Effect-based tools for monitoring and predicting the ecotoxicological effects of chemicals in the aquatic environment

Richard E Connon, Juergen Geist, Inge Werner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

109 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ecotoxicology faces the challenge of assessing and predicting the effects of an increasing number of chemical stressors on aquatic species and ecosystems. Herein we review currently applied tools in ecological risk assessment, combining information on exposure with expected biological effects or environmental water quality standards; currently applied effect-based tools are presented based on whether exposure occurs in a controlled laboratory environment or in the field. With increasing ecological relevance the reproducibility, specificity and thus suitability for standardisation of methods tends to diminish. We discuss the use of biomarkers in ecotoxicology including ecotoxicogenomics-based endpoints, which are becoming increasingly important for the detection of sublethal effects. Carefully selected sets of biomarkers allow an assessment of exposure to and effects of toxic chemicals, as well as the health status of organisms and, when combined with chemical analysis, identification of toxicant(s). The promising concept of "adverse outcome pathways (AOP)" links mechanistic responses on the cellular level with whole organism, population, community and potentially ecosystem effects and services. For most toxic mechanisms, however, practical application of AOPs will require more information and the identification of key links between responses, as well as key indicators, at different levels of biological organization, ecosystem functioning and ecosystem services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12741-12771
Number of pages31
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Volume12
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2012

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Ecosystems
Ecosystem
ecosystems
Ecotoxicology
Monitoring
Poisons
Biomarkers
biomarkers
organisms
Controlled Environment
environmental quality
Water Quality
water quality
risk assessment
biological effects
Risk assessment
Standardization
Health Status
Water quality
standardization

Keywords

  • Adverse outcome pathways
  • Aquatic toxicology
  • Bioassays
  • Biomarkers
  • Ecological monitoring
  • Ecosystem effects
  • Ecotoxicogenomics
  • Ecotoxicology
  • Systems biology
  • Toxicity identification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry

Cite this

Effect-based tools for monitoring and predicting the ecotoxicological effects of chemicals in the aquatic environment. / Connon, Richard E; Geist, Juergen; Werner, Inge.

In: Sensors (Switzerland), Vol. 12, No. 9, 09.2012, p. 12741-12771.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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