The predominant data used in ecological risk assessment today are individual-based rather than population-based; yet environmental policies are usually designed to protect populations of threatened species or communities. Most current methods in ecotoxicology are limited by largely logistic/ technology-driven requirements that yield data for a relatively small number of test species and end points that focus on acute lethality or sublethal nonproduction-based parameters (e.g., biomarkers, mutagenesis, genetic change, physiological condition). A contrasting example is presented here showing the predictive ability of meiobenthos-based full life cycle toxicity testing to extrapolate multi-generational effects of chemicals on variables of import to population growth and maintenance. Less than 24-h-old larvae of a meiobenthic copepod were reared individually in 96-well microplate exposures to parent and degradates of the phenylpyrazole insecticide fipronil. Survival, development rates, sex ratio change, fertility, fecundity, and hatching success were tracked daily for 32 d through mating and production of three broods in spiked seawater. These data were then inserted in a Leslie (Lefkovitch) matrix stage-based population growth model to predict relative rates of population increase (lambda) and changes in net population growth with time and toxicant concentration. Field-reported test concentrations produced strong reproductive (52-88%) and net production (40-80%) depressions for parent (at 0.25 and 0.5 microg/L), desthionyl (0.25 and 0.5 microg/L), and sulfide (0.15 microg/L) moieties as compared to controls. Spiked sediment exposures of 65-300 ng of fipronil/g of dry sediment yielded significantly reduced production rates per female that were 67-50% of control production. The consistent reproductively linked impacts of fipronil and its degradation products at the population maintenance levels suggest risks to sediment-dwelling crustaceans at concentrations well below noneffects for most aquatic test species based on risk assessment data from primarily acute and sub-life cycle toxicity tests.
"ological relevancy compared to ap - proaches based on the organism level ( Forbes and Calow , 2002 ; Stark et al . , 2004 ; De Mott et al . , 2005 ; Raimondo et al . , 2006 ) . Matrix population models were recognised as particularly valuable tools to predict toxic effects on population dynamics ( Forbes et al . , 2009 ; Salice and Miller , 2003 ; Chandler et al . , 2004 ; Bin - Le and Yaobin , 2009 ; Charles et al . , 2009 ) . The method is promising under the condi - tion that detailed descriptions of life - histories and robust datasets on biological effects of ionising radiations are available for reliability of model predictions ( Klok and de Roos , 1996 ) . However , predictions may be put under q"
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We modelled population-level consequences of chronic external gamma irradiation in aquatic invertebrates under laboratory conditions. We used Leslie matrices to combine life-history characteristics (duration of life stages, survival and fecundity rates) and dose rate-response curves for hatching, survival and reproduction fitted on effect data from the FREDERICA database. Changes in net reproductive rate R₀ (offspring per individual) and asymptotic population growth rate λ (dimensionless) were calculated over a range of dose rates in two marine polychaetes (Neanthes arenaceodentata and Ophryotrocha diadema) and a freshwater gastropod (Physa heterostropha). Sensitivities in R₀ and λ to changes in life-history traits were analysed in each species. Results showed that fecundity has the strongest influence on R₀. A delay in age at first reproduction is most critical for λ independent of the species. Fast growing species were proportionally more sensitive to changes in individual endpoints than slow growing species. Reduction of 10% in population λ were predicted at dose rates of 6918, 5012 and 74,131 μGy·h⁻¹ in N. arenaceodentata, O. diadema and P. heterostropha respectively, resulting from a combination of strong effects on several individual endpoints in each species. These observations made 10%-reduction in λ a poor criterion for population protection. The lowest significant changes in R₀ and λ were respectively predicted at a same dose rate of 1412 μGy h⁻¹ in N. arenaceodentata, at 760 and 716 μGy h⁻¹ in O. diadema and at 12,767 and 13,759 μGy h⁻¹ in P. heterostropha. These values resulted from a combination of slight but significant changes in several measured endpoints and were lower than effective dose rates calculated for the individual level in O. diadema and P. heterostropha. The relevance of the experimental dataset (external irradiation rather than contamination, exposure over one generation only, effects on survival and reproduction only) for predicting population responses was discussed.
Science of The Total Environment 05/2012; 429:206-14. DOI:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.03.078 · 4.10 Impact Factor
"Risk assessment efforts at population and community levels require model organisms that allow exposure and full cycle measurements throughout their reproductive and recruitment time windows (Chandler et al., 2004). With such model species, it is possible to assess survival, growth and reproduction, which are considered the most relevant characteristics for risk assessment at the population-level (Van Gestel and Van Brummelen, 1996). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Offshore oil and gas drilling often involves the use of fluids containing barium and traces of other heavy metals. These may affect the environment, but information on their toxicity to benthic biota remains scant. Here, we present results of a 10-day bioassay with the marine nematode Rhabditis (Pellioditis) marina at different loads of barium (0-10 ,000 ppm nominal concentrations) and cadmium (0-12 ppm) in the range of concentrations reported from drilling-impacted sediments. Barium did not affect the fitness and population development of R. (P.) marina at concentrations up to 300 ppm, but did cause a decrease in population abundance and an increase in development time from concentrations of 400-2000 ppm onwards. Increased mortality occurred at 4800 ppm Ba. For cadmium, LOEC and EC₅₀ values for total population abundance were 2.95 and 8.82 ppm, respectively. Cd concentrations as low as 2.40 to 2.68 caused a decrease in the abundance of adult nematodes, indicating that assays covering more generations would likely demonstrate yet more pronounced population-level effects. Our results indicate that oil and gas drilling activities may potentially have important implications for the meiobenthos through the toxicity of barium and associated metals like cadmium.
Marine environmental research 07/2011; 72(4):151-9. DOI:10.1016/j.marenvres.2011.07.003 · 2.76 Impact Factor
"Our review showed that of the 90 model entries in the database, 81 (90%) could be used for extrapolating effects from the individual to the population level (Figure 1). The most commonly used method to estimate effects of chemicals on populations and their growth rates uses data on vital rates from life table response experiments or toxicity tests (Kuhn et al. 2000; Chandler et al. 2004). Vital parameters derived from stressed individuals as well as from the control group are then projected using a population model and compared with an unstressed situation (Klok and de Roos 1996; Salice and Miller 2003). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Whereas current chemical risk assessment (RA) schemes within the European Union (EU) focus mainly on toxicity and bioaccumulation of chemicals in individual organisms, most protection goals aim at preserving populations of nontarget organisms rather than individuals. Ecological models are tools rarely recommended in official technical documents on RA of chemicals, but are widely used by researchers to assess risks to populations, communities and ecosystems. Their great advantage is the relatively straightforward integration of the sensitivity of species to chemicals, the mode of action and fate in the environment of toxicants, life-history traits of the species of concern, and landscape features. To promote the usage of ecological models in regulatory risk assessment, this study tries to establish whether existing, published ecological modeling studies have addressed or have the potential to address the protection aims and requirements of the chemical directives of the EU. We reviewed 148 publications, and evaluated and analyzed them in a database according to defined criteria. Published models were also classified in terms of 5 areas where their application would be most useful for chemical RA. All potential application areas are well represented in the published literature. Most models were developed to estimate population-level responses on the basis of individual effects, followed by recovery process assessment, both in individuals and at the level of metapopulations. We provide case studies for each of the proposed areas of ecological model application. The lack of clarity about protection goals in legislative documents made it impossible to establish a direct link between modeling studies and protection goals. Because most of the models reviewed here were not developed for regulatory risk assessment, there is great potential and a variety of ecological models in the published literature.
Data provided are for informational purposes only. Although carefully collected, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. The impact factor represents a rough estimation of the journal's impact factor and does not reflect the actual current impact factor. Publisher conditions are provided by RoMEO. Differing provisions from the publisher's actual policy or licence agreement may be applicable.