Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-6c8bd87754-clkrv Total loading time: 0.24 Render date: 2022-01-20T21:24:45.316Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

14 - Population growth rate as a basis for ecological risk assessment of toxic chemicals

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 May 2010

R. M. Sibly
Affiliation:
University of Reading
J. Hone
Affiliation:
University of Canberra
T. H. Clutton-Brock
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge
Get access

Summary

Introduction

Ecological risk assessment tries to predict the likely impacts of human activities on ecological systems (USEPA 1992). In the case of toxic chemicals, the raw materials for ecological risk assessment involve exposure assessment based on predictions or measurements of environmental concentrations of toxic chemicals and an assessment of hazards, i.e. the potential of those chemicals to cause ecological harm. Hazard assessment is generally based upon observations on survival, growth or reproduction in a few individuals in a few species. We shall refer to these responses as individuallevel variables. Variability in responses among species is expressed only in terms of differences in these traits as measured under standard laboratory conditions and hence only reflects physiological variability in sensitivity to chemicals. It is presumed that these kinds of observations are relevant for protecting populations and ecosystems. However, this raises at least three different questions, as follows.

  1. (i) To what extent do individual-level variables underestimate or overestimate population-level responses?

  2. (ii) How do toxicant-caused changes in individual-level variables translate into changes in population dynamics for species with different life cycles?

  3. (iii) To what extent are these relationships complicated by population-density effects?

We have addressed these questions, which go to the heart of the ecological relevance of ecotoxicology, using the population growth rate as an integrating concept. We have limited our attention to modelling the links between development, fecundity and survival to population growth rate.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2003

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Send book to Kindle

To send this book to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Send book to Dropbox

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×