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This paper describes scientific developments that have raised awareness that changes in ecological risk assessment (ERA) methods are necessary. These changes have also been triggered by developments in environmental policies. This is illustrated by examples for The Netherlands and Europe. The ecosystem services concept seems to gain a central role in developments of new ERA methods. Main reasons for this are the integrative character of the concept, making it possible to integrate over environmental compartments or over environmental assessment methods, the concept's strength as communication tool and the possibility to value ecosystem services in economic terms. A method using ecosystem services in ERA is presented here in more detail, as an example. In this method assessment endpoints are derived from structures and processes in the ecosystem that are considered indispensable for the provision of particular ecosystem services. The approach facilitates fine-tuning ERA to specific land use demands
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