Heavy metal concentrations in northern water snakes (Nerodia sipedon) from East Fork Poplar Creek and the Little River, East Tennessee, USA

K. R. Campbell, T. S. Campbell, Joanna Burger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

We compared the levels of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese, mercury, and selenium in the blood, kidney, liver, muscle, and skin of northern water snakes (Nerodia sipedon) collected from the upper reach of East Fork Poplar Creek (EFPC) within the United States Department of Energy's (USDOE's) Y-12 National Security Complex with concentrations in tissues of northern water snakes from a reference reach of the Little River downstream from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in East Tennessee. Our objectives were to determine whether concentrations of these metals were higher in tissues of water snakes collected from EFPC compared with the reference site and if northern water snakes were suitable bioindicators of metal contamination. Except for chromium, metal levels were significantly higher in tissues (kidney, liver, muscle, and skin) of EFPC northern water snakes compared with those in tissues of snakes from the reference site. Although female northern water snakes were significantly larger than male snakes, their tissues did not contain significantly higher metal concentrations compared with those from male snakes, possibly because of maternal transfer of metals to eggs. This study was the first to examine the accumulation of contaminants resulting from the operations of the USDOE's Oak Ridge Reservation in snakes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-248
Number of pages10
JournalArchives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
Volume49
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Heavy metal concentrations in northern water snakes (Nerodia sipedon) from East Fork Poplar Creek and the Little River, East Tennessee, USA'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this