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- Characterization of Triclocarban, Methyl- Triclosan, and Triclosan in Water, Sediment, and Corbicula Fluminea (Müller, 1774) Using Laboratory, in Situ, and Field Assessments
- In the last decade emerging contaminants research has intensified in a bid to answer questions about fate, transport, and effects as these chemicals as they get released into the environment. The chemicals of interest were the antimicrobials; triclocarban (TCC) and triclosan (TCS), and a metabolite of triclosan, methyl triclosan (MTCS). This research was designed to answer the question: what is the fate of these chemicals once they are released from the waste water treatment plant into receiving streams. Three different assessment methods; field monitoring, in-situ experiments, and laboratory studies were used to answer the overall question. TCS, TCC, and MTCS levels were measured in surface water, sediment and the Asiatic clam Corbicula fluminea. Field studies were conducted using four sites at Pecan Creek, Denton TX. Levels of all three chemicals in clams were up to fives orders of magnitude the water concentrations but an order of magnitude lower than in sediment. Highest sediment levels of chemicals were measured in samples from the mouth of Pecan Creek (highest organic matter). TCC was the most and TCS was the least accumulated chemicals. In-situ and lab studies both indicated that uptake of these chemicals into the clams was very rapid and measurable within 24hours of exposure. The after clams were transferred into clean water most of the compounds were depurated within 14 days.
- Comparison of Bare Root vs. Potted Plants, Species Selection, and Caging Types for Restoration of a Prairie Wetland, and Quantitative Analysis and Descriptive Survey of Plant Communities and Associations at Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area (LLELA), Lewisville, TX
- Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area (LLELA) is an 809-hectare property in Denton County, TX. A study of the vegetation community identified 466 species in 104 families, with 25% of the species from only two families, Asteraceae and Poaceae. The property demonstrates the characteristics of an early successional community, dominated by weedy species. Prairie communities are dominated by Johnson grass and ragweed, with climax tall grass prairie communities only in areas that have been planted with native grass seed. Forest communities are similarly in an early successional stage, dominated by the hackberry-elm-ash alliance, with small remnants of native Cross Timbers found in isolated patches. Species richness and diversity were highest in the forests and lowest in the wetlands; evenness, though not different across ecosystems, demonstrated a strong seasonal component. The species list was compared with previously reported lists for Denton County, and 256 species identified had not been previously reported for the county. A wetland restoration study was conducted to determine if there was a difference in survival and growth between potted transplants with intact root systems and bare-root transplants. Two different mesh sizes were used for protection, and the success of the different caging was evaluated. Of eight species, only four survived through the second growing season. There was no significant difference in the success of the propagule types for Sagittaria latifolia. The treatments planted with intact root systems showed significantly higher growth and reproduction than the bare-root treatments for Eleocharis quadrangulata, Heteranthera dubia, and Vallisneria americana. There was no survival recorded in the coarse mesh cages, likely due to the presence of crayfish that are able to get through the coarser mesh and feed on the transplants.
- Concentrations of Triclosan in the City of Denton Wastewater Treatment Plant, Pecan Creek, and the Influent and Effluent of an Experimental Constructed Wetland
- The Pecan Creek Waste Reclamation Plant in Denton, Texas, an activated sludge WWTP, was sampled monthly for ten months to determine seasonal and site variation in concentrations of triclosan (5-chloro-2-(2,4-dichlorophenoxy)phenol), an antibacterial additive. SNK separation after the highly significant ANOVA on ranked data were: summer = fall > winter = spring and influent > downstream = effluent = wetland inflow > wetland outflow (a=0.05). After the plant converted to ultraviolet disinfection, measurements were made before and after the UV basin to determine if significant amounts of triclosan were converted to dioxin. Percent loss at each of the treatment steps was determined. Concentrations of triclosan in the downstream site were below the published NOEC for the most sensitive species.
- Ecotoxicological Investigations in Effluent-Dominated Stream Mesocosms
- The University of North Texas Stream Research Facility (UNTSRF) was designed to examine contaminant impacts on effluent-dominated stream ecosystems. Stream mesocosms, fed municipal effluent from the City of Denton, TX, Pecan Creek Water Reclamation Plant (PCWRP), were treated with 0, 15 or 140 µg/L cadmium for a 10-day study in August 2000. Laboratory toxicity test and stream macroinvertebrate responses indicated that cadmium bioavailability was reduced by constituents of effluent-dominated streams. The Biotic Ligand Model (BLM) for Cd was used to predict a 48 hour Cd EC50 for Ceriodaphnia dubia of 280 µg/L in these effluent-dominated streams. This value is higher that an EC50 of 38.3 µg/L Cd and a 7-day reproduction effect level of 3.3 µg/L Cd generated for C. dubia in reconstituted laboratory hard water. These results support use of a cadmium BLM for establishing site-specific acute water quality criteria in effluent-dominated streams. Although not affected by 15 µg/L treatments, organisms accumulated Cd in 15 µg/L treated streams. Hence, over longer exposure periods, Cd accumulation may increase and a no effect level may be lower than the observed 10-day no effect level of 15 µg/L. A toxicity identification evaluation procedure was utilized with in vitro and in vivo bioassays to identify estrogenic compounds in PCWRP effluent, previously identified to seasonally induce vitellogenin (VTG) in male fathead minnows. Steroids, nonylphenol ethoxylate metabolites, and other unidentified compounds were identified as causative effluent estrogens. These findings suggest that in vivo VTG bioassays should be used to confirm in vitro Yeast Estrogen Screening assay activity when effluents are fractionated or screened for estrogenicity. A subsequent 90-day cadmium study was initiated to assess long-term effluent and cadmium effects on fish endocrine function. Juvenile fathead minnows were placed in UNTSRF pool sections of replicate streams treated with 0, 5, 20 or 80 µg/L Cd. Male VTG was induced at each treatment level, indicating that PCWRP effluent was estrogenic during fall 2001. 20 and 80 µg/L Cd treatments reduced male circulating estradiol levels and critical swimming performance. Future studies are needed to assess impacts of environmental estrogen exposure on fish calcium metabolism and vertebral integrity.
- Determination of Habitat Preferences of Pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) on the Rolling Plains of Texas Using GIS and Remote Sensing
- The Rocker b Ranch on the southern Rolling Plains has one of the last sizeable populations of pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) in Texas. To investigate habitat utilization on the ranch, pronghorn were fitted with GPS/VHF collars and were released into pastures surrounded by a variety of fences to determine how fence types affected habitat selection. Habitat parameters chosen for analysis were vegetation, elevation, slope, aspect, and distances to water, roads, and oil wells. Results showed that pronghorn on the ranch crossed modified fencing significantly less than other types of fencing. Pronghorn selected for all habitat parameters to various degrees, with the most important being vegetation type. Habitat selection could be attributed to correspondence of vegetation type with other parameters or spatial arrangements of physical features of the landscape. Seasonal differences in habitat utilization were evident, and animals tended to move shorter distances at night than they did during daylight hours.
- Density, Distribution and Habitat Requirements for the Ozark Pocket Gopher (Geomys Bursarius Ozarkensis)
- A new subspecies of the plains pocket gopher (Geomys bursarius ozarkensis), located in the Ozark Mountains of north central Arkansas, was recently described by Elrod et al. (2000). Current range for G. b. ozarkensis was established, habitat preference was assessed by analyzing soil samples, vegetation and distance to stream and potential pocket gopher habitat within the current range was identified. A census technique was used to estimate a total density of 3, 564 pocket gophers. Through automobile and aerial survey 51 known fields of inhabitance were located extending the range slightly. Soil analyses indicated loamy sand as the most common texture with a slightly acidic pH and a broad range of values for other measured soil parameters and 21 families of vegetation were identified. All inhabited fields were located within an average of 107.2m from waterways and over 1,600 hectares of possible suitable habitat was identified.
- Effects of Sublethal Copper Exposure on Escape Behavior and Growth of Rana pipiens Tadpoles
- This research is designed to test how sublethal exposure to copper affects tadpole predator-escape behavior and how quickly tadpoles recover. After exposure, tadpoles were separated. Escape behavior was recorded for two-thirds of exposed tadpoles while one-third of the exposed population was measured weekly to determine growth and recovery. Control tadpoles were consumed within 15 minutes whereas those exposed to higher concentrations were consumed at a slower rate, which does not support the hypotheses. Although the rate of predation was lower, tadpoles exposed to higher Cu concentrations were on average, 1.47 cm in total body length. Those exposed to 0.93 mg/L averaged 0.86 cm. After being placed into clean water, treatment tadpoles recovered after 20 days.
- Comparative Bioavailability of Dietary and Dissolved Cadmium to Freshwater Aquatic Snails
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Heavy metal bioaccumulation in aquatic organisms may occur through direct or indirect uptake routes. Research indicates that the significance of uptake route varies with contaminant and organism exposed. The relative importance of different metal sources in aquatic systems was investigated by exposing freshwater snails to dietary or dissolved sources of cadmium. Snails were exposed to control, contaminated food only, contaminated water only, and contaminated food and water treatments. During the 15-day exposure, samples were taken to determine Cd concentration in snail soft tissue, snail shell, algal food, and overlying water. Analyses of snail soft tissue and shells indicate that exposure route significantly affects Cd concentrations in the tissues. In both cases, dissolved Cd is the primary contributor to metal body burden.
- Phosphorus Retention and Fractionation in Masonry Sand and Light Weight Expanded Shale Used as Substrate in a Subsurface Flow Wetland
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Constructed wetlands are considered an inefficient technology for long-term phosphorus (P) removal. The P retention effectiveness of subsurface wetlands can be improved by using appropriate substrates. The objectives of this study were to: (i) use sorption isotherms to estimate the P sorption capacity of the two materials, masonry sand and light weight expanded shale; (ii) describe dissolved P removal in small (2.7 m3) subsurface flow wetlands; (iii) quantify the forms of P retained by the substrates in the pilot cells; and (iv) use resulting data to assess the technical and economic feasibility of the most promising system to remove P. The P sorption capacity of masonry sand and expanded shale, as determined with Langmuir isotherms, was 60 mg/kg and 971 mg/kg respectively. In the pilot cells receiving secondarily treated wastewater, cells containing expanded shale retained a greater proportion of the incoming P (50.8 percent) than cells containing masonry sand (14.5 percent). After a year of operation, samples were analyzed for total P (TP) and total inorganic P (TIP). Subsamples were fractionated into labile-P, Fe+Al-bound P, humic-P, Ca+Mg-bound P, and residual-P. Means and standard deviations of TP retained by the expanded shale and masonry sand were 349 + 169 and 11.9 + 18.6 mg/kg respectively. The largest forms of P retained by the expanded shale pilot cells were Fe+Al- bound P (108 mg/kg), followed by labile-P (46.7 mg/kg) and humic-P (39.8). Increases in the P forms of masonry sand were greatest in labile-P (7.5 mg/kg). The cost of an expanded shale wetland is within the range of costs conventional technologies for P removal. Accurate cost comparisons are dependent upon expansion capacity of the system under consideration. Materials with a high P sorption capacity also have potential for enhancing P removal in other constructed wetland applications such as stormwater wetlands and wetlands for treating agricultural runoff.
- The potential of coelomocyte chemotaxis as an immune biomarker in the earthworm, Lumbricus terrestris
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Coelomocyte migration responses, both random and chemotatic, were examined in the earthworm Lumbricus terrestris. Coelomocyte random migration patterns towards non-stimulatory, non-chemotatic solutions were described. Migration responses to immunostimulatory agents lipopolysaccharides (LPS), N-formly-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (FMLP), sheep erythrocytes, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Aeromonas hydrophila, Eisenia fetida and Rhabditis pellio were characterized. Chemotaxis was reported to LPS, FMLP, sheep erythrocytes, S. cerivesae and E. fetida. Bio-indicator potential of chemotaxis is discussed relative to variability in migration responses.
- Ecological Enhancement of Timber Growth: Applying Compost to Loblolly Pine Plantations
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This study explored the application of compost onto a small loblolly pine tree forest in northeast Texas. Its purpose was to determine if the application of various amounts of compost would provide for accelerated rates of growth for the trees. Soil parameters were also monitored. A total of 270 trees were planted and studied in a northeast Texas forest ecosystem. Compost rates of 5, 25, and 50 tons per acre with either soil or compost backfill were utilized and compared to a control without compost. Nonparametric and parametric ANOVA and Chi-Square tests were utilized. The results indicated that greater application rates retained greater moisture and higher pH levels in the soil. Compost applications also yielded a greater survival rate as well as larger tree height and diameter when compared to the control. The 25 ton/acre application backfilled in native soil achieved the greatest average in height and diameter when compared to the averages for the control plot. Greater growth differences for the 25S application can be attributed to additional nutrients coupled with a stable pH consistent with native soil acidity.
- An Assessment of the Use of Seeding, Mowing, and Burning in the Restoration of an Oldfield to Tallgrass Prairie in Lewisville, Texas
- An examination of the effectiveness of seeding, burning, and mowing in the reestablishment of tallgrass prairie species on overgrazed and abandoned pastureland. The study site is a 20 acre tract on U.S. Corps of Engineers land below Lake Lewisville in Denton County, Texas. The site was partitioned into thirty-nine 40 by 40 meter plots with seeding (carried out in 1996) and management treatment (burning, mowing, and no maintenance carried out in 1998) randomly applied following a two level design. For each plot, nine stratified-random 0.1 m2 subplots were examined and shoot counts for each species recorded. The effects of the treatments on individual species and species richness were analyzed with a two-way ANOVA followed by a SNK multiple range test, both on ranked data. Community level analysis was conducted with both a MANOVA on ranked data and a Canonical Correspondence Analysis on raw data. Results indicate that seeding positively affected species richness, particularly when combined with either burning or mowing in the early spring. Mowing also significantly increased species richness in areas that were not seeded, while burning negatively affected species richness on unseeded plots. Treatments significantly affected community composition with treatments having the most clear effect on spring and summer forbs.
- Assessing the Spatial and Temporal Distribution of MTBE and BTEX Compounds in Lake Lewisville, Texas February 1999 - February 2000
- The spatial and temporal distribution of Methyl Tertiary-Butyl Ether (MTBE) and BTEX (Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, Xylenes) compounds were assessed in a multipurpose reservoir, Lake Lewisville, Texas between February 1999 and February 2000. Concentrations of MTBE ranged from 0.0 - 16.7 mg/L. Levels of MTBE in the lake were related to watercraft. BTEX concentrations were never detected above 2.0 mg/L during the sampling period. Finished drinking water from Denton and the Upper Trinity Regional Water District (UTRWD) Treatment Plants were also tested for MTBE and BTEX. MTBE and BTEX were not detected in UTRWD water samples. Denton's finished water samples never exceeded 2.2 mg/L for MTBE and BTEX was not detected except for one replicate of 1.1 mg/L toluene.
- Assessment of the efficacy of a constructed wetland to reduce or remove wastewater effluent estrogenicity and toxicity using biomarkers in male fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas Rafinesque, 1820).
- Vitellogenin in Pimephales promelas was used to assess estrogenicity of a local municipal effluent. Vitellogenin induction in male P. promelas increased in frequency and magnitude with increased exposure duration and was greater ("=0.05) than controls after 2 and 3 weeks of exposure. The level of vitellogenesis induced by effluent exposure was high compared to similar studies. A spring season evaluation followed. Biomarkers in P. promelas were used to assess the efficacy of a treatment wetland to remove toxicity and estrogenicity in final treated wastewater effluent. Comparisons were made with an effluent dominated stream and laboratory controls. Vitellogenin, GSIs (gonado-somatic indices), HSIs (hepato-somatic indices) and secondary sexual characteristics were biomarkers used in P. promelas models to assess aqueous estrogenicity. Biological indicators used to assess general fish health included hematocrit and condition factors. The estrogenic nature of the effluent was screened, concurrent with fish exposure, with GC/MS analysis for target estrogenic compounds including: 17-b estradiol, estrone, ethynylestradiol, Bisphenol A, nonylphenolic compounds, phthalates, and DDT. Plasma vitellogenin measured in P. promelas was significantly elevated (p < 0.0001) at the inflow site of the wetland and stream sites. GSIs for these exposures were less (a=0.001) at the wetland inflow site. At wetland sites closest to the inflow, secondary sexual charateristics, tubercle numbers and fat pad thickness, were less (a=0.0001). Hematocrit and condition factors were less (a=0.001) at sites closer to the wetland inflow. Seasonal variation was examined by repeating the effluent characterization in summer. Additionally, summer testing included exposure to an effluent dilution series. Fish condition heavily influenced interpretation of the results. Pre-acclimation exposure to spawning stresses may have altered many of the biological markers measured. Results are discussed relative to fish health and pre-exposure environment. Toxicity assessed with P. promelas biomarkers was compared with Ceriodaphnia dubia and Vibrio fischeri toxicty tests on this effluent. Biomarkers of fish health were somewhat less sensitive than C. dubia test endpoints, but more sensitive than V. fisheri.
- Geology as a Georegional Influence on Quercus Fagaceae Distribution in Denton and Coke Counties of Central and North Central Texas and Choctaw County of Southeastern Oklahoma, Using GIS as an Analytical Tool.
- This study elucidates the underlying relationships for the distribution of oak landcover on bedrock and soil orders in two counties in Texas and one in Oklahoma. ESRI's ArcGis and ArcMap was used to create surface maps for Denton and Coke Counties, Texas and Choctaw County, Oklahoma. Attribute tables generated in GIS were exported into a spreadsheet software program and frequency tables were created for every formation and soil order in the tri-county research area. The results were both a visual and numeric distribution of oaks in the transition area between the eastern hardwood forests and the Great Plains. Oak distributions are changing on this transition area of the South Central Plains. The sandy Woodbine and Antlers formations traditionally associated with the largest oak distribution are carrying oak coverage of approximately 31-32% in Choctaw and Denton Counties. The calcareous Blackland and Grand Prairies are traditionally associated with treeless grasslands, but are now carrying oak and other tree landcover up to 18.9%. Human intervention, including the establishment of artificial, political and social boundaries, urbanization, farming and fire control have altered the natural distribution of oaks and other landcover of this unique georegion.
- Evaluating Tree Seedling Survival and Growth in a Bottomland Old-field Site: Implications for Ecological Restoration
- In order to assess the enhancement of seedling survival and growth during drought conditions, five-hundred bare-root seedlings each of Shumard oak (Quercus shumardii Buckl.) and green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marsh.) were planted each with four soil amendments at a Wildlife Management Area in Lewisville, Texas. The treatments were a mycorrhizal inoculant, mulch fabric, and two superabsorbent gels (TerraSorb® and DRiWATER®). Survival and growth measurements were assessed periodically for two years. Research was conducted on vegetation, soil, and site history for baseline data. Both superabsorbent gels gave significant results for Shumard oak survival, and one increased green ash diameter. For overall growth, significant results were found among DRiWATER®, mycorrhizae, and mulch treatments.
- Effects on Survival, Reproduction and Growth of Ceriodaphnia dubia following Single Episodic Exposure to Copper or Cadmium
- Effects of episodic exposures have gained attention as the regulatory focus of the Clean Water Act has shifted away from continuous-flow effluents. Standardized laboratory toxicity tests require that exposure be held constant. However, this approach may not accurately predict organism responses in the field following episodic exposures such as those associated with rain-driven runoff events or accidental pollutant discharge. Using a modified version of the 7-day short-term chronic test recommended by the US Environmental Protection Agency, Ceriodaphnia dubia were exposed to copper or cadmium for durations ranging from 1 minute to 24 hours. In addition, adult reproductive recovery and effects on second generation individuals was assessed following select copper exposures. Finally, cadmium exposures were compared in reconstituted hard water (RHW) and municipal treated wastewater effluent (TWE). Following exposure, organisms were transferred to clean RHW or TWE and maintained for the remainder of the test. No- and lowest observed effect concentrations (NO- and LOECs) increased logarithmically with respect to logarithmic decreases in duration regardless of metal, endpoint or water type. Effective concentrations of cadmium however, were usually higher than those of copper, especially in TWE. LOECs for C. dubia survival following 24-hour and 5-minute exposures to copper were 116 and 417 µg/L, respectively. LOECs for fecundity were 58 and 374 µg/L, respectively. Neonate production of first generation adult C. dubia appeared to recover from pulsed copper exposure upon examination of individual broods. Cumulative mean neonate production however, showed almost no signs of recovery at exposure durations ≥3 hours. Pulse exposure to copper also resulted in diminished fecundity of unexposed second generation individuals. Such effects were pronounced following parental exposure for 24 hours but lacking after parental exposures ≤3 hours. LOECs for C. dubia survival following 24-hour and 5-minute exposures to cadmium in RHW were 44 and 9000 µg/L, respectively. LOECs for fecundity were 16 and 5000 µg/L, respectively. In TWE, LOECs for C. dubia survival were 83 and >10,000 µg/L, respectively. LOECs for fecundity in TWE were 48 and 7000 µg/L, respectively. Runoff pollution is site and event specific, however, data presented herein may be useful as a predictive tool under various conditions.
- Evaluation of a Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio L.) Exclusion and Trapping Device for Use in Aquatic Plant Founder Colony Establishment
- The focus of this study was to design and evaluate a trapping system that would reduce populations of common carp within water bodies in conjunction with establishment of native aquatic macrophytes founder colonies. A pond study and field study were conducted. A pond study was performed at the Lewisville Aquatic Ecosystem Research Facility, located in Lewisville, Texas, followed by a field study within a constructed wetland located in southern Dallas, Texas. For the pond study, twelve funnel traps were constructed (four reps of each type: control, dual-walled and ring cage). Two anti-escape devices were tested with funnels including steel fingers and hinged flaps. Ring cage and dual-walled treatments were planted using native pondweeds, while controls were left unplanted (additional bait and a drift fence scenarios were also tested). Common carp were introduced into the study pond. Chi-square statistical analyses were utilized and showed ring cage treatments using fingers as well as the use of a drift fence to be most effective. Following completion of the pond study, the two most effective treatments (controls and ring cages) were tested within the Dallas, Texas wetland; no carp were caught during the field test.
- Establishment and competitive ability of Nelumbo lutea in relation to Myriophyllum spicatum
- Limitations from reduced light and increasing water depth on Nelumbo lutea seedlings were determined in tank experiments. Survival was high in all tested light levels. Total biomass increased significantly with increasing light. Biomass allocation shifted significantly to root production between 3 and 6 weeks in the 10 and 24% levels. Survival decreased with increasing planting depth, and biomass of survivors reduced significantly between 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 m depths. Nelumbo lutea and Myriophyllum spicatum populations were monitored for one season in a 0.7 ha pond to track changes in species dominance. Myriophyllum spicatum dominated early, and N. lutea dominated from July through October, suppressing M. spicatum at all depths. Competitive interactions between N. lutea and M. spicatum were investigated for two seasons in a container experiment situated within a pond. Where established, N. lutea dominated in the presence of M. spicatum. However, N. lutea could not be established in depths greater than 1 meter.
- Hepatotoxicity of Mercury to Fish
- Tissue samples from spotted gar (Lepisosteus oculatus) and largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) were collected from Caddo Lake. Gar and bass livers were subjected to histological investigation and color analysis. Liver color (as abs at 400 nm) was significantly correlated with total mercury in the liver (r2 = 0.57, p = 0.02) and muscle (r2 = 0.58, p = 0.01) of gar. Evidence of liver damage as lipofuscin and discoloration was found in both species but only correlated with liver mercury concentration in spotted gar. Inorganic mercury was the predominant form in gar livers. In order to determine the role of mercury speciation in fish liver damage, a laboratory feeding study was employed. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) were fed either a control (0.12 ± 0.002 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt), inorganic mercury (5.03 ± 0.309 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt), or methylmercury (4.11 ± 0.146 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt) diet. After 78 days of feeding, total mercury was highest in the carcass of zebrafish fed methylmercury (12.49 ± 0.369 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt), intermediate in those fed inorganic mercury (1.09 ± 0.117 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt), and lowest in fish fed the control diet (0.48 ± 0.038 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt). Total mercury was highest in the viscera of methylmercury fed zebrafish (11.6 ± 1.86 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt), intermediate in those fed inorganic diets (4.3 ± 1.08 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt), and lowest in the control fish (below limit of detection). Total mercury was negatively associated with fish length and weight in methylmercury fed fish. Condition factor was not associated with total mercury and might not be the best measure of fitness for these fish. No liver pathologies were observed in zebrafish from any treatment.
- Evaluation of the Developmental Effects and Bioaccumulation Potential of Triclosan and Triclocarban Using the South African Clawed Frog, Xenopus Laevis
- Triclosan (TCS) and triclocarban (TCC) are antimicrobials found in U.S. surface waters. This dissertation assessed the effects of TCS and TCC on early development and investigated their potential to bioaccumulate using Xenopus laevis as a model. The effects of TCS on metamorphosis were also investigated. For 0-week tadpoles, LC50 values for TCS and TCC were 0.87 mg/L and 4.22 mg/L, respectively, and both compounds caused a significant stunting of growth. For 4-week tadpoles, the LC50 values for TCS and TCC were 0.22 mg/L and 0.066 mg/L; and for 8-week tadpoles, the LC50 values were 0.46 mg/L and 0.13 mg/L. Both compounds accumulated in Xenopus. For TCS, wet weight bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) for 0-, 4- and 8-week old tadpoles were 23.6x, 1350x and 143x, respectively. Lipid weight BAFs were 83.5x, 19792x and 8548x. For TCC, wet weight BAFs for 0-, 4- and 8-week old tadpoles were 23.4x, 1156x and 1310x. Lipid weight BAFs were 101x, 8639x and 20942x. For the time-to-metamorphosis study, TCS showed an increase in weight and snout-vent length in all treatments. Exposed tadpoles metamorphosed approximately 10 days sooner than control tadpoles. For the hind limb study, although there was no difference in weight, snout-vent length, or hind limb length, the highest treatment was more developed compared to the control. There were no differences in tail resorption rates between the treatments and controls. At relevant concentrations, neither TCS nor TCC were lethal to Xenopus prior to metamorphosis. Exposure to relatively high doses of both compounds resulted in stunted growth, which would most likely not be evident at lower concentrations. TCS and TCC accumulated in Xenopus, indicating that the compound has the potential to bioaccumulate through trophic levels. Although TCS may increase the rate of metamorphosis in terms of developmental stage, it did not disrupt thyroid function and metamorphosis in regards to limb development and tail resorption.
- Evaluation of the Economic, Social, and Biological Feasibility of Bioconverting Food Wastes with the Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens)
- Food waste in the waste stream is becoming an important aspect of integrated waste management systems. Current efforts are composting and animal feeding. However, these food waste disposal practices rely on slow thermodynamic processes of composting or finding farmers with domestic animals capable of consuming the food wastes. Bioconversion, a potential alternative, is a waste management practice that converts food waste to insect larval biomass and organic residue. This project uses a native and common non-pest insect in Texas, the black soldier fly, which processes large quantities of food wastes, as well as animal wastes and sewage in its larval stage. The goal of this research is to facilitate the identification and development of the practical parameters of bioconversion methods at a large cafeteria. Three major factors were selected to evaluate the practicality of a bioconversion system: (1) the biological constraints on the species; (2) the economic costs and benefits for the local community; (3) the perception of and interaction between the public and management agencies with respect to the bioconversion process. Results indicate that bioconversion is feasible on all levels. Larvae tolerate and consume food waste as well as used cooking grease, reducing the overall waste volume by 30-70% in a series of experiments, with an average reduction of 50%. The economical benefits are reduced collection costs and profit from the sale of pupae as a feedstuff, which could amount to as much as $1,200 per month under optimal conditions. Social acceptance is possible, but requires education of the public, specifically targeting school children. Potential impediments to social acceptance include historical attitudes and ignorance, which could be overcome through effective educational efforts.
- Green Improvements: A Consumer's Guide to Environmentally and Economically Responsible Home Repairs and Improvements for the North Central Texas Region
- The Consumer's Guide is designed to help consumers by providing guidelines for the purchase of specific energy-efficient household appliances- water heaters, air conditioning and heating systems, windows, dishwashers, refrigerators, clothes washers, and dryers. This serves two major purposes: to decrease the environmental impact of those products and to save consumers money over the lifetime of the products. The seven major appliances covered in this work are things that consumers tend to purchase quickly when their older models wear out and with little research into their energy and/or water efficiency. The guide begins with a general introduction and an explanation of the need for energy conservation. Explanations of how they work, purchasing tips, installation tips, maintenance tips, tips for additional energy efficiency, and case studies are given for each appliance. Printable pamphlets are included at the end.
- Recovery of the Fish Population of a Municipal Wastewater Dominated, North Texas Creek after a Major Chlorine Disturbance
- This study evaluated the effects of a major chlorine disturbance on fish communities in Pecan creek by the City of Denton's Pecan Creek Water Reclamation Plant. Fish communities in Pecan Creek were sampled using a depletion methodology during February, April, July, and November, 1999. February and April sampling events showed that the fish communities were severely impacted by the chlorine. Sampling during July and November showed fish communities recovered in Pecan Creek. The first-twenty minutes of shocking and seining data were analyzed to mirror an equal effort methodology. This methodology was compared to the depletion methodology to see if the equal effort methodology could adequately monitor the recovery of Pecan Creek after the chlorine disturbance. It was determined that the equal effort methodology was capable of monitoring the recovery of Pecan Creek, but could not accurately represent the fisheries community as well as the depletion method. These data using the twenty-minute study were compared to a previous study. Results of this study were similar to those found in a previous study, although fish communities were more severely impacted and took longer to recover.
- The Last Laugh: Selected Edwardian Punch Cartoons of Edward Linley Sambourne
- The illustrative work of Edward Linley Sambourne for Punch magazine during the period 1901-1910 addresses a myriad of political topics prevalent during the Edwardian period in British history. This thesis examines two of those topics - Women's Suffrage and Socialism - through their artistic treatment by one of Britain's most influential periodicals. Through a study of the historical context and iconography of selected cartoons-of-the-week, one is better equipped to understand and appreciate the meaning, message, and humor in the cartoons. Chapter 1 introduces the Sambourne, Punch magazine, and the Edwardian period in general. Chapters 2 and 3 discuss four Women's Suffrage cartoons and four Socialism cartoons respectively. Chapter 4 draws conclusions regarding Sambourne's techniques as a cartoonist as well as the relationship between the text and image in his illustrations.
- Investigation of Lead Hydrolytic Polymerization and Interactions with Organic Ligands in the Soil/Sediment-Water Environment
- The objective of this research was to investigate lead speciation in the soil/sediment-water environment and to better understand how the species affect lead mobility under different environmental conditions. The research involved both field soil and sediment samples as well as standard lead solutions. Field samples were fully characterized and extracted by aqueous and organic solvents. The results were compared and evaluated with the metal speciation model, MINTEQA2. Hydrolytic polymerization and organic complexation studies were conducted with standard lead solutions under controlled experimental conditions. Results of the field samples showed that pH, dissolved cations, ionic strength, dissolved organic matter, and nature of the soil/sediment matrix play major roles in the distribution and mobility of lead (Pb) from contaminated sites. In the aqueous equilibration experiment, the magnitude of Pb2+ solubilization was in the order of pH4>pH7>pH9. The results were in good agreement with MINTEQA2 predictions. An important finding of the research is the detection of Pb polymerization species under controlled experimental conditions. At pH 5.22, Pb polymeric species were formed at rate of 0.03 per day. The role of Pb complexation with organic matter was evaluated in both field and standard samples. Different methodologies showed three types of organically bound Pb. A very small fraction of Pb, in the ppb range, was extractable from the contaminated soil by polar organic solvents. Sequential extractions show that 16.6±1.4 % of the Pb is organically complexed. Complexation of Pb with fulvic acid provided new information on the extent of Pb association with soluble organic matter. The overall results of this research have provided new and useful information regarding Pb speciation in environmental samples. The results, in several instances, have provided verification of MINTEQA2 model's prediction. They also revealed areas of disagreement between the models prediction and the experimental results. A positive note regarding the experimental work done in the research is the verification of the mass balance in all the repeated experiments.
- Reproductive and Growth Responses of the Fathead Minnow (Pimephales Promelas) and Japanese Medaka (Oryzias Latipes) to the Synthetic Progestin, Norethindrone
- A commonly prescribed contraceptive, the synthetic progestin norethindrone (NET) inhibits ovulation in humans. However, ecotoxicological data are lacking. Preliminary tests produced an LC50 for NET of > 1.0 mg/L (96-hour, fathead minnow (FHM) and medaka) and a NOEC of 242.0 µg/L, a LOEC of 485.0 µg/L (7-day, growth for FHM and medaka). Reproductive testing revealed a LOEC for fecundity of 24.1 ng/L (21 days, medaka). Further testing confirmed the LOEC of 24.1 ng/L while defining a NOEC of 4.7 ng/L (28 days, medaka). Effect of NET in medaka life-cycle exposure at concentrations exceeding 4.7 ng/L was evident. Few females were present in the 24.7 ng/L exposure concentration, with none in the 104.6 ng/L. Egg production was significantly reduced at concentrations exceeding 4.7 ng/L. Additionally, weight, condition factor and somatic indices were significantly different in males exposed to concentrations exceeding 4.7 ng/L. For fecundity and sexual differentiation; the NOEC was 4.7 ng/L, the LOEC 24.6 ng/L; growth and somatic indices, the NOEC was more appropriately 0.9 ng/L, with effect evident at 4.7 ng/L. Sexual differentiation of the F1 population was similar to the F0. A defining result of this test was development of exceptionally large ovaries in NET- exposed female medaka, perhaps indicative of a threshold limit for exposure in these fish. Results of FHM life-cycle testing were similar, establishing a NOEC for fecundity of 0.9 ng/L, a LOEC of 4.8 ng/L. NET's inhibitory effect on gonadal development was obvious; GSI NOEC for males, 4.8 ng/L, and histological examination confirmed the presence of intersex development at elevated concentrations. Normal physical development and growth were impaired, generally at concentrations exceeding 24.1 ng/L. At exposure concentrations exceeding 4.8 ng/L, external sexual confirmation of fish was difficult; LOEC for finspot development in females, 4.8 ng/L. Sexual determination of the 97.1 ng/L exposure group was impossible; externally, all fish appeared male and internal examination revealed no gonadal development.
- Portrait of your stream: Development and assessment of a stream ecology program for middle-school student
- Portrait of Your Stream (POYS) is a stream ecology and student action program designed for use with middle-school students. The program is correlated with learning cycle pedagogical methods emphasizing student-centered lessons and activities in both classroom and outdoor settings. Implementation of a pilot program in the Fall semester of 1999 was used to collect formal and informal responses and data from students and teachers. Data included changes in student knowledge, skills and attitudes and were analyzed for determination of the success of program objectives and modifications to the program. The final POYS program is currently distributed and administered by the Botanical Research Institute of Texas.
- Integration of field-based analysis of plant community dynamics with quantitative analysis of landscape change in the Ray Roberts Lake area, 19871997
- This study focused on the effectiveness of integrating traditional plant community analyses with landscape ecological analyses based on remotely sensed data. A temporal analysis of plant community diversity was conducted for major plant communities of the Ray Roberts Lake area using transect monitoring data collected between 1987 and 1997. Landscape analyses were performed with FRAGSTATS*ARC using classified SPOT satellite imagery for 1987 and 1997. Although the methodology developed in this work was exploratory, it was found that characterizing the dynamics of major plant communities in the study area produced a more effective and insightful analysis of Ray Roberts Lake area landscape dynamics.
- Management Tools for Prescribed Burning for Tallgrass Prairie Restoration at the Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area
- The Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area (LLELA) is a wildlife management area with tallgrass prairie, an endangered ecosystem. Essential ecosystem processes, especially fire, are part of restoration. To support fire management efforts at LLELA and surrounding areas, this project evaluated and developed tools for fire restoration. The four primary prairie grasses respond favorably to burning. Fuel loads and fuel models vary by scale and survey method. One- and 10-hour fuel moisture can be predicted using a statistical model; 100- and 1,000-hour fuel moisture cannot. Historic weather data suggests that burning can occur when it is most effective. The production of ozone precursors produced by burning is comparable to those emitted every six minutes by regional automobiles.
- The impact of invertebrates to four aquatic macrophytes: Potamogeton nodosus, P. illinoensis, Vallisneria americana and Nymphaea mexicana.
- This research investigated the impact of invertebrates to four species of native aquatic macrophytes: V. americana, P. nodosus, P. illinoensis, and N. mexicana. Two treatments were utilized on each plant species, an insecticide treatment to remove most invertebrates and a non-treated control. Ten herbivore taxa were collected during the duration of the study including; Synclita, Paraponyx, Donacia, Rhopalosiphum, and Hydrellia. Macrophyte biomass differences between treatments were not measured for V. americana or N. mexicana. The biomasses of P. nodosus and P. illinoensis in non-treated areas were reduced by 40% and 63% respectively. This indicated that herbivory, once thought to be insignificant to aquatic macrophytes, can cause substantial reductions in biomass.
- Laboratory and field studies of cadmium effects on Hyalella azteca in effluent dominated systems.
- Laboratory single-species toxicity tests are used to assess the effects of contaminants on aquatic biota. Questions remain as to how accurately these controlled toxicity tests predict sitespecific bioavailability and effects of metals. Concurrent 42-day Hyalella azteca exposures were performed with cadmium and final treated municipal effluent in the laboratory and at the University of North Texas Stream Research Facility. Further laboratory testing in reconstituted hard water was also conducted. Endpoints evaluated include survival, growth, reproduction, and Cd body burden. My results demonstrate that laboratory toxicity tests may overestimate toxicity responses to cadmium when compared to effluent dominated stream exposures. Discrepancies between endpoints in the three tests likely resulted from increased food sources and decreased cadmium bioavailability in stream mesocosms
- Managing Cattail (Typha latifolia) Growth in Wetland Systems
- Nutrient availability, water depth, competition, and soil management effects on cattail (Typha latifolia) growth in wetland systems were examined. Soluble reactive phosphorous (SRP), nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N), and ammonia-nitrogen (NH3-N) removals were tested at a constructed wetland receiving municipal wastewater effluent. Over all, no significant differences in nutrients occurred between diverse planted and cattail areas. T. latifolia seeds, under the canopy of Eleochoris macrostachya, had low seed germination. Established stands of emergent vegetation can prevent cattail colonization and spread. Germination of T. latifolia at various water depths was tested, and depth impacts on cattail seedling growth and survival were ascertained using various moist soil management techniques in three ponds. Water levels at 0cm and >40cm can adversely impact cattail establishment.
- Spatial analysis of Atrazine in the Elm Fork Watershed
- This study assessed the water quality of the Elm Fork Watershed with regards to the herbicide Atrazine. Atrazine is a potential environmental endocrine disruptor and carcinogen. Overall, concentrations were lower than the four-quarter drinking water average of 3 µg/Lthe Maximum Contaminant Level set by the USEPA. However, three creek stations had four-quarter average concentrations greater than 3 µg/L, and virtually all samples exceeded the 0.1 µg/L standard set in Europe [1,2]. Statistically significant differences in concentrations were detected between the 27 sampling stations and areas of high concentrations were identified. However correlations between Atrazine concentrations and land-use and precipitation were not statistically significant. Further analysis with more detailed data should be conducted before any relationships are discarded.
- Revisiting Aldo Leopold's "Perfect" Land Health: Conservation and Development in Mexico's Rio Gavilan
- The Rio Gavilan watershed, located in Mexico 's northern Sierra Madre Occidental , has significance in conservation history. Upon visiting the remote, largely undeveloped watershed during two hunting trips in the 1930s, renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold thought it was the best picture of land health he had seen. His main indicators of healthy land were slow water runoff rates regulating erosion and historical predator-prey relationships. The visits confirmed Leopold's concept of land health, inspired many of his essays, and helped shape his land ethic. Leopold proposed the area as a control site to research healthy land throughout North America . The proposal never went forward and the area has since been more intensively logged and grazed. This dissertation research used extensive literature review, archives, oral histories, citizen surveys, and rapid assessment of forest, rangeland, riparian, and socioeconomic health to assess impacts of past cultures and update the area's land health status. Projects that could restore land health, such as linked eco-tourism, forest density reduction, and rotational grazing, were assessed for feasibility. Recent critiques of Leopold's land ethic were also reviewed. Results indicate most pre-1940s impacts were light, current land health status is moderate, and local interest exists in restoring land health. Many fish and wildlife populations are reduced, temporarily stabilized, but still at risk. Soil and riverbed erosion, service sector economics, and (at some ridge-top sites) forest density are the land health indicators in worst condition. Land health restoration projects are feasible.
- Selection and use of aquatic vegetation by migratory waterfowl in north central Texas.
- Assessment of aquatic plant selection by waterfowl has been conducted during the winters of 1997-2000 on 49 0.2-0.79 ha research ponds in north central Texas. Ponds were categorized by dominant plant species into eight habitat types. Census with waterfowl species identification were performed to investigate impacts of aquatic vegetation and water depth on waterfowl. Eighteen waterfowl species were observed. Peak migration occurred in late December/early January. Mixed native ponds and mixed native/hydrilla ponds were the most frequently selected habitat types. The study included correlation analysis between pond water levels and waterfowl use. Full ponds received greatest use followed by half full ponds, while almost empty ponds received minimal use. Time activity budgets were conducted on waterfowl utilizing mixed native and hydrilla ponds to compare waterfowl time partitioning on native aquatic vegetation versus hydrilla. Although only minor differences were found in time budgets, social status appears to be strongly related to habitat selection. Ducks on native ponds were paired (86%), conversely no ducks on hydrilla ponds were paired. Hydrilla pond although frequently utilized, were populated by lower status birds mostly single hens.
- Thresholds in avian communities at multiple scales: Relationships between birds, forests, habitats, and landscapes in the Ray Roberts greenbelt, Denton
- Environmental management agencies make efforts to reduce pollution loading in streams and rivers by promoting vegetated buffer zones between human activity and water. Most of these efforts do not mesh water quality-based buffer zone width requirements with conservation and wildlife values, specifically, the use of these riparian forest corridors for wildlife dispersal between habitats in highly fragmented landscapes. Forest interior birds are of the most concern to management in riparian forests due to their population declines across much of their breeding range. This dissertation investigates the role that landscape-level and habitat-level factors play on the presence of breeding birds in riparian forests, particularly the landscape and habitat factors that are influenced by human-caused fragmentation. This study describes research at the Ray Roberts Greenbelt, Denton, Texas, that explores the relationships between the landscape and forest habitats of the Greenbelt with its breeding bird community. The major findings of this study are that bird communities in the corridor forests are associated with a greater array of factors than are bird communities in patches, suggesting that the birds of patch forests are somewhat insulated from landscape-scale effects. Also, habitat values can be maintained in corridors, but there does not seem to be a significant relationship between the bird communities and the habitat. Forest factors are the primary influences (as inferred from the number of associations and the relative strength of these associations) on the bird communities of the Ray Roberts Greenbelt. Thresholds of richness or abundance in the amount of forest as compared with the forest interior bird community suggest that patches are better than corridors to support this community, and that the more interior forest available, the better for forest interior birds. The suggested minimum amount of forest derived from these thresholds is 35% of the amount of forest within 1 kilometer of any given part of the Greenbelt. Thresholds in forest width for avian communities suggest a minimum width of 200 m for any corridor. Thresholds in distance from interior forest suggest that the forest interior bird community can be best supported by shorter corridors that connect larger patches, with a suggested maximum corridor length of 125 m.
- Spatial and Temporal Patterns of Areal and Volumetric Phytoplankton Productivity of Lake Texoma
- Phytoplankton productivity of Lake Texoma was measured for one year from August 1999 to August 2000 for four stations, using the oxygen change method and laboratory incubation. Mean values of the photosynthetic parameters, PBmax and alphaB ranged from 4.86 to 46.39 mg O2.mg Chl-1.hr-1 for PBmax and 20.06 to 98.96 mg O2.mg Chl-1.E-1.m2 for alphaB. These values were in the range to be expected for a highly turbid, temperate reservoir. Estimated gross annual areal productivity ranged from 594 g C.m2.yr-1 (P.Q. = 1.2), at a station in the Washita River Zone to 753 g C.m2.yr-1 at a station in the Red River Zone, of the reservoir. Gross annual areal productivity at Station 17, in the Main Lake Zone, was 708 g C.m2.yr-1. Gross areal and volumetric productivity showed distinct seasonal variation with Photosynthetically Available Radiation (PAR) and temperature. Trophic status estimated on a station-by-station basis, using net productivity values derived from gross productivity and respiration estimates, was mesotrophic for all the stations, though one station approached eutrophy. Net productivity values ranged from 0.74 to 0.91 g C. m-2.d-1. An algal bioassay conducted at two stations in August 2000, revealed that phosphorus was most likely the nutrient limiting photosynthesis at both these stations, although the more turbid riverine station was primarily light-limited.
- Storm Water System Monitoring for the Small Municipality Under Phase II of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System
- Storm water quality can have a significant impact on receiving water bodies. The chief recipients of these impacts are aquatic life in the receiving water body and downstream water users. Over the last few decades, legislation, regulations, institutions and facilities have evolved to recognize the impact of urban storm water on receiving streams. This increased emphasis has caused contaminants in storm water to be identified as a major concern. This developing concern has generated an increased interest in the water quality of our streams and lakes and emphasized the need for more monitoring efforts. With the passage of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II requirements, small municipalities are responsible for storm water impacts on receiving waters within their jurisdiction. For the purposes of NPDES Phase II requirements, small municipalities are identified as these municipalities that are typically composed of 10,000 but less than 100,000 in population. The purpose of this dissertation is to develop a manual for use by the staff of small municipalities in meeting the requirements prescribed by changes initiated in the NPDES Phase II regulations. Attempts were made to comply with these requirements within a very limited manpower and budget framework and to develop procedures that would allow for permit compliance using testing equipment that was both reliable and robust. The users' manual provides valuable guidance in the establishment of a knowledge base for characterization of the watersheds selected for study. Chapter 3 of the dissertation contains a users' manual, designed for use by municipal staff members in their efforts to comply with the NPDES Phase II requirements. Using the techniques and equipment capabilities developed during the writing of the users' manual a characterization of three watersheds within Denton County, Texas was developed. Non-storm water samples were taken from each of the streams and a baseline analysis was established. The three watersheds represented agricultural, suburban and urban settings. Storm water samples were obtained from multiple storms within all three watersheds and data analysis used to determine the character and impact of urban runoff. Determination of the constituents for analysis was based on monitoring requirements of the NPDES Phase I and II requirements for owners and operators of municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4) and on the Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (TPDES) Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP). The three watersheds were determined to have multiple statistically significant differences for some parameters between their Base Flows and Storm Flows. The impact of urban runoff on the receiving waters of these three drainage systems was clearly demonstrated throughout the testing period.
- Surface Water and Groundwater Hydrology of Borrow-Pit Wetlands and Surrounding Areas of the Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area, Lewisville, Texas
- The focus of this study was to characterize the surface water and groundwater hydrology of borrow-pit wetlands located within the borders of the Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area (LLELA), east of the Elm Fork of the Trinity River. The wetlands were excavated into alluvial deposits downstream of the Lewisville Lake Dam. Both surface water and groundwater contribute to the hydro-period of the borrow-pit wetlands. Nearby marshes exhibit characteristics of groundwater discharge. Salinity in groundwater-fed wetlands could affect establishment of vegetation, as suggested from plant surveys. Surface water input from storm events dilutes salinity levels. Management of LLELA wetlands should include long-term evaluation of hydrology and plantings to enhance habitat. Plans for additional wetlands should consider both surface water and groundwater inputs.
- Use of geographic information systems for assessing ground water pollution potential by pesticides in central Thailand
- This study employed geographic information systems (GIS) technology to evaluate the vulnerability of groundwater to pesticide pollution. The study area included three provinces (namely, Kanchana Buri, Ratcha Buri, and Suphan Buri) located in the western part of central Thailand. Factors used for this purpose were soil texture, percent slope, primary land use, well depth, and monthly variance of rainfall. These factors were reclassified to a common scale showing potential to cause groundwater contamination by pesticides. This scale ranged from 5 to 1 which means high to low pollution potential. Also, each factor was assigned a weight indicating its influence on the movement of pesticides to groundwater. Well depth, the most important factor in this study, had the highest weight of 0.60 while each of the remaining factors had an equal weight of 0.10. These factors were superimposed by a method called “arithmetic overlay” to yield a composite vulnerability map of the study area. Maps showing relative vulnerability of groundwater to contamination by pesticides were produced. Each of them represented the degree of susceptibility of groundwater to be polluted by the following pesticides: 2,4-D, atrazine, carbofuran, dicofol, endosulfan, dieldrin & aldrin, endrin, heptachlor & heptachlor epoxide, total BHC, and total DDT. These maps were compared to groundwater quality data derived from actual observations. However, only the vulnerability maps of atrazine, endosulfan, total BHC, and heptachlor & heptachlor epoxide showed the best approximation to actual data. It was found that about 7 to 8%, 83 to 88% and 4.9 to 8.7% of the study area were highly, moderately, and lowly susceptible to pesticide pollution in groundwater, respectively. In this study a vulnerability model was developed, which is expressed as follow: V = 0.60CW + 0.10CS + 0.10CR + 0.10CL + 0.10CSL. Its function is to calculate a vulnerability score for a certain area. The factor “V” in the model represents the vulnerability score of a certain area, whereas CW, CS, CR, CL, and CSL represent the values or classes assigned to well depth, soil texture, monthly variance of rainfall, primary land use, and percent slope in that area.
- Use of In-Stream Water Quality Measurements and Geospatial Parameters to Predict Consumer Surfactant Toxic Units in the Upper Trinity River Watershed, Texas
- Surfactants are used in a wide assortment of "down-the-drain" consumer products, yet they are often discharged in wastewater treatment plant effluent into receiving water, potentially causing environmental harm. The objective of this project was to predict surfactant toxic units and in-stream nutrients in the upper Trinity River watershed. Surface and pore water samples were collected in late summer 2005. General chemistries and surfactant toxic units were calculated. GIS models of anthropogenic and natural factors were collected and analyzed according to subwatersheds. Multiple regression analyses using the Maximum R2 improvement method were performed to predict surfactant toxic units and in-stream nutrients using GIS and in-stream values. Both geospatial and in-stream parameters generated multiple regression models for surfactant surface and pore water toxic units, as well as in-stream nutrients, with high R2 values. Thus, GIS and in-stream parameter modeling have the potential to be reliable and inexpensive method of predicting surfactant toxic units and nutrient loading in the upper Trinity River watershed.
- Wind Energy-related Wildlife Impacts: Analysis and Potential Implications for Rare, Threatened and Endangered Species of Birds and Bats in Texas
- Texas currently maintains the highest installed nameplate capacity and does not require publicly available post-construction monitoring studies that examine the impacts of wind energy production on surrounding fauna. This thesis examines potential wind energy impacts on avian and bat species in Texas through a three-part objective. The first two objectives synthesize literature on variables attractive to species within wind development areas and estimate impacted ranges outside of Texas, based on studies examining wind energy's environmental impacts. The third objective focuses on Texas wind development potential for interaction with rare, threatened and endangered species of birds and bats using GIS analysis with a potential hazard index (PHI) model, which addresses broad-spectrum, high risk variables examined within the first two objectives. Assuming areas with higher wind speeds have potential for wind development, PHI values were calculated for 31 avian and ten bat species, based on an analysis of species range data obtained from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and wind data obtained from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Results indicate one avian species, Tympanuchus pallidicinctus, is at high risk for wind development interaction on an annual basis, with 20 species of birds and nine species of bats at higher risk during the spring season. This macro-scale approach for identifying high risk species in Texas could be used as a model to apply to other conterminous states' preliminary evaluation of wind energy impacts.
- Water Quality Mapping on Lake Texoma USA
- The primary objective of this study was to develop and evaluate a system capable of rapid, continuous collection of water quality and locational data on Lake Texoma. Secondary objectives included developing monthly distribution maps for chlorophyll-a, turbidity, and specific conductivity in Lake Texoma and investigating the spatial and temporal relationships between these common water quality indicators. A modified YSI multiprobe was used to develop a system capable of surveying the lake within 4 days with samples at 330 to 400 meter intervals. Data generated with this system compared favorably with previous studies of Lake Texoma. Two sets of raster format maps were developed for the monthly distributions of chlorophyll-a, turbidity, and specific conductivity across the lake. Spatial and temporal relationships generally took the form of decreasing gradients running from the lake arms towards the Main Lake Zone in the case of chlorophyll-a and turbidity. Or, in the case of specific conductivity, a decreasing gradient from the Red River arm to the Washita River arm. All three water quality indicators were strongly influenced by river discharge levels.
- Bioavailability and toxicity of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene in sediment.
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TNT (2,4,6-trinitrotoluene) is a persistent contaminant at many military installations and poses a threat to aquatic ecosystems. Data from environmental fate and toxicity studies with TNT revealed that sediment toxicity test procedures required modification to accurately assess sediment TNT toxicity. Key modifications included aging TNT-spiked sediments 8-14 d, basing lethal dose on measured sediment concentrations of the molar sum of TNT and its main nitroaromatic (NA) transformation products (SNA), basing sublethal dose on average sediment SNA concentrations obtained from integration of sediment SNA transformation models, avoiding overlying water exchanges, and minimizing toxicity test durations. Solid phase microextraction fibers (SPMEs) were investigated as a biomimetic chemical measure of toxicity and bioavailability. Both organism and SPME concentrations provided measures of lethal dose independent of exposure scenario (TNT-spiked sediment or TNT-spiked water) for Tubifex tubifex. Among all benthic organisms tested (Chironomus tentans, Ceriodaphnia dubia, T. tubifex) and matrixes, median lethal dose (LC50) estimates based on SPME and organism concentrations ranged from 12.6 to 55.3 mmol SNA/ml polyacrylate and 83.4 to 172.3 nmol SNA/g tissue, ww, respectively. For Tubifex, LC50s (95% CI) based on SNA concentrations in sediment and SPMEs were 223 (209-238) nmol SNA/g, dw and 27.8 (26.0-29.8) mmol SNA/ml, respectively. Reproductive effects occurred at slightly lower exposures. Median effective dose (EC50) estimates (95% CI) for Tubifex cocoon production, based on sediment and SPME concentrations, were 118 (114-122) nmol SNA/g, dw and 21.8 (21.2-22.4) mmol SNA/ml, respectively. Bioconcentration experiments with Tubifex revealed that compound hydrophobicity predicted the toxicokinetics and bioconcentration of these compounds from water, however, there was a large discrepancy between the toxicokinetics of absorbed versus metabolically-generated aminodinitrotoluenes. A large portion of bioconcentrated, radiolabeled TNT transformation products could not be identified. In addition to their ability to provide matrix-independent measures of dose, SPME concentrations were more accurate indicators of bioavailable NAs than were sediment concentrations.
- Temperature tolerances and predation susceptibilities of transgenic and wildtype zebra danios, Danio rerio.
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Both the upper and lower temperature tolerances of red fluorescent protein transgenic zebra danios and wildtype zebra danios, Danio rerio, were significantly different via two different methods; however, all differences are small (< 1°C) and probably not ecologically important. The U.S. geographic distributions of both transgenic and wildtype zebra danios will not be restricted by their upper thermal tolerances, but will be limited to the southern and western portions of the U.S. by their lower thermal tolerances. Largemouth bass did not preferentially prey upon transgenic zebra danios compared to wildtype danios or wildtypes relative to a native fish. If transgenic or wildtype zebra danios are released into southern or western U.S. waters, it is possible they could be eliminated by predation.
- On-Road Remote Sensing of Motor Vehicle Emissions: Associations between Exhaust Pollutant Levels and Vehicle Parameters for Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Texas, and Utah
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On-road remote sensing has the ability to operate in real-time, and under real world conditions, making it an ideal candidate for detecting gross polluters on major freeways and thoroughfares. In this study, remote sensing was employed to detect carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (HC), and nitrogen oxide (NO). On-road remote sensing data taken from measurements performed in six states, (Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Texas, and Utah) were cleaned and analyzed. Data mining and exploration were first undertaken in order to search for relationships among variables such as make, year, engine type, vehicle weight, and location. Descriptive statistics were obtained for the three pollutants of interest. The data were found to have non-normal distributions. Applied transformations were ineffective, and nonparametric tests were applied. Due to the extremely large sample size of the dataset (508,617 records), nonparametric tests resulted in "p" values that demonstrated "significance." The general linear model was selected due to its ability to handle data with non-normal distributions. The general linear model was run on each pollutant with output producing descriptive statistics, profile plots, between-subjects effects, and estimated marginal means. Due to insufficient data within certain cells, results were not obtained for gross vehicle weight and engine type. The "year" variable was not directly analyzed in the GLM because "year" was employed in a weighted least squares transformation. "Year" was found to be a source of heteroscedasticity; and therefore, the basis of a least-squares transformation. Grouped-years were analyzed using medians, and the results were displayed graphically. Based on the GLM results and descriptives, Japanese vehicles typically had the lowest CO, HC, and NO emissions, while American vehicles ranked high for the three. Illinois, ranked lowest for CO, while Texas ranked highest. Illinois and Colorado were lowest for HC emissions, while Utah and California were highest. For NO, Colorado ranked highest with Texas and Arizona, lowest.
- Culturing Vallisneria americana for Restoration Efforts
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Robust Vallisneria americana was cultured for restoration purposes. Preliminary studies, with various iron treatments, were conducted to ascertain the amount of phosphorous release into the water column from sediments. There was a significant difference in the amount of phosphorous released if commercial sediment was used with a low iron amendment or without an iron amendment. The second study consisted of planting V. americana on two different sediment types while supplying half of the plants with additional CO2. Plants grown on pond sediment with additional CO2 had significantly more biomass. In the third study all plants were grown on pond sediment, and half were treated with CO2. All plants that were treated with additional CO2 had significantly more biomass than those that were aerated.
- Solid phase microextraction of amino-dinitrotoluenes in tissue.
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TNT (2,4,6-trinitrotoluene) readily and predominantly transforms to 2ADNT (2-amino-4,6-dinitrotoluene) and 4ADNT (4-amino-2,6-dinitrotoluene) in environmental matrixes and tissues. Solid phase microextraction (SPME) was used to extract ADNTs (amino-dinitrotoluenes) from tissue as a potential method to investigate the recalcitrance of metabolically-generated ADNTs versus absorbed ADNTs. Tubifex tubifex was allowed to metabolize TNT into ADNTs in 24-hr static non-renewal exposure test followed by 24-hr depuration in clean reconstituted hard water. Polyacrylate-coated (PA) SPME fibers were then deployed and agitated in tissue homogenates containing metabolically-generated ADNTs for 48 hr to provide a measure of available ADNTs. Extractability of ADNTs from T. tubifex tissue containing metabolically-generated ADNTs was significantly less than extractability of ADNTs from T. tubifex tissue containing absorbed ADNTs: 50-60% and 81-90% of expected extractability based on fiber-water partition ratio. The lower SPME extractability of metabolically-generated ADNTs may stem from the unavailability of metabolically-generated ADNTs sequestered in tissue or bound to tissue macromolecules during metabolism of TNT to ADNT. Tissue extractions using SPMEs may be able to estimate such bound organic residues in tissue and serve as potential indicators of toxicological bioavailability and biomagnification potential of tissue-associated organic compounds.
- Influence of Sediment Exposure and Water Depth on Torpedograss Invasion of Lake Okeechobee, Florida
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Torpedograss (Panicum repens) was first observed in Lake Okeechobee in the 1970s and appears to have displaced an estimated 6,400 ha of native plants, such as spikerush (Eleocharis cellulosa), where inundation depths are often less than 50 cm. Two series of studies evaluated substrate exposure and water depth influences on torpedograss establishment and competitiveness. Results revealed that fragments remain buoyant for extended periods and so facilitate dispersal. Once anchored to exposed substrate fragments can readily root and establish. Subsequently, torpedograss thrives when subjected to inundations to 75 cm and survives prolonged exposure to depths greater than 1 m. These findings suggest that fluctuating water levels contribute to torpedograss dispersal and colonization patterns and that low water levels increase marsh area susceptible to invasion. The competition study found that spikerush grown in monoculture produces significantly more biomass when continually inundated to shallow depths (10 to 20 cm) than when subjected to drier conditions (-25 cm) or greater inundations (80 cm). In contrast, torpedograss establishes more readily on exposed substrate (-25 to 0 cm) compared to inundate substrates. During the first growing season biomass production increases as substrate exposure interval increases. However, during the second year, established torpedograss produces more biomass when grown on intermittently wet (0 cm) compared to permanently dry (-25 cm) or intermittently inundated (10 cm) substrates. No difference in production was observed between substrates permanently inundated (10 cm) and any other regime tested. During the first two years of torpedograss invasion, regardless of treatment, spikerush suppresses invasion and torpedograss had little effect on established spikerush, indicating that spikerush-dominated areas are capable of resisting torpedograss invasion. Even so, disturbances that might cause mortality of long hydroperiod species, such as spikerush, may create open gaps in the native vegetation and thus facilitate torpedograss establishment and expansion.