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Assessing, mapping and validating site-specific ecotoxicological risk for pesticide mixtures: a case study for small scale hot spots in aquatic and terrestrial environments

Vaj, Claudia; Barmaz, Stefania; Borgen Sørensen, Peter; Spurgeon, David; Vighi, Marco. 2011 Assessing, mapping and validating site-specific ecotoxicological risk for pesticide mixtures: a case study for small scale hot spots in aquatic and terrestrial environments. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 74 (8). 2156-2166. 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2011.07.011

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Abstract/Summary

Mixture toxicity is a real world problem and as such requires risk assessment solutions that can be applied within different geographic regions, across different spatial scales and in situations where the quantity of data available for the assessment varies. Moreover, the need for site specific procedures for assessing ecotoxicological risk for non-target species in non-target ecosystems also has to be recognised. The work presented in the paper addresses the real world effects of pesticide mixtures on natural communities. Initially, the location of risk hotspots is theoretically estimated through exposure modelling and the use of available toxicity data to predict potential community effects. The concept of Concentration Addition (CA) is applied to describe responses resulting from exposure of multiple pesticides The developed and refined exposure models are georeferenced (GIS-based) and include environmental and physico-chemical parameters, and site specific information on pesticide usage and land use. As a test of the risk assessment framework, the procedures have been applied on a suitable study areas, notably the River Meolo basin (Northern Italy), a catchment characterised by intensive agriculture, as well as comparative area for some assessments. Within the studied areas, the risks for individual chemicals and complex mixtures have been assessed on aquatic and terrestrial aboveground and belowground communities. Results from ecological surveys have been used to validate these risk assessment model predictions. Value and limitation of the approaches are described and the possibilities for larger scale applications in risk assessment are also discussed.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2011.07.011
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biogeochemistry > BGC Topic 1 - Monitoring and Interpretation of Biogeochemical and Climate Changes
CEH Sections: Hails
ISSN: 0147-6513
Additional Keywords: pesticides, risk assessment, PNEC, GIS, mixtures, stress factors
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Chemistry
Date made live: 12 Jan 2012 10:46
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/16330

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