Peer review artikel

(Eco)toxicological tests for assessing impacts of chemical stress to aquatic ecosystems: Facts, challenges, and future


“Monitoring of chemicals in the aquatic environment by chemical analysis alone cannot completely assess and predict the effects on aquatic species and ecosystems because of the increasing number of (unknown) chemical stressors and mixture effects in the environment. In addition, the ability of ecological indices to identify underlying stressors causing negative ecological effects is limited. Therefore, additional complementary methods are needed that can address the biological effects in a direct manner and provide a link to chemical exposure, i.e. (eco)toxicological tests. (Eco)toxicological tests are defined as test systems that expose biological components (cells, individuals, populations, communities) to (environmental mixtures of) chemicals to register biological effects. These tests measure responses at the sub-organismal (biomarkers and in vitro bioassays), whole-organismal and population/community level. We performed a literature search to obtain a state-of-art overview of ecotoxicological test available for assessing impacts of chemicals to the aquatic biota and to reveal datagaps. In total, we included 509 biomarkers, 207 in vitro bioassays, 422 tests measuring biological effects at the whole-organismal level and 78 tests at the population community-and ecosystem-level. Tests at the whole-organismal level and biomarkers were most abundant for invertebrates and fish, whilst in vitro bioassays are mostly based on mammalian cell lines. Tests are almost missing for organisms other than microorganisms and algae at the community- and ecosystem-level. In addition, we provide overview of the various extrapolation challenges faced in using data from these tests and suggest some forward looking perspectives. Although extrapolating the measured responses to relevant protection goals remains challenging, the combination of ecotoxicological experiments and models is key for a more comprehensive assessment of the effects of chemicals stressors to aquatic ecosystems.”

(Citation: Schuijt, L.M., Peng, F.J., Berg, S.J.P. van, – (Eco)toxicological tests for assessing impacts of chemical stress to aquatic ecosystems: Facts, challenges, and future – Science of the Environment (2021)art. no. 148776 – DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.148776 – In Press, Journal Pre-proof – (Open Access))

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