SCIENCE NEWS: Shellfish can’t say no to drugs; Central Valley refuge provides water infrastructure and waterfowl habitat; Ridgway’s Rail release; Rapid scan for salmon sickness; and more …

In science news this week: Shellfish can’t say no to drugs; Central Valley refuge provides water infrastructure and waterfowl habitat; Ridgway’s Rail release; ‘Pooling resources’: Working toward common goal, agencies collaborate to help endangered Moapa dace; Rapid scan for salmon sickness; What’s that fish?  A new field guide helps scientists identify fish captured in scientific surveys; and more …

Shellfish can’t say no to drugs:  “From coastal cities around the world, through pipes lurking just beneath the waves, streams of human waste flood into the sea. Sometimes this water is cleaned—filtered, aerated, and treated with bleach. Sometimes it is not, and the reams of sewage—whatever we wash down the drain or flush down the toilet—flow into the ocean raw. If that grosses you out, consider that human excrement is probably the least crappy component of the flow, at least when it comes to environmental impacts. More troubling are certain invisible substances that easily pass through wastewater treatment plants and end up in the ocean. … ”  Read more from Hakai Magazine here:  Shellfish can’t say no to drugs

Central Valley refuge provides water infrastructure and waterfowl habitat:  “About 20 minutes south of Sacramento, Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is divided by a freeway and surrounded by farmland. Its location was not one of happenstance, nor was it solely based on the need for habitat for a specific species.  It was a strategic decision made over the course of three decades to help manage flood waters in California’s Central Valley. Just over 6,500 acres in size, Stone Lakes  contains three natural, shallow lakes and a series of sloughs that are within the 100-year floodplain of the Sacramento Delta. The refuge is flanked by dairy farms and vineyards to the west and a growing urban community to the east. … ”  Read more from the US FWS here: Central Valley refuge provides water infrastructure and waterfowl habitat

Ridgway’s Rail release:  “The Ridgway’s rail is a grayish-brown, chicken-sized bird with a long, downward curving bill and a conspicuous whitish rump. Previously known as the clapper rail, the species name was changed in 2014 to honor ornithologist Robert Ridgway. Three subspecies of Ridgway’s rail are resident in California, all of which depend on mudflats or very shallow water (wetland habitat) where there is both forage and taller plant material to provide cover at high tide. They rely on marsh plants such as cordgrass and pickleweed for breeding and feeding. … ” Read more from CDFW here:  Ridgway’s Rail release

‘Pooling resources’: Working toward common goal, agencies collaborate to help endangered Moapa dace:  “”The endangered Moapa dace, a fast-swimming olive-green fish about the length of a human finger, has united wildlife biologists from several government agencies. Dace have been protected under the Endangered Species Act for 50 years. However, basic questions about the fish’s biology are still unanswered, which is why biologists are coming together to learn more about this tiny fish.The endangered Moapa dace, a fast-swimming olive-green fish about the length of a human finger, has united wildlife biologists from several government agencies. Dace have been protected under the Endangered Species Act for 50 years. However, basic questions about the fish’s biology are still unanswered, which is why biologists are coming together to learn more about this tiny fish. ... ” Read more from US FWS here:  ‘Pooling resources’: Working toward common goal, agencies collaborate to help endangered Moapa dace

Rapid scan for salmon sickness:  “Until now, a pathologist seeking to determine a salmon’s cause of death might scrutinize a set of tissue samples under a microscope or culture a bacterial or viral sample over several days to isolate the cause of the disease.  All of that is changing fast at the federal Pacific Biological Station (PBS) in Nanaimo, British Columbia, where researchers have created a novel, game-changing shortcut that sleuths out systemic infectious diseases—even before the fish is obviously sick. “It’s really going to be powerful,” says Kristi Miller, who heads the salmon genetics section at PBS. … ”  Read more from Hakai Magazine here:  Rapid scan for salmon sickness

What’s that fish?  A new field guide helps scientists identify fish captured in scientific surveys:  “Survey Fishes, just published as a NOAA Fisheries Technical Memorandum, is a comprehensive guide to just about anything you might catch anywhere along the U.S. West Coast—from bat rays to sea lizards, from fringeheads to arrowtails, from greenblotched rockfish to red Irish lords.  The author, Dan Kamikawa, is a Research Fisheries Biologist with the Fishery Resource Analysis and Monitoring (FRAM) Division at the Newport Research Station in Oregon.  “The idea was, we wanted to publish something we could use out on the back deck of a boat,” Dan said. “There are other guides, but they’re full of species we never see. This guide is keyed to what we’re most likely to find on our surveys. It’s meant to be useful for survey work, without being so technical that you need a Ph.D. to use it.” ... ”  Read more from the Northwest Fisheries Science Center here:  What’s that fish?  A new field guide helps scientists identify fish captured in scientific surveys

Treated wastewater contains compounds the impair ecologically relevant behavior in fish:  “As the apex predator on the block, it’s not always easy for humans to imagine the heightened awareness and sensitivity to surroundings that allow prey animals to survive. But the feelings of relaxation and reduced anxiety that elevated levels of serotonin in the brain, and many prescription antidepressants, bring humans, aren’t productive in other animals. New research reveals that compounds in treated wastewater—antidepressants in particular—affect behavior in fish enough to render them more vulnerable to predators. … ”  Read more from the Environmental Monitor here:  Treated wastewater contains compounds the impair ecologically relevant behavior in fish

In urban streams, pharmaceutical pollution is driving microbial resistance:   “In urban streams, persistent pharmaceutical pollution can cause aquatic microbial communities to become resistant to drugs. So reports a new study published today in the journal Ecosphere.  Emma Rosi, an aquatic ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and lead author on the study explains, “Wastewater treatment facilities are not equipped to remove many pharmaceutical compounds. We were interested in how stream microorganisms — which perform key ecosystem services like removing nutrients and breaking down leaf litter — respond to pharmaceutical pollution.” … ”  Read more from Science Daily here:  In urban streams, pharmaceutical pollution is driving microbial resistance

Chesapeake Bay: Sea level rise is unlocking decades-old pollution:  “In 2015, Kate Tully visited farms near the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay. She was investigating whether sea level rise had caused brackish water to move upland, a process called saltwater intrusion—evidence of which she found in the form of increased salinity in the fields and surrounding ditches. When the researchers viewed the sites on Google Earth, they could even see white rings around the farms where water had evaporated and left salt.  “It’s crazy,” says Tully, an agroecologist at the University of Maryland, College Park. “You can taste it. You put your finger on the field, and it’s salty.”  Saltwater intrusion was killing the area’s soy, corn, and wheat, which couldn’t tolerate the rising salinity. … ”  Read more from Hakai Magazine here:  Chesapeake Bay: Sea level rise is unlocking decades-old pollution

Maven’s XKCD Comic Pick of the Week …

 

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About Science News and Reports: This weekly feature, posted every Thursday, is a collection of the latest scientific research and reports with a focus on relevant issues to the Delta and to California water, although other issues such as climate change are sometimes included. Do you have an item to be included here? Submissions of relevant research and other materials is welcome. Email Maven

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