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Using acoustic telemetry to quantify potential contaminant exposure of Vermilion Rockfish (Sebastes miniatus), Hornyhead Turbot (Pleuronichthys verticalis), and White Croaker (Genyonemus lineatus) at wastewater outfalls in southern California

Citation

Burns, Echelle et al. (2021), Using acoustic telemetry to quantify potential contaminant exposure of Vermilion Rockfish (Sebastes miniatus), Hornyhead Turbot (Pleuronichthys verticalis), and White Croaker (Genyonemus lineatus) at wastewater outfalls in southern California , Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.25349/D97314

Abstract

Contaminant Exposure Models (CEMs) were developed to predict population-level tissue contaminant concentrations in fishes by pairing sediment-bound contaminant concentrations (DDTs, PCBs) and fine-scale acoustic telemetry data from a habitat- associated species (Vermilion Rockfish, Sebastes miniatus), nomadic flatfish species (Hornyhead Turbot, Pleuronichthys verticalis), and nomadic benthic/midwater schooling species (White Croaker, Genyonemus lineatus) tagged near wastewater outfalls in southern California. Model results were compared to contaminant concentrations in tissue samples. The CEMs developed require further refinement before implementation into management efforts but may act as steppingstones to help shift primary monitoring methods away from the regular field collection of fish for tissue contaminant analyses and towards behavioral modeling and habitat mapping. We also developed Kernel Density Estimates that can be used by managers immediately to identify regions that contribute most to contaminant exposure in species of concern. Prioritizing remediation efforts in these areas are likely to be most effective at improving fish health.

Methods

Acoustic telemetry was collected from several demersal species using two VEMCO Positioning System (VPS) acoustic receiver arrays deployed around wastewater outfalls in southern California, USA. Data were processed to include horizontal positioning error (HPE) values of 15 or less and data were visually assessed to remove tags that had fallen off or animals that have died due to tagging, predation, or fishing.

Usage Notes

Please refer to the uploaded readme files.

Raw datasets used for this study that are included in this entry are: 

  • *_detections.csv files, where * indicates the species (vermilion_rockfish, white_croaker, hornyhead_turbot). These data were pre-processed to include only HPE values < 15, and include only the individuals analyzed in the study. Please refer to the associated readme files for column names and descriptions. 

Raw datasets used for this study that can be found elsewhere are: 

Processed datasets that are presented as the results of this study are the following: 

  • scaled_*_states-**mpermin-***min_CEM_****.csv: final calculated contaminant exposure values for each individual in the study, where * indicates the species (VR [vermilion rockfish], HT [hornyhead turbot], WC [white croaker]). ** indicates the rate of movement threshold (3 or 1 [mpermin]), *** indicates the crawl interpolation rate (2 or 5 [min]), and **** indicates the contaminant (pcb or ddt). Please refer to the associated readme file (scaled_states_README) for column names and descriptions.
  • *_**mpermin-***min_CEM_****.tif: final KDE estimates, weighted by underlying sediment-bound contaminant concentration, for each species,  where * indicates the species (VR [vermilion rockfish], HT [hornyhead turbot], WC [white croaker]). ** indicates the rate of movement threshold (3 or 1 [mpermin]), *** indicates the crawl interpolation rate (2 or 5 [min]), and **** indicates the contaminant (pcb or ddt). Please refer to the associated readme file (kde_weights_README)

For all datasets, all missing values should be designated by NAs. 

Please refer to the source code in the linked GitHub repository for the proper folder configuration and to re-run analyses, if desired.

Funding

Orange County Sanitation District

SCTC Marine Biology Scholarship Foundation

California State University Long Beach, Award: Dr. Donald Reish Research Grant in Marine Biology