Predicting the response of aquatic invertebrates to stress using species traits and stressor mode of action

M.N. Rubach

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


How much stress can one take? It depends, on the combination of your mental and physical characteristics (traits), but it’s hard to predict. Chemicals can have devastating effects on ecosystems and they can cause stress in animals and plants. Thus, their risk for ecosystem health needs to be assessed, before use. Species show very different tolerances to the diversity of chemicals due to the combination of both their traits and the molecular mechanism of causing damage in the cell. The challenge lies in finding the relevant species traits and their link to the chemical. In this project an insecticide and 15 freshwater species were used to develop and test a framework for the prediction of responses to stress using traits. Time dependent processes, such as exposure patterns, uptake and excretion of the chemical, but also compensation, detoxification and thresholds were investigated and modelled. These processes were successfully linked to several traits such as size, lipid content, breathing strategy, exoskeleton thickness and evolutionary descent.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • van den Brink, Paul, Promotor
  • Baird, D.J., Co-promotor, External person
  • Maund, S.J., Co-promotor
Award date7 Oct 2010
Place of Publication[S.l.
Print ISBNs9789085857679
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • aquatic arthropods
  • aquatic invertebrates
  • insecticides
  • chlorpyrifos
  • traits
  • toxicity
  • ecotoxicology
  • ecological risk assessment
  • sensitivity

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