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Open-File Report 2007-1435

Publications Warehouse OFR 2007-1435

Prepared in cooperation with the National Park Service

Concentrations of Metals in Aquatic Invertebrates from the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, Missouri

By Christopher J. Schmitt, William G. Brumbaugh, John M. Besser, Thomas W. May

OFR 2007-1435


This report summarizes the findings of a study conducted as a pilot for part of a park-wide monitoring program being developed for the Ozark National Scenic Riverways (ONSR) of southeastern Missouri. The objective was to evaluate using crayfish (Orconectes spp.) and Asian clam (Corbicula fluminea) for monitoring concentrations of metals associated with lead-zinc mining. Lead-zinc mining presently (2007) occurs near the ONSR and additional mining has been proposed. Three composite samples of each type (crayfish and Asian clam), each comprising ten animals of approximately the same size, were collected during late summer and early fall of 2005 from five sites on the Current River and Jacks Fork within the ONSR and from one site on the Eleven Point River and the Big River, which are outside the ONSR. The Big River has been contaminated by mine tailings from historical leadzinc mining. Samples were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry for lead, zinc, cadmium, cobalt, and nickel concentrations. All five metals were detected in all samples; concentrations were greatest in samples of both types from the Big River, and lowest in samples from sites within the ONSR. Concentrations of zinc and cadmium typically were greater in Asian clams than in crayfish, but differences were less evident for the other metals. In addition, differences among sites were small for cobalt in Asian clams and for zinc in crayfish, indicating that these metals are internally regulated to some extent. Consequently, both sample types are recommended for monitoring. Concentrations of metals in crayfish and Asian clams were consistent with those reported by other studies and programs that sampled streams in southeast Missouri.
Posted January 2008

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