I am a "dirty water biologist" with interests and experience in water pollution ecology in streams, that is, relating human-influences on stream environments to biological effects and estimating risks of adverse effects. My recent interests and work have included effects of mining and trace elements on stream ecosystems, developing biotic ligand models (BLMs) to predict effects of metal mixtures in natural waters, and studies of nutrient enrichments and eutrophication in streams.
My professional interests and experience are focused on water pollution ecology in streams, that is, relating human-influences on stream environments to biological effects and estimating risks of adverse effects. Particular areas of interests include:
*Effects of nutrient enrichment on stream ecosystems. Particular aspects of interest include 1) factors limiting nuisance growth in rooted aquatic plants vs. algae, 2) integrating experimental and field bioassessment information between factors such nutrients, flows, algae and plants
*Ecological risk assessment, in particular predicting risks, adverse effects, and safe concentrations of trace metals in freshwater ecosystems. Particular aspects of interest include 1) water quality criteria development; 2) expanding the use of predictive toxicity models, with a recent emphasis on the biotic ligand model (BLM) with cadmium, cobalt, copper, lead, nickel, and zinc; 3) relating ecotoxicology testing to natural systems through population modeling or field studies
* Use of aquatic bioassessment or biomonitoring techniques to interpret changing environmental conditions.
The publications listed are from an automatic feed from USGS Publications Warehouse. It's somewhat random and most are paywalled. A more structured listing is available elsewhere (Google Scholar), and those full-text versions that may legally be freely shared are also available elsewhere (ResearchGate). The full-text of most publications is also available in PDF format by sending an e-mail.
Science and Products
Assessing time-integrated dissolved concentrations and predicting toxicity of metals during diel cycling in streams
Evaluating water quality and the health of aquatic organisms is challenging in systems with systematic diel (24 hour) or less predictable runoff-induced changes in water composition. To advance our understanding of how to evaluate environmental health in these dynamic systems, field studies of diel cycling were conducted in two streams (Silver...Balistrieri, Laurie S.; Nimick, David A.; Mebane, Christopher A.
Influence of dissolved organic carbon on toxicity of copper to a unionid mussel (Villosa iris) and a cladoceran (Ceriodaphnia dubia) in acute and chronic water exposures
Acute and chronic toxicity of copper (Cu) to a unionid mussel (Villosa iris) and a cladoceran (Ceriodaphnia dubia) were determined in water exposures at four concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC; nominally 0.5, 2.5, 5, and 10 mg/L as carbon [C]). Test waters with DOC concentrations of 2.5 to 10 mg C/L were prepared by mixing a...Wang, Ning; Mebane, Christopher A.; Kunz, James L.; Ingersoll, Christopher G.; Brumbaugh, William G.; Santore, Robert C.; Gorsuch, Joseph W.; Arnold, W. Ray
Incubating rainbow trout in soft water increased their later sensitivity to cadmium and zinc
Water hardness is well known to affect the toxicity of some metals; however, reports on the influence of hardness during incubation or acclimation on later toxicity to metals have been conflicting. We incubated rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) near the confluence of two streams, one with soft water and one with very-soft water (average...Mebane, Christopher A.; Hennessy, Daniel P.; Dillon, Frank S.
Relevance of risk predictions derived from a chronic species sensitivity distribution with cadmium to aquatic populations and ecosystems
Criteria to protect aquatic life are intended to protect diverse ecosystems, but in practice are usually developed from compilations of single-species toxicity tests using standard test organisms that were tested in laboratory environments. Species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) developed from these compilations are extrapolated to set aquatic...Mebane, C.A.
Evaluation of acute copper toxicity to juvenile freshwater mussels (fatmucket, lampsilis siliquoidea) in natural and reconstituted waters
The influence of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and water composition on the toxicity of copper to juvenile freshwater mussels (fatmucket, Lampsilis siliquoidea) were evaluated in natural and reconstituted waters. Acute 96‐h copper toxicity tests were conducted at four nominal DOC concentrations (0, 2.5, 5, and 10 mg/L as carbon [C]) in...Wang, N.; Mebane, C.A.; Kunz, J.L.; Ingersoll, C.G.; May, T.W.; Arnold, W.R.; Santore, R.C.; Augspurger, T.; Dwyer, F.J.; Barniiart, M.C.
Developing acute-to-chronic toxicity ratios for lead, cadmium, and zinc using rainbow trout, a mayfly, and a midge
In order to estimate acute-to-chronic toxicity ratios (ACRs) relevant to a coldwater stream community, we exposed rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) to cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn) in 96-h acute and 60+ day early-life stage (ELS) exposures. We also tested the acute and sublethal responses of a mayfly (Baetis tricaudatus) and a midge (...Mebane, C.A.; Hennessy, D.P.; Dillon, F.S.
Influence of flow-through and renewal exposures on the toxicity of copper to rainbow trout
We examined changes in water chemistry and copper (Cu) toxicity in three paired renewal and flow-through acute bioassays with rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Test exposure methodology influenced both exposure water chemistry and measured Cu toxicity. Ammonia and organic carbon concentrations were higher and the fraction of dissolved Cu lower...Welsh, P.G.; Lipton, J.; Mebane, C.A.; Marr, J.C.A.
Sensitivity of mottled sculpins (Cottus bairdi) and rainbow trout (Onchorhynchus mykiss) to acute and chronic toxicity of cadmium, copper, and zinc
Studies of fish communities of streams draining mining areas suggest that sculpins (Cottus spp.) may be more sensitive than salmonids to adverse effects of metals. We compared the toxicity of zinc, copper, and cadmium to mottled sculpin (C. bairdi) and rainbow trout (Onchorhynchus mykiss) in laboratory toxicity tests. Acute (96-h) and early...Besser, John M.; Mebane, Christopher A.; Mount, David R.; Ivey, Chris D.; Kunz, James L.; Greer, I. Eugene; May, Thomas W.; Ingersoll, Christopher G.
An evaluation of freshwater mussel toxicity data in the derivation of water quality guidance and standards for copper
The state of Oklahoma has designated several areas as freshwater mussel sanctuaries in an attempt to provide freshwater mussel species a degree of protection and to facilitate their reproduction. We evaluated the protection afforded freshwater mussels by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) hardness-based 1996 ambient copper water...March, F.A.; Dwyer, F.J.; Augspurger, T.; Ingersoll, C.G.; Wang, N.; Mebane, C.A.
Cadmium risks to freshwater life: derivation and validation of low-effect criteria values using laboratory and field studies
In 2001, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released updated aquatic life criteria for cadmium. Since then, additional data on the effects of cadmium to aquatic life have become available from studies supported by the EPA, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (IDEQ), and the U.S. Geological Survey, among other sources. Updated...Mebane, Christopher A.
Historical and current perspectives on fish assemblages of the Snake River, Idaho and Wyoming
The Snake River is the tenth longest river in the United States, extending 1,667 km from its origin in Yellowstone National Park in western Wyoming to its union with the Columbia River at Pasco, Washington. Historically, the main-stem Snake River upstream from the Hells Canyon Complex supported at least 26 native fish species, including anadromous...Maret, T.R.; Mebane, C.A.
The case for regime-based water quality standards
Conventional water quality standards have been successful in reducing the concentration of toxic substances in US waters. However, conventional standards are based on simple thresholds and are therefore poorly structured to address human-caused imbalances in dynamic, natural water quality parameters, such as nutrients, sediment, and temperature. A...Poole, Geoffrey C.; Dunham, J.B.; Keenan, D.M.; Sauter, S.T.; McCullough, D.A.; Mebane, Christopher; Lockwood, Jeffrey C.; Essig, Don A.; Hicks, Mark P.; Sturdevant, Debra J.; Materna, E.J.; Spalding, M.; Risley, John; Deppman, Marianne