Savannah River Ecology Laboratory

Ecotoxicology at SREL


forest sampling marked tortoise forest sampling geochemical sampling

SREL has a long history of studying contaminants in the environment, beginning with research on DDT resistance in frogs and fish in the 1960s, radiation effects on entire communities, uptake and effects of mercury across a wide range of species, and the bioaccumulation of organics, metals, and radionuclides. Since the mid-1990s SREL has conducted numerous studies on the ecotoxicology of metals associated with coal fly ash, as well as potential effects of cesium-137 on amphibians and reptiles.

Some of SREL's current ecotoxicology projects are featured below. Each project is described in detail on its own project page.

Cu and Zn studies on amphibians

 
The H-02 constructed wetlands were built in 2007 to remediate copper, zinc, and pH levels. Amphibian studies focus on metal toxicity and created wetland function. (Project description)
 

Coal ash effects on amphibians

 
The D-Area Coal Facility has current and historic deposits of coal fly ash. Ongoing studies are examining the effects of trace metals on amphibians. (Project description)
 
P-Area had a historic release from an ash basin into a natural wetland. Characterization of contaminant levels in soils and biota are underway. (Project description)
 

Contaminants in long-lived reptiles

 
Many reptile species are long-lived, and risk assessments for wildlife should account for bioaccumulation of metals and radionuclides over extended periods. This study examines contaminant uptake in turtles and alligators. (Project description)

SREL ecotoxicology group: