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Martin B.T.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research | Jager T.,VU University Amsterdam | Nisbet R.M.,University of California at Santa Barbara | Preuss T.G.,RWTH Aachen | And 3 more authors.
Ecotoxicology | Year: 2013

Individual-based models (IBMs) predict how dynamics at higher levels of biological organization emerge from individual-level processes. This makes them a particularly useful tool for ecotoxicology, where the effects of toxicants are measured at the individual level but protection goals are often aimed at the population level or higher. However, one drawback of IBMs is that they require significant effort and data to design for each species. A solution would be to develop IBMs for chemical risk assessment that are based on generic individual-level models and theory. Here we show how one generic theory, Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) theory, can be used to extrapolate the effect of toxicants measured at the individual level to effects on population dynamics. DEB is based on first principles in bioenergetics and uses a common model structure to model all species. Parameterization for a certain species is done at the individual level and allows to predict population-level effects of toxicants for a wide range of environmental conditions and toxicant concentrations. We present the general approach, which in principle can be used for all animal species, and give an example using Daphnia magna exposed to 3,4-dichloroaniline. We conclude that our generic approach holds great potential for standardized ecological risk assessment based on ecological models. Currently, available data from standard tests can directly be used for parameterization under certain circumstances, but with limited extra effort standard tests at the individual would deliver data that could considerably improve the applicability and precision of extrapolation to the population level. Specifically, the measurement of a toxicant's effect on growth in addition to reproduction, and presenting data over time as opposed to reporting a single EC50 or dose response curve at one time point. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York. Source

Schuttrumpf H.,RWTH Aachen | Brinkmann M.,RWTH Aachen | Cofalla C.,RWTH Aachen | Frings R.M.,RWTH Aachen | And 8 more authors.
Environmental Sciences Europe | Year: 2011

Extreme hydrodynamic events such as flood events or dredging activities bear the risk of eroding sediments in rivers, reservoirs, harbour basins or estuaries. One of the key concerns associated with these erosion processes is the re-mobilisation of sediment-bound pollutants in highly contaminated sediments. To date, much research has been conducted to characterise flow and sediment processes associated with hydrological events such as floods. Furthermore, there is a large body of literature describing the interaction of contaminants associated with particulate matter to aquatic biota. However, there is little knowledge regarding interactions between hydrosedimentological and ecotoxicological processes. Understanding of the ecotoxicological consequences and associated risks to aquatic wildlife associated with hydraulic events can provide critical information to regulatory bodies or managing authorities. Specifically, it will aid in assessing risks associated with current management practices and will aid in developing more sustainable future management practices for waterways or harbours. Therefore, a combined experimental methodology between hydraulic engineers and ecotoxicologists was developed to investigate the ecological and toxicological relevance of sediment re-suspension and transport during erosion. An overview of this methodology is given in the present paper. © 2011 Schüttrumpf et al. Source

Toschki A.,Gaiac Research Institute for Ecosystem Analysis and Assessment | Jansch S.,ECT Oekotoxikologie GmbH | Ross-Nickoll M.,RWTH Aachen | Rombke J.,ECT Oekotoxikologie GmbH | Zughart W.,Federal Agency for Nature Conservation BfN
Environmental Sciences Europe | Year: 2015

Background: In the Directive 2001/18/EC on the deliberate release of genetically modified organisms (GMO) into the environment, a monitoring of potential risks is prescribed after their deliberate release or placing on the market. Experience and data of already existing monitoring networks should be included. The present paper summarizes the major findings of a project funded by the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (Nutzungsmöglichkeiten der Boden—Dauerbeobachtung der Länder für das Monitoring der Umweltwirkungen gentechnisch veränderter Pflanzen. BfN Skripten, Bonn-Bad Godesberg 369, 2014). The full report in german language can be accessed on http://www.bfn.de and is available as Additional file 1. The aim of the project was to check if it is possible to use the German permanent soil monitoring program (PSM) for the monitoring of GMO. Soil organism communities are highly diverse and relevant with respect to the sustainability of soil functions. They are exposed to GMO material directly by feeding or indirectly through food chain interactions. Other impacts are possible due to their close association to soil particles. Results: The PSM program can be considered as representative with regard to different soil types and ecoregions in Germany, but not for all habitat types relevant for soil organisms. Nevertheless, it is suitable as a basic grid for monitoring the potential effects of GMO on soil invertebrates. Conclusions: PSM sites should be used to derive reference values, i.e. range of abundance and presence of different relevant species of soil organisms. Based on these references, it is possible to derive threshold values to define the limit of acceptable change or impact. Therefore, a minimum set of sites and minimum set of standardized methods are needed, i.e. characterization of each site, sampling of selected soil organism groups, adequate adaptation of methods for the purpose of monitoring of potential effects of GMO. Finally, and probably most demanding, it is needed to develop a harmonized evaluation concept. © 2015, Toschki et al. Source

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