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Exotic Species, Migratory Birds, Sea Level Rise, Wetlands, And Contaminants...USGS Scientists Discuss Innovative Chesapeake Bay Restoration Studies

sional wetlands are typically located in upland areas. These wetlands are one of the most common wetland systems being restored. Although very different in composition and structure from the remnant natural depressional wetlands, which are typically forested or composed of scrub vegetation, the restored wetlands provide a variety of wetland functions that ultimately benefit the Chesapeake Bay. The IBI will use community structure and species characteristics to assess the effects of human factors such as methods of wetland creation and surrounding land use on wetland health. This information will be useful to managers planning future restoration projects and to evaluate the biological integrity of existing restored wetlands. ("Development of an Index of Biotic Integrity for Restored Depressional Wetlands on the Eastern Shore of Maryland," by Amy Deller, USGS, Laurel, Md. and Norman Melvin, NRCS, Wetland Science Institute, Laurel, Md.)

Sediment Ingestion May Be a Key to Waterfowl Risk Assessments
Although assessment of risks to wildlife from toxic metal contamination are generally based on the accumulation of environmental contaminants through food chains, USGS scientists are examing a more direct risk assessment approach that focuses on sediment contamination and not on the movement of metal through the food chain. Recent research suggests that to fully understand the exposure of waterfowl to heavy metals such as lead in the Chesapeake Bay, metal concentration in the sediment and the amount of sediment ingested by waterfowl should be assessed. Because the exposure route is so simple, the exposure to metal by swans should be directly proportional to the metal concentration in the sediments, making risk assessments simpler and more reliable. To begin validating this approach, forty-two mute swans were collected from unpolluted portions of central Chesapeake Bay in spring 1995, and their intestinal tracts and livers were analyzed for 13 metals including
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Contact: Bob Reynolds
rreynold@usgs.gov
703-648-6829
United States Geological Survey
8-Dec-1998


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