Cefic-lri Programme | European Chemical Industry Council

ECO28: Modelling approaches for a scenario based assessment of chemically induced impacts on aquatic macroinvertebrate communities (MACROMOD)

Principal Investigator

Dr. Monika Hammers-Wirtz
Research Institute for Ecosystem Analysis and Assessment, gaiac
Kackertstrasse 10
52072 Aachen
Germany
hammers-wirtz@gaiac.rwth-aachen.de
Tel: +49 (0) 241-80 27601

Collaborators

André Gergs, Gaiac, DE
Silke Classen, Gaiac, DE
Tido Strauss, Gaiac, DE
Annemette Palmqvist, Roskilde University, DK
Wolfgang Zuleger, Dr. Knoell Consult, GmbH, GE

Description

The ecological risk assessment (ERA) of chemicals aims at quantifying the likelihood of adverse ecological effects posed on populations and the communities they comprise (sensu Forbes et al. 2011). Effects caused by the exposure of organisms to toxicants can however to a great extent depend on environmental scenarios as well on the states, behaviors and interactions of organisms with consequences for individual life history, population responses and community dynamics. In the past, these aspects have often been ignored in ecotoxicology and the calculation of adverse effect concentration, such as the predicted no effect concentration (PNEC) or regulatory acceptable concentration (RAC), which classically focuses on toxicant concentration responses while keeping the environmental conditions as constant as possible. Therefore, calls for more ecological realism in ecotoxicology reached the scientific and regulatory community more than a decade ago. As we cannot test the effects of all toxic compounds on all species in all possible environments, we need predictive modeling approaches for ecological risk assessment as recommended by the EU commission (SCHEER 2013).

The prediction of how communities perform under environmental change generally requires an understanding of how macro scale system behavior, such as population dynamics and functional community diversity, emerges from the behavior of its lower scale components. IBMs are thus playing an increasing role in both basic and applied science (DeAngelis and Mooij 2005, Grimm and Railsback 2005, Stillman et al. 2014). A major drawback of IBMs is however that model design differs considerably among species. Analyzing model structure or obtaining general insights into natural systems from IBMs is generally inefficient (Grimm 1999), although standardized protocols for model development and documentation exist (Grimm et al. 2006, Schmolke et al. 2010). For applications in ERA the development of standardized or general model designs has thus been recommended by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA 2014). Instead of developing models for each species from scratch, standard designs can facilitate the re-usability of IBMs and allow more general insights into natural systems (Berger et al. 2002). It has been argued that standard models will make model development and communication more efficient, and there would be no need for detailed justification every time a model design is re-used because it has been applied before (Martin et al. 2013). Moreover, standard models will facilitate the comparison of different species and ecosystems, as the variability among systems can be ascribed to species-specific traits or system-related factors rather than to any detail of the model structure. Strong moves in the direction of standardizing IBMs have been made based on metabolic theories (Sibly et al. 2013, Martin et al. 2013, Gergs et al. 2014).

Project objectives:

  1. Identification of relevant ecological scenarios as a basis for model parameterization and application to be stored in dedicated data-bases.
  2. Development and implementation of a standardized individual-based community model, with a basis in dynamic energy budget theory (Kooijman 2010), that is able to represent aquatic communities typical for major habitat typologies in the European Union.
  3. Explore the trait-based community IBM (see above) and a differential equation based community model (already existing) as well as statistical and process-based effect models to compare community level toxicity model outcomes to conventionally calculated PNECs.
  4. Develop a conceptual framework for adopting ecological risk assessment using the REACH regulation as an example.

Related Publications

Publications:

Gergs A., Gabsi F., Zenker A., Preuss T.G. Demographic toxicokinetic-toxicodynamic modeling of lethal effects. Environ Sci Technol. 2016 Jun 7;50(11):6017-24.

Presentations:

Gergs A. Modelling approaches for a scenario based assessment of chemically induced impacts on aquatic macroinvertebrate communities. Bayer AG, March 2017, Monheim, Germany.

Gergs A. Modelling approaches for a scenario based assessment of chemically induced impacts on aquatic macroinvertebrate communities. Roskilde University, June 2017, Roskilde, Denmark

Gergs A., Selck H., Hammers-Wirtz M., Palmqvist A. Dynamic energy budgets in individual based population models: cross species test and application. DEB Symposium, June 2017, Tromsø, Norway.

Gergs A. Modelling approaches for a scenario based assessment of chemically induced impacts on aquatic macroinvertebrate communities. Ibacon GmbH, October 2017, Rossdorf, Germany.

Gergs A., Classen S., Ladermann K., Strauss T., Hammers-Wirtz M. Modelling ecological scenarios for the assessment of chemical effects on stream communities. SETAC Europe 28th Annual Meeting, May 2018, Rome, Italy.

Gergs A., Classen S., Ladermann K., Strauss T., Hammers-Wirtz M., Modellierung ökologischer Szenarien für die Risikobewertung von Chemikalien. Annual Meeting of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Limnologie (German society of limnology), September 2018, Kamp-Lintfort, Germany.

Strauss T., Kopplung komplexer Gewässergütemodelle mit individuenbasierten Populationsmodellen zur dynamischen Simulation stehender Gewässer. Annual meeting of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Limnologie (German society of limnology), September 2018, Kamp-Lintfort, Germany.

Posters:

Gergs A., Classen S., Palmqvist A., Strauss T., Zuleger W., Hammers-Wirtz M. Modelling ecological scenarios for the assessment of chemical effects on aquatic communities. Cefic-LRI 17th Annual Workshop, Novermber 2015, Brussels, Belgium.

Gergs A., Palmqvist A., Classen S., Strauss T., Zuleger W., Hammers-Wirtz M. Development of a mechanistic effect model for the assessment of chemical effects on stream communities. Environmental Risk Conference, November 2015, Roskilde, Denmark.

Gergs A., Gabsi F., Zenker A., Preuss T.G. Variability in life stage sensitivity is a matter of toxicokinetics. SETAC Europe 26th Annual Meeting, May 2016, Nantes, France.

Gergs A., Classen S., Palmqvist A., Strauss T., Hammers-Wirtz M. Ecological scenarios for the assessment of chemical effects on stream communities: a mechanistic modelling approach. SETAC Europe 26th Annual Meeting, May 2016, Nantes, France.

Gergs A., Selck H., Palmqvist A. Cross species test and applications of a dynamic energy budget based population model. SETAC Europe 26th Annual Meeting, May 2016, Nantes, France.

Gergs A., Ladermann K., Knautz T., Hammers-Wirtz M., Classen S. A modelling approach to link mortality and feeding inhibition. SETAC Europe 27th Annual Meeting, May 2017, Brussels, Belgium.

Gergs A., Ladermann K., Lippmann N., Hammers-Wirtz M., Classen S. Temperature dependency of chemical effects predicted by physiological rate measures. SETAC Europe 27th Annual Meeting, May 2017, Brussels, Belgium.

Palmqvist A., Strauß T., Classen S., Hammers-Wirtz M., Gergs A. Conceptual model for implementing community model output in Ecological Risk Assessments of chemicals. SETAC Europe 27th Annual Meeting, May 2017, Brussels, Belgium.

Ladermann K., Lippmann N., Hammers-Wirtz M., Classen S., Gergs A. Temperaturabhängigkeit von chemischen Effekten vorhergesagt durch Messung physiologischer Raten [engl.: Temperature dependency in chemical effects predicted based on measures of physiological rates]. Annual meeting of the German Limnological Society, September 2017, Cottbus, Germany.

Strauss T., Gergs A., Ladermann K., Hammers-Wirtz M. Defining ecological lake scenarios for population modelling for the use in the Ecological Risk Assessment of chemicals. SETAC Europe 28th Annual Meeting, May 2018, Rome, Italy.

Ladermann K., Classen S., Strauss T., Hammers-Wirtz M. and Gergs A. Impact of temperature on species sensitivity distribution in aquatic invertebrates. SETAC Europe 28th Annual Meeting, May 2018, Rome, Italy.

Timeline: August 2015 > July 2018

LRI funding: € 301 765

Cefic-Lri Programme Responsible Care

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