Ecological vulnerability of macroinvertebrates, comparing sensitivity to vulnerability for chlorpyrifos

H.J. de Lange, R.P.A. van Wijngaarden, G.H.P. Arts

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstract

Abstract

The concept of vulnerability, often used in the past just like a synonymous of either sensitivity or susceptibility, is finally gaining a defined, wide acknowledged interpretation. The ecological vulnerability, regardless of the hierarchical level to which it is applied (population, community, ecosystem or even higher), expresses some intrinsic characteristics which are likely to influence the response of the considered system to a given stressor. The need for more ecology into ecotoxicology has already been highlighted in the past years, especially in relation to ecological risk assessment procedures. The vulnerability concept should provide the theoretical framework for the incorporation of such ecological issues into risk assessment methodologies. Nevertheless, better definitions of what vulnerability should focus on, together with new tools of evaluations, especially at higher levels of organisation, are strongly needed. A huge effort is required at the moment: turn the vulnerability concept out from the theory to its application in the field. Some practises for the evaluation of the different components of vulnerability have already been proposed in the past years, but now there is a need for more sound, accurate, reliable and replicable methodologies. The use of ecological traits has a promising potential to assess vulnerability of populations. Traits or characteristics needed to assess vulnerability at higher organisation levels should be the next focus of research. Standardization in this field is still yet to come, but new ideas and effective insights are fundamental to develop this key issue of modern ecotoxicology.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceeding of the SETAC Europe 21st Annual Meeting, 15-19 May 2011, Milan, Italy
Place of PublicationBrussel
PublisherSETAC
PagesTU375
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Event21st Annual Meeting SETAC - Ecosystem Protection in a Sustainable World: a Challenge for Science and Regulation -
Duration: 15 May 201119 May 2011

Conference

Conference21st Annual Meeting SETAC - Ecosystem Protection in a Sustainable World: a Challenge for Science and Regulation
Period15/05/1119/05/11

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