Ecology News: Subject: New Ecology poster Identifying sources of toxics using biofilms

The poster, Identifying sources of toxics using biofilms, is available at .
Biofilms (algae, microbial biomass, and organic detritus) growing on rocks contribute to the base of the food web in rivers and streams. In contaminated waterbodies, biofilms take up and bind contaminants from the water. Over the last few years, the Department of Ecology has been using the contaminant concentrations of biofilms to assess the spatial distribution of metals and organic contaminants. We have also been measuring the bioconcentration of toxics from the water to assess the accumulation in higher trophic levels.
Our results show a strong, statistically significant relationship between dissolved concentrations of PCBs and DDT in the water column and the concentrations bound in and on biofilms. We find metal concentrations in biofilms to be (1) correlated with changes in periphyton community structure and (2) a more sensitive sample media of metal contamination than water and sediment. The use of biofilms in source identification studies has proven to be highly effective under a number of hydrologic conditions and for various toxic contaminants.
This poster was presented at the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, MN, Nov. 13-16, 2017.
If you have questions, contact Will Hobbs at 360-407-7512 or