Risk assessment of episodic exposures to chemicals should consider both the physiological and the ecological sensitivities of species

Ben Kefford, M Liess, Michael Warne, Leon Metzeling, R Schäfer

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    4 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    In flowing water pollution regularly occurs in short pulses (hours to days). Populations of species affected by pulses have the potential to recover in the absence of further disturbance but recovery rates will vary between species due to resilience (e.g. generation time and dispersal ability) and avoidance traits. Current assessments of the risks of chemicals to community structure – predominantly based on species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) – only consider physiological sensitivity and do not give any consideration as to the rate at which populations will recover. We constructed SSDs of ecologically sensitive and tolerant stream invertebrate assemblages (based on 3 traits previously shown to be important in determining how species relative abundances respond to pesticide toxicity) from south-east Australia and in regions of Finland, Germany and France. There were differences in SSDs of a generic measure of physiological sensitivity to organic chemicals between ecologically sensitive and tolerant species, though these differences were not consistent between the regions studied. We conclude that it is important for community level risk assessments of pulses of chemicals that the ecological sensitivity of the regional species assemblage is considered and discuss several options as to how this could be achieved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)213-219
    Number of pages7
    JournalScience of the Total Environment
    Volume441
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

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    Risk assessment
    risk assessment
    Organic Chemicals
    Water pollution
    Organic chemicals
    Pesticides
    Toxicity
    Laser pulses
    Recovery
    chemical
    exposure
    generation time
    water pollution
    relative abundance
    community structure
    pesticide
    invertebrate
    toxicity
    disturbance
    Invertebrates

    Cite this

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    abstract = "In flowing water pollution regularly occurs in short pulses (hours to days). Populations of species affected by pulses have the potential to recover in the absence of further disturbance but recovery rates will vary between species due to resilience (e.g. generation time and dispersal ability) and avoidance traits. Current assessments of the risks of chemicals to community structure – predominantly based on species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) – only consider physiological sensitivity and do not give any consideration as to the rate at which populations will recover. We constructed SSDs of ecologically sensitive and tolerant stream invertebrate assemblages (based on 3 traits previously shown to be important in determining how species relative abundances respond to pesticide toxicity) from south-east Australia and in regions of Finland, Germany and France. There were differences in SSDs of a generic measure of physiological sensitivity to organic chemicals between ecologically sensitive and tolerant species, though these differences were not consistent between the regions studied. We conclude that it is important for community level risk assessments of pulses of chemicals that the ecological sensitivity of the regional species assemblage is considered and discuss several options as to how this could be achieved.",
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    author = "Ben Kefford and M Liess and Michael Warne and Leon Metzeling and R Sch{\"a}fer",
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    Risk assessment of episodic exposures to chemicals should consider both the physiological and the ecological sensitivities of species. / Kefford, Ben; Liess, M; Warne, Michael; Metzeling, Leon; Schäfer, R.

    In: Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 441, 2012, p. 213-219.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    AU - Kefford, Ben

    AU - Liess, M

    AU - Warne, Michael

    AU - Metzeling, Leon

    AU - Schäfer, R

    PY - 2012

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    AB - In flowing water pollution regularly occurs in short pulses (hours to days). Populations of species affected by pulses have the potential to recover in the absence of further disturbance but recovery rates will vary between species due to resilience (e.g. generation time and dispersal ability) and avoidance traits. Current assessments of the risks of chemicals to community structure – predominantly based on species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) – only consider physiological sensitivity and do not give any consideration as to the rate at which populations will recover. We constructed SSDs of ecologically sensitive and tolerant stream invertebrate assemblages (based on 3 traits previously shown to be important in determining how species relative abundances respond to pesticide toxicity) from south-east Australia and in regions of Finland, Germany and France. There were differences in SSDs of a generic measure of physiological sensitivity to organic chemicals between ecologically sensitive and tolerant species, though these differences were not consistent between the regions studied. We conclude that it is important for community level risk assessments of pulses of chemicals that the ecological sensitivity of the regional species assemblage is considered and discuss several options as to how this could be achieved.

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