Doucette, Colman, Chemistry, Susquehanna University, 514 University Ave, Selinsgrove, PA, 17870, Doucette@susqu.edu; Tom, Lou Ann, Chemistry, Susquehanna University, 514 University Ave, Selinsgrove, PA, 17870, firstname.lastname@example.org; Persons, Matthew, Biology Susquehanna University 514 University Ave Selinsgrove PA, 17870, email@example.com.
The concentration of metals in indicator species, such as wolf spiders, is being studied to determine if metals can be detected to give an indication of the possible bioaccumulation of metals in the food chain. Wolf spiders are common in highly disturbed and degraded habitats as well as riparian zones where they occupy positions within detrital, terrestrial, and aquatic food chains. They also engage in both cannibalism and intraguild predation. These ecological characteristics make them good candidates for tracing food-chain pathways for environmental metal bioaccumulation and biomagnification. Inductively Coupled Plasma/Mass Spectrometry (ICP/MS) was used to determine twenty-one different metal concentrations across several genera of wolf spiders that vary in size and diet. Metal concentrations in spiders collected at sites along the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania, near a wastewater treatment plant directly downriver from a coal-fired power plant, were compared with metal concentrations in spiders collected from reference sites away from the river or point sources of potential pollution (agricultural fields). The spiders were collected, dried, weighed, digested in acid, diluted and then analyzed by ICP/MS for the concentration of twenty-one different metals including antimony, arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, selenium, strontium, and zinc. Preliminary results (in µg/g spider weight) indicate significant differences in some metal concentrations across some sites and significant differences in metal concentration among different wolf spider species within single locations. Due to high variance in metal concentration among wolf spider genera and sites, additional spiders are being analyzed to increase sample sizes and to examine differences across age and sexes of spiders.