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Tuesday, January 30 • 3:20pm - 3:40pm
SYMPOSIA-11: Modeling Effects of Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CECs) Exposures on Fish Populations

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AUTHORS. Maxime Vaugeois, University of Minnesota; Valery Forbes, University of Minnesota; Paul Venturelli, Ball State University

ABSTRACT. Nowadays, environmental stressors, such as invasive species, climate change and chemical pollution threaten ecosystems and their services. CECs are increasingly being detected in surface water and they impact aquatic life. For instance, wastewater treatment plants discharge effluent containing estrogens, which have caused dramatic ecological effects such as fish feminization and fish population collapses. In addition, different types of chemical mixtures of CECs are detected in urban and agricultural areas, with significant impacts on fish populations.The effects of many CECs in organisms have been assessed via laboratory and field experiments that provide essential information about hazardousness of CEC and biological mechanisms involved in the effects of exposed organisms. However, these experiments tend to focus on a single chemical at the sub-population scale, which limits their applicability in wild setting because (i) fishes actually experience  mixtures of CECs and (ii) these mixtures have unknown population-level consequences. Moreover, there is a need of scaling-up because ecological management and protection generally occur at population, community and ecosystem levels. Nevertheless, the linkages between the responses to chemicals at different scales are difficult to predict.Here we present two research projects that both incorporate data on individual and sub-individual effects of contaminants into population models to infer the population-level effects. The first one is focused on the impacts of estrogens on abundances of fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) and bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus) in a Minnesota pristine river. Its main goal is to identify the best wastewater treatment strategy for the protection of Minnesota’s natural resources. The second project investigates the effects of two types of CECs mixtures on multiple fish species populations within the Great Lakes Basin. The goal is to evaluate the extent to which CECs threaten fish population in the U.S. Great Lakes Basin by developing species-specific population models using experimental data and observations.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 3:20pm - 3:40pm CST