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Ferraro, S. and F. Cole. 1997. >Effects of DDT sediment contamination on macrobenthic community structure and composition in San Francisco Bay. Marine Biology 130:323-34

The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of sediment contamination on the benthic macrofauna and to predict macrofaunal changes following remediation at a Superfund (controlled hazardous waste) site in San Francisco bay, California, USA. DDT and its metabolites (Sigma DDT) were the contaminants of concern. With few small-scale exceptions, all (>100) other sediment contaminants ever measured at the site were present at background or non-toxic levels. In hierarchical regressions [Y=f(X1.X2.X3), where X1 = sediment  %silt + clay, X2 = sediment total organic carbon (OC), and X3 = log10  Sigma DDT g g-1 OC)] with data from samples collected at the study site. log10 (Sigma DDT g-1 OC) explained a highly significant amount of the variance in the infaunal index (II) and log10 (number of Amphipoda excluding grandidierella japonica + 1) after statistically controlling for the potential effects of sediment %silt + clay and OC. The ratios of change of II and log10 (number of Amphipoda excluding G. japonica +1) with respect to log10 (Sigma DDT g g-1 OC) were about -9:1 and -0.4:1, respectively. Most of the 92 species collected were present at low to moderate densities over the entire range of Sigma DDT sediment concentrations. The bivalve Theora lubrica, tubificids, most polychaetes, a tanaid (Zeuxo normani), and an amphipod (G. Japonica), were common, while four other amphipods (Ampelisca abdita, Corophium heteroceratum, Photis brevipes, dulichia rhabdoplastis), a phoronid (Phoronis cf. Pallida), a bivalve (Cdryptomya californica), and a cumacean (Eudorella pacifica), were rare or absent from sites with high Sigma DDT sediment-concentrations.

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