Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
Salinity, Total dissolved solids
Increased levels of total dissolved solids (TDS) in stream habitats are of concern due to salinity as well as the presence of potentially toxic ions. Natural gas drilling in the Marcellus shale could increase TDS in nearby streams. This thesis investigated the effects of water with elevated TDS on the locomotory activity and body weight of the streamside salamander Desmognathus ochrophaeus. Salamanders were exposed to water collected from streams in southwest Pennsylvania with elevated TDS as well as synthetic ion solutions that mimicked the ionic composition found in streams. Chronic, but not acute exposure to solutions of 1000 ppm TDS caused significant differences in weight loss and locomotory activity, although the effect depended on the exact ion composition of the dissolved solids. Finally, field surveys of salamander abundance were completed on two streams to provide baseline data with which to track population changes should the TDS in the streams increase.
Pascuzzi, M. (2012). The Effects of Total Dissolved Solids on Locomotory Behavior and Body Weight of Streamside Salamanders, and a Baseline Survey of Salamander Diversity and Abundance (Master's thesis, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/1020