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Remedial effectiveness of a pond biomanipulation: Habitat value and concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls in fish

Publication Type
Journal Name
Journal of Hazardous Materials
Publication Date
Page Numbers
132587 to 132587

The fish and plant communities in a pond contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in East Tennessee, USA, were manipulated to reduce ecological and human-health risk associated with exposure to the chemical contaminants. We evaluated the success of the remedial action using a habitat valuation approach, as well as measuring PCB concentrations in fish. Risk reduction objectives included: alter the fish community to favor fish that do not resuspend, bioaccumulate, or biomagnify PCBs; stabilize contaminated sediments to improve water quality; and stabilize shoreline soils and enhance riparian habitat. Fish targeted for removal included gizzard shad, largemouth bass, and nonnative carp. Reduced PCB concentrations in fish have characterized the new bluegill-dominated community, although a weir-overtopping event led to the need for additional removals of gizzard shad and largemouth bass. Sunfish abundance is high, as was intended. Moreover, amphibian and waterbird diversities have increased in the years following biomanipulation, possibly owing to improvements in the riparian zone and increased structural (vegetation) complexity in both the aquatic and terrestrial environment. Thus, the remedial action has improved aspects of habitat value, and PCB concentrations in sunfish have dropped below the remediation level (risk-based target value) for this pond (1 µg/g in fish fillets or 2.3 µg/g in whole body fish).