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A site in north eastern MI, Oscoda Township, has some of the highest recorded exposure in birds to perfluorinated substances (PFASs) in the U.S. Some egg and plasma concentrations at that location exceeded the lowest reproductive effect threshold established for two avian laboratory species. The objectives of this study were to determine whether there were reproductive effects or physiological responses in a model bird species, the tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor), associated with this extremely high exposure to PFASs. The lack of exposure above background to other contaminants at this site allowed for an assessment of PFAS effects without the complication that responses may be caused by other contaminants. A...
Tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) eggs and nestlings were collected from 16 sites across the Great Lakes to quantify normal annual variation in total polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs) exposure and to validate the sample size choice in earlier work. A sample size of 5 eggs or 5 nestlings per site was adequate to quantify exposure to PCBs in tree swallows given the current exposure levels and variation. There was no difference in PCB exposure in 2 randomly selected sets of 5 eggs collected in the same year, but analyzed in different years. Additionally, there was only modest annual variation in exposure, with between 69% (nestlings) and 73% (eggs) of sites having no differences between years. There was a tendency,...
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Key Findings Tree swallows were sampled at 6 locations in the Maumee River watershed, as part of a collaborative four-agency study on ecosystem effects of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) on biota. This study involved samples of sediment, benthic invertebrates, and an insectivorous bird, the tree swallow. Endpoints include assessment of changes in both the tree swallow metabolome and transcriptome to determine whether perturbations can be traced from ToxCaste, an in vitro water sample assessment through mussels/clams, fish, and birds. Avian tissues and food will be analyzed for CECs with an emphasis on agricultural pesticides. Other Great Lakes’ landscape types will be sampled in future years. Products...
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During 2010-2014, tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) reproductive success was monitored at 68 sites across all 5 Great Lakes, including 58 sites located within Great Lakes Areas of concern (AOCs) and 10 non-AOCs. Sample eggs were collected from tree swallow clutches and analyzed for contaminants including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxin and furans, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, and 34 other organic compounds. Contaminant data were available for 360 of the 1249 clutches monitored. Markov chain multistate modeling was used to assess the importance of 5 ecological and 11 of the dominant contaminants in explaining the pattern of egg and nestling failure rates. Four of 5 ecological variables (female Age, Date...
Tree swallow, Tachycineta bicolor, nestlings were collected from 76 sites in the Great Lakes which included multiple sites at 27 Areas of Concern (AOCs) and 12 sites not listed as AOCs from 2010 to 2015. Livers were harvested and analyzed for 21 elements. Mercury concentrations differed among AOCs; however, all livers analyzed had concentrations well within background and generally comparable or lower than most sites outside of the Great Lakes. Mercury, the only element specifically identified in the designation of AOCs, does not seem to pose a threat to birds at any of the AOCs monitored. In contrast, selenium (Se) concentrations were elevated at sites on the southwest shore of Lake Michigan to levels that could...
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Description of Work U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) will identify through this project significant sources and impacts of historical and newly emerging toxics to the Great Lakes ecosystem through broad surveillance as well as laboratory and field research of tree swallows and other bird species. USGS scientists will determine the amount of exposure to and the effects of historical and emerging contaminants in Great Lakes food chains. The data will inform regulators and provide guidance on removal of Beneficial Use Impairments at Area of Concern sites around the Great Lakes. Work supported under this project is quantifying exposure to, and effects of, both historical and emerging contaminants on Great Lakes food chains...
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Tree swallows, Tachycineta bicolor, were sampled across the Great Lakes basin in 2010-2015 to provide a system-wide assessment of current exposure to organic contaminants. These results provide information identified as critical by land managers and regulators to assess the ‘Bird or Animal Deformity or Reproductive Problems’ Beneficial Use Impairment. Eggs were collected from 69 sites across all five Great Lakes, including 27 Areas of Concern (AOCs), some with multiple sites, and ten sites not listed as an AOC. Concentrations of organic contaminants in eggs were quantified and compared to background and reproductive effect thresholds. Approximately one-third of the AOCs had geometric mean concentrations of total...
The exposure and effects of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) were studied at eight locations in Minnesota and Wisconsin between 2007and 2011 using tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor). Concentrations of PFASs were quantified as were reproductive success endpoints. The sample egg method was used wherein an egg sample is collected, and the hatching success of the remaining eggs in the nest is assessed. The association between PFAS exposure and reproductive success was assessed by site comparisons, logistic regression analysis, and multistate modeling, a technique not previously used in this context. There was a negative association between concentrations of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) in eggs and hatching success....
Concentrations of 31 metals, metalloids, and other elements were measured in insects and insectivorous bird tissues from three drainages with different geochemistry and mining histories in Summit Co., Colorado, in 2003, 2004, and 2005. In insect samples, all 25 elements that were analyzed in all years increased in both Snake and Deer Creeks in the mining impacted areas compared to areas above and below the mining impacted areas. This distribution of elements was predicted from known or expected sediment contamination resulting from abandoned mine tailings in those drainages. Element concentrations in avian liver tissues were in concordance with levels in insects, that is with concentrations higher in mid-drainage...
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Tree swallow, Tachycineta bicolor, nestlings were collected from 60 sites in the Great Lakes which included multiple sites at 27 Areas of Concern (AOCs) and 6 sites not listed as AOCs from 2010 to 2014. Nestlings were measured for ethoxyresorufin-O-dealkylase (EROD) activity, chromosomal damage (DNA CV), and six measures of oxidative stress. Each of these bioindicators was divided into four groups from the highest to lowest values and the groups were compared to contaminant concentrations using multivariate analysis. Nestling contaminant concentrations included polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), and 17 elements. Alkylated polycyclic aromatic...
Exposure to multiple classes of contaminants, both legacy and those of emerging concern (CECs), were assessed in tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) tissue and diet samples from 6 sites along the Maumee River, OH to understand both exposure and possible effects of exposure to those CECs for which there is little avian data. The six sites represented a gradient from intensive agriculture upstream to highly urbanized and industrial landscapes downstream; 1 – 2 remote Wisconsin lakes were assessed for comparative purposes. Cytochrome P450 induction, DNA damage, and thyroid function were also assessed relative to contaminant exposure. Bioaccumulative CECs, such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and perfluorinated...


    map background search result map search result map Birds as Indicators of Contaminant Exposure in the Great Lakes Birds as indicators of contaminants in the Great Lakes - Egg Contaminants Data EROD activity, chromosomal damage, and oxidative stress in response to contaminant exposure to tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) nesting in the Great Lakes Areas of Concern: Data Reproductive success and contaminant associations in tree swallows (Tachnycineta bicolor) nesting in the U.S. and Binational Great Lakes' Areas of Concern data Perfluoroalkyl contaminant exposure in tree swallows nesting at Clarks Marsh, Oscoda, MI Dataset Maumee River: Legacy and Contaminants of Emerging Concern data Maumee River: Legacy and Contaminants of Emerging Concern data Perfluoroalkyl contaminant exposure in tree swallows nesting at Clarks Marsh, Oscoda, MI Dataset Birds as Indicators of Contaminant Exposure in the Great Lakes Birds as indicators of contaminants in the Great Lakes - Egg Contaminants Data EROD activity, chromosomal damage, and oxidative stress in response to contaminant exposure to tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) nesting in the Great Lakes Areas of Concern: Data Reproductive success and contaminant associations in tree swallows (Tachnycineta bicolor) nesting in the U.S. and Binational Great Lakes' Areas of Concern data