large fluctuations in animal body mass in relation to life-history events can influence contaminant concentrations and toxicological risk. We quantified mercury concentrations in adult northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) before and after lengthy at sea foraging trips (n = 89) or fasting periods on land (n = 27), and showed that...

Peterson, Sarah H.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Crocker, Daniel E.; Costa, Daniel P.
Peterson, SH, JT Ackerman, DE Crocker, DP Costa. 2018. Foraging and fasting can influence contaminant concentrations in animals: an example with mercury contamination in a free-ranging marine mammal. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 285: 20172782. doi:10.1098/rspb.2017.2782

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Year Published: 2018

Factors affecting mercury stable isotopic distribution in piscivorous fish of the Laurentian Great Lakes

Identifying the sources of methylmercury (MeHg) and tracing the transformations of mercury (Hg) in the aquatic food web are important components of effective strategies for managing current and legacy Hg sources. In our previous work, we measured stable isotopes of Hg (δ202Hg, Δ199Hg, and Δ200Hg) in the Laurentian Great Lakes and estimated source...

Janssen, Sarah E.; Yin, Runsheng; Ogorek, Jacob M.; DeWild, John F.; Tate, Michael T.; Holsen, Thomas M.; Hurley, James P.; Lepak, Ryan F.; Janssen, Sarah E.; Yin, Runsheng; Krabbenhoft, David P.; Ogorek, Jacob M.; DeWild, John F.; Tate, Michael T.; Holsen, Thomas M.; Hurley, James P.

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Year Published: 2018

Egg turning behavior and incubation temperature in Forster’s terns in relation to mercury contamination

Egg turning behavior is an important determinant of egg hatchability, but it remains relatively understudied. Here, we examined egg turning rates and egg temperatures in Forster’s terns (Sterna forsteri). We used artificial eggs containing a data logger with a 3-D accelerometer, a magnetometer, and a temperature thermistor to monitor parental...

Taylor, Gregory T.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Shaffer, Scott A.
Taylor, GT, JT Ackerman, and SA Shaffer. 2018. Egg turning behavior and incubation temperature in Forster’s terns in relation to mercury contamination. PLoS ONE 13(2):e0191390. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0191390

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Year Published: 2018

Mercury concentrations in multiple tissues of Kittlitz's murrelets (Brachyramphus brevirostris)

Mercury (Hg) is a non-essential, toxic metal that is distributed worldwide. Mercury biomagnifies in food webs and can threaten the health of top predators such as seabirds. The Kittlitz's murrelet (Brachyramphus brevirostris) is a seabird endemic to Alaska and the Russian Far East and is a species of conservation concern in the region. We...

Kenney, Leah A.; Kaler, Robb S.; Kissling, Michelle L.; Bond, Alexander L.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.
Kenney, L.A., Kaler, R.S., Kissling, M.L., Bond, A.L., Eagles-Smith, C.A., 2017, Mercury concentrations in multiple tissues of Kittlitz's murrelets (Brachyramphus brevirostris): Marine Pollution Bulletin, p. online, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.10.055.

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Year Published: 2018

Shrubland carbon sink depends upon winter water availability in the warm deserts of North America

Global-scale studies suggest that dryland ecosystems dominate an increasing trend in the magnitude and interannual variability of the land CO2 sink. However, such model-based analyses are poorly constrained by measured CO2 exchange in open shrublands, which is the most common global land cover type, covering ∼14% of Earth’s surface. Here...

Biederman, Joel A. ; Scott, Russell L.; John A. Arnone; Jasoni, Richard L. ; Litvak, Marcy E.; Moreo, Michael T.; Papuga, Shirley A.; Ponce-Campos, Guillermo E.; Schreiner-McGraw, Adam P. ; Vivoni, Enrique R.
Biederman, J.A., Scott, R.L., Arnone III, J.A., Jasoni, R.L., Litvak, M.E., Moreo, M.T., Papuga, S.A., Ponce-Campos, G.E., Schreiner-McGraw, A.P., Vivoni, E.R., 2018, Shrubland carbon sink depends upon winter water availability in the warm deserts of North America: Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, v. 249, p. 407-419, url: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168192317303787.

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Year Published: 2018

Year-round presence of neonicotinoid insecticides in tributaries to the Great Lakes, USA

To better characterize the transport of neonicotinoid insecticides to the world's largest freshwater ecosystem, monthly samples (October 2015–September 2016) were collected from 10 major tributaries to the Great Lakes, USA. For the monthly tributary samples, neonicotinoids were detected in every month sampled and five of the six target...

Hladik, Michelle; Corsi, Steven R.; Kolpin, Dana W.; Baldwin, Austin K.; Blackwell, Brett R.; Cavallin, Jenna E.
Hladik, M.L., Corsi, S.R., Kolpin, D.W., Baldwin, A.K., Blackwell, B.R., Cavallin, J.E., 2018, Perennial presence of neonicotinoid insecticides in tributaries to The Great Lakes, USA, Env. Pollut.

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Year Published: 2018

Regional variability of nitrate fluxes in the unsaturated zone and groundwater, Wisconsin, USA

Process-based modeling of regional NO3− fluxes to groundwater is critical for understanding and managing water quality, but the complexity of NO3− reactive transport processes make implementation a challenge. This study introduces a regional vertical flux method (VFM) for efficient estimation of reactive transport of NO3− in the vadose zone and...

Green, Christopher T.; Liao, Lixia; Nolan, Bernard T.; Juckem, Paul F.; Shope, Christopher L.; Tesoriero, Anthony J.; Jurgens, Bryant C.
Green, C. T., Liao, L., Nolan, B. T., Juckem, P. F., Shope, C. L., Tesoriero, A. J., & Jurgens, B. C. (2018). Regional variability of nitrate fluxes in the unsaturated zone and groundwater, Wisconsin, USA. Water Resources Research, 54. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017WR022012

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Year Published: 2018

Assessing intrinsic and specific vulnerability models ability to indicate groundwater vulnerability to groups of similar pesticides: A comparative study

With continued population growth and increasing use of fresh groundwater resources, protection of this valuable resource is critical. A cost effective means to assess risk of groundwater contamination potential will provide a useful tool to protect these resources. Integrating geospatial methods offers a means to quantify the risk of contaminant...

Douglas, Steven H.; Dixon, Barnali; Griffin, Dale W.
Douglas, S.H, Dixon, Barnali, and Griffin, Dale, 2018, Assessing intrinsic and specific vulnerability models ability to indicate groundwater vulnerability to groups of similar pesticides: a comparative study: Physical Geography, pp. 1-19. https://doi.org/10.1080/02723646.2017.1406300