Ponton D.E., Ruelas-Inzunza J., Lavoie R., Lescord G.L., Johnston T.A., Graydon J.A., Reichert, M., Donadt C., Poesch M.S., Gunn, J.A., and M. Amyot. (2022) Mercury, selenium and arsenic concentrations in Canadian freshwater fish and a perspective on human consumption intake and risk. Journal of Hazardous Materials Advances.

Citation: Ponton D.E., Ruelas-Inzunza J., Lavoie R., Lescord G.L., Johnston T.A., Graydon J.A., Reichert, M., Donadt C., Poesch M.S., Gunn, J.A., and M. Amyot. (2022) Mercury, selenium and arsenic concentrations in Canadian freshwater fish and a perspective on human consumption intake and risk. Journal of Hazardous Materials Advances.

Abstract

Mercury (Hg) and arsenic (As) contamination of fish may limit its human consumption  whereas selenium (Se) can potentially protect fish and consumers from their adverse effects. We related the concentrations of these elements in Canadian freshwater fish to anthropogenic activities and ecozones and compared these concentrations to risk assessment thresholds. Mercury concentrations exceeded the retail fish Canadian threshold (0.5 ppm) in 31% of all Walleye; this proportion rose to 64% in reservoirs. Reservoirs and lakes impacted by logging and urbanization presented higher fish [Hg] than other impacted systems. In mining areas, fish [Hg] were low and negatively correlated with [Se]. Se and As concentrations exceeded Canadian guidelines in 5 and 0.2% of all fish, respectively. A previously unreported negative relationship between mean [As] and [Hg] suggested an inverse consumption risk for these two elements. The ratio Se/Hg was lower than 1 for 14% of all fish and was negatively correlated with fish length. No major differences were seen among fish lengths that reached the Hg guideline and the Se/Hg threshold of 1. Using the benefit-risk value (BRV) threshold that considers Se intake, there were no limit to fish consumption. More studies are needed to assess the role of Se against Hg toxicity and adjust fish consumption guidelines accordingly.

*Lab members:  Mark Poesch. Check out opportunities in the lab!

Theis S.*, and M.S. Poesch (2022) Current capacity, bottlenecks, and future projections for offsetting habitat loss using mitigation and conservation banking in the United States. Journal for Nature Conservation 67:126159.

Citation: Theis S., and M.S. Poesch (2022) Current capacity, bottlenecks, and future projections for offsetting habitat loss using mitigation and conservation banking in the United States assessed through the Regulatory In lieu fee and Bank Information Tracking System. Journal for Nature Conservation 67: 126159.

Abstract

Habitat banking in its many iterations is an established and popular mechanism to deliver environmental offsets. The United States can look back at over 30 years of banking experience with the underlying framework and policies being consistently updated and improved. Given the increased demand in habitat banking, we provide insights into how bank area capacity is distributed across the United States for four different bank targets (wetlands, streams, multiple ecosystems, species) based on information extracted from the Regulatory In-lieu Fee and Bank Information Tracking System, as well as, estimating future capacities and area reserves through a predictive modeling approach based on data from the past 26 years. Future predictions indicate a decrease in available reserves for banks targeting wetlands or multiple ecosystems, with potential bottlenecks relating to large reserves being limited to the southeast and release schedules not catching up to the current and anticipated demand. Banks targeting species or streams are predicted to meet future demand, with species banks (conservation banks) following a different legislative and operational approach based on the listing of endangered species and pro-active approaches with anticipated future demand. Most current reserves for all four bank types are restricted to very few service areas with around one-third of all bank areas still awaiting release, limiting their availability on a broader scale. Strategic planning networks are necessary to meet future demand on a national scale and to identify areas suitable for banking or likely to experience future environmental or developmental stress.

*Lab members: Sebastian Theis and Mark Poesch. Check out opportunities in the lab!

Research by Kaegan Finn highlighted by Alberta Wildlife Society Chapter

Due to the covid-19 pandemic, undergraduate student Kaegan Finn was unable to present his research at the Alberta Chapter of The Wildlife Society (ACTWS) annual general meeting. Thankfully, ACTWS has been sharing some of the research from the conference on their website. In August, ACTWS highlighted Kaegan Finn’s excellent poster. Kaegan was an undergrad conducting research in the lab. I am delighted that Kaegan was able to share his hard work. Check it out for yourself here on the ACTWS webpage (link).

CBC interviews Dr. Poesch about new article on offsetting in freshwater ecosystems (CBC News; CBC Radio)

A recent review article on compliance and ecosystem function (Theis et al. 2019) in freshwater offsets was highlighted on CBC News and CBC radio in Edmonton and Calgary

Press Play to hear the interview on Edmonton AM or click this link to get redirected to CBC Edmonton AM Radio’s webpage.

Press Play to hear the interview on Calgary’s EyeOpener or click this link to get redirected to CBC EyeOpener Radio’s webpage.

Alberta Conservation Association funds alpine fisheries research

The Alberta Conservation Association provided a grant to help research the impact of stocking of non-native trout on alpine ecosystems. This project is being led by MSc student Allison Banting with the help of Dr. Mark Taylor and Rolf Vinebrooke. Thanks ACA for your continued support of the PoeschLab.