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Ambient sediment quality conditions in Minnesota lakes, USA: Effects of watershed parameters and aquatic health implications

Crane, Judy L.
The Science of the total environment 2017 v.607-608 pp. 1320-1338
DDD (pesticide), DDE (pesticide), arsenic, carbon, combustion, data collection, fish, food chain, forensic sciences, invertebrates, lakes, land use, lead, models, particle size, particulate emissions, persistent organic pollutants, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, polychlorinated dibenzodioxins, polychlorinated dibenzofurans, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, sediments, statistical analysis, surveys, tissues, watersheds, zinc, Minnesota
Surficial sediments were collected from 50 randomly selected Minnesota lakes, plus four a priori reference lakes, in 2007. The lakes encompassed broad geographic coverage of the state and included a variety of major land uses in the surrounding watersheds. Sediment samples were analyzed for a suite of metals, metalloids, persistent organic pollutants, total organic carbon, and particle size fractions. In addition, a small fish survey was conducted to assess PBDEs in both whole fish and fish tissues. Sediment quality in this set of lakes ranged from good (43%) to moderate (57%) based on an integrative measure of multiple contaminants. On an individual basis, some contaminants (e.g., arsenic, lead, DDD, and DDE) exceeded benchmark values in a small number of lakes that would be detrimental to benthic invertebrates. The sediments in two developed lakes tended to be more contaminated than sediments in lakes from other major watershed land uses. These differences were often statistically significant (p<0.05), particularly for lakes with developed versus cultivated land uses for arsenic, lead, zinc, and numerous PAH compounds. Multivariate statistical approaches were used on a subgroup of contaminants to show the two urban lakes, as well as a few northeastern Minnesota lakes, differed from the rest of the data set. Background threshold values were calculated for data with <80% nondetects. Source apportionment modeling of PAHs revealed that vehicle emissions and coal-related combustion were the most common sources. A general environmental forensic analysis of the PCDD/F data showed that ubiquitous combustion sources appeared to be important. BDE-209, a decaBDE, was detected in 84% of lake sediment samples, whereas fish at the top of the food chain (i.e., predator trophic group) had significantly higher (p<0.05) mean lipid-normalized concentrations of BDEs-47, 100, and 153 than lower trophic fish. These results will be used for future status and trends work.