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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 02 July 2013, Vol.110(27), pp.11039-43
    Description: The biodiversity crisis is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity, but our understanding of the drivers remains limited. Thus, after decades of studies and regulation efforts, it remains unknown whether to what degree and at what concentrations modern agricultural pesticides cause regional-scale species losses. We analyzed the effects of pesticides on the regional taxa richness of stream invertebrates in Europe (Germany and France) and Australia (southern Victoria). Pesticides caused statistically significant effects on both the species and family richness in both regions, with losses in taxa up to 42% of the recorded taxonomic pools. Furthermore, the effects in Europe were detected at concentrations that current legislation considers environmentally protective. Thus, the current ecological risk assessment of pesticides falls short of protecting biodiversity, and new approaches linking ecology and ecotoxicology are needed.
    Keywords: Environmental Impacts ; Environmental Risk Assessment ; Macroinvertebrates ; Plant Protection Products ; Spatial Scale ; Biodiversity ; Invertebrates -- Drug Effects ; Pesticides -- Toxicity ; Water Pollutants, Chemical -- Toxicity
    ISSN: 00278424
    E-ISSN: 1091-6490
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: The Science of the Total Environment, Jan 15, 2012, Vol.415, p.1(2)
    Description: To link to full-text access for this article, visit this link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2011.08.012 Byline: Ralf B. Schafer Keywords: Ecosystem functions; Ecosystem services; Biodiversity; Pollution; Toxicants Abstract: This Special Issue focuses on the questions if and how biodiversity, ecosystem functions and resulting services could be incorporated into the Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA). Therefore, three articles provide a framework for the integration of ecosystem services into ERA of soils, sediments and pesticides. Further articles demonstrate ways how stakeholders can be integrated into an ecosystem service-based ERA for soils and describe how the current monitoring could be adapted to new assessment endpoints that are directly linked to ecosystem services. Case studies show that the current ERA may not be protective for biodiversity, ecosystem functions and resulting services and that both pesticides and salinity currently adversely affect ecosystem functions in the field. Moreover, ecological models can be used for prediction of new protection goals and could finally support their implementation into the ERA. Overall, the Special Issue stresses the urgent need to enhance current procedures of ERA if biodiversity, ecosystem functions and resulting services are to be protected. Article History: Received 29 July 2011; Accepted 3 August 2011
    Keywords: Biodiversity ; Risk Assessment ; Ecosystems
    ISSN: 0048-9697
    Source: Cengage Learning, Inc.
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: The Science of the Total Environment, Jan 15, 2014, Vol.468-469, p.943(7)
    Description: To link to full-text access for this article, visit this link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.08.058 Byline: Eduard Szocs, Eckhard Coring, Jurgen Bathe, Ralf B. Schafer Abstract: Salinization of rivers resulting from industrial discharge or road-deicing can adversely affect macroinvertebrates. Trait-based approaches are a promising tool in ecological monitoring and may perform better than taxonomy-based approaches. However only little is known how and which biological traits are affected by salinization. We investigated the effects of anthropogenic salinization on macroinvertebrate communities and biological traits in the Werra River, Germany and compared the taxonomic and trait response. We found a change in macroinvertebrate community and trait composition. Communities at saline sites were characterized by the three exotic species Gammarus tigrinus, Apocorophium lacustre and Potamopyrgus antipodarum. The frequencies of trait modalities long life cycle duration, respiration by gill, ovoviviparity, shredder and multivoltinism were statistically significantly increased at saline sites. The trait-based ordination resulted in a higher explained variance than the taxonomy-based ordination, indicating a better performance of the trait-based approach, resulting in a better discrimination between saline and non-saline sites. Our results are in general agreement with other studies from Europe, indicating a trait convergence for saline streams, being dominated by the traits ovoviviparity and multivoltinism. Three further traits (respiration by gill, life cycle duration and shredders) responded strongly to salinization, but this may primarily be attributed to the dominance of a single invasive species, G. tigrinus, at the saline sites in the Werra River. Article History: Received 5 June 2013; Revised 6 August 2013; Accepted 19 August 2013 Article Note: (miscellaneous) Editor: Christian EW Steinberg
    Keywords: Environmental Monitoring -- Analysis ; Soil Salinity -- Analysis
    ISSN: 0048-9697
    Source: Cengage Learning, Inc.
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Science of the Total Environment, 2012, Vol.415, pp.1-2
    Description: This Special Issue focuses on the questions if and how biodiversity, ecosystem functions and resulting services could be incorporated into the Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA). Therefore, three articles provide a framework for the integration of ecosystem services into ERA of soils, sediments and pesticides. Further articles demonstrate ways how stakeholders can be integrated into an ecosystem service-based ERA for soils and describe how the current monitoring could be adapted to new assessment endpoints that are directly linked to ecosystem services. Case studies show that the current ERA may not be protective for biodiversity, ecosystem functions and resulting services and that both pesticides and salinity currently adversely affect ecosystem functions in the field. Moreover, ecological models can be used for prediction of new protection goals and could finally support their implementation into the ERA. Overall, the Special Issue stresses the urgent need to enhance current procedures of ERA if biodiversity, ecosystem functions and resulting services are to be protected. ► Introduction to special issue on ecosystem services, functions and biodiversity in risk assessment. ► Current risk assessment may not be protective for these endpoints. ► Frameworks for the integration in risk assessment and case studies are presented.
    Keywords: Ecosystem Functions ; Ecosystem Services ; Biodiversity ; Pollution ; Toxicants ; Environmental Sciences ; Biology ; Public Health
    ISSN: 0048-9697
    E-ISSN: 1879-1026
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: The Science of the Total Environment, Oct 15, 2012, Vol.437, p.121(6)
    Description: To link to full-text access for this article, visit this link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.07.066 Byline: Eduard Szocs, Ben J. Kefford, Ralf B. Schafer Keywords: Salinization; Major ions; Pesticides; Multivariate analysis; Stream invertebrates; Multiple stressors Abstract: Salinization of freshwater ecosystems is a global problem affecting many regions worldwide and can co-occur with pesticides in agricultural regions. Given that both stressors are potent to affect macroinvertebrate communities, their effects could interact. We investigated the effects of salinity and pesticides at 24 sites in an agricultural region of southern Victoria, South-East Australia. We used distance-based redundancy analysis to determine the influence of pesticides, salinity and other environmental variables on the composition of macroinvertebrate communities. Salinity and pesticide toxicity had a statistically significant effect on communities as had the substrate composition and the percentage of pool and riffle sections in the sampled stream reaches. We did not find evidence for interactive effects between salinity and pesticides, i.e. the effect of one of these variables did not depend on the level of the other. Nevertheless, our results show that salinization and exposure to pesticides can be major factors for the structure of macroinvertebrate communities in agricultural regions. Pesticide toxicity acted on a lower taxonomic level compared to salinity, potentially indicating evolutionary adaptation to salinity stress. Article History: Received 22 March 2012; Revised 4 July 2012; Accepted 20 July 2012
    Keywords: Freshwater Ecosystems -- Analysis ; Pesticides -- Analysis ; Soil Salinity -- Analysis
    ISSN: 0048-9697
    Source: Cengage Learning, Inc.
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: The Science of the Total Environment, Nov 15, 2015, Vol.533, p.40(9)
    Description: To link to full-text access for this article, visit this link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.06.090 Byline: Diego Fernandez, Katharina Voss, Mirco Bundschuh, Jochen P. Zubrod, Ralf B. Schafer Abstract: Large amounts of fungicides are applied globally and partly enter freshwater ecosystems. A few laboratory studies examined their effects on decomposer communities and the ecosystem process of litter decomposition (LD), whereas the field situation remains largely unknown. We conducted a field study with 17 stream sites in a German vineyard area where fungicides represent the dominant pest control agent. Passive samplers were used to monitor 15 fungicides and 4 insecticides in streams and their toxicity was described using the toxic unit approach, whereas sediment samples were taken to characterise total copper concentrations. Microbial and leaf-shredding invertebrate community composition and related LD rates were assessed at each site. The structure of microbial and shredder communities as well as fungal biomass changed along the fungicide toxicity gradient. The changes in microbial endpoints were associated with a reduction of microbial LD rate of up to 40% in polluted streams. By contrast, neither the invertebrate LD rate nor in-situ measured gammarid feeding rates correlated with fungicide toxicity, but both were negatively associated with sediment copper concentrations. A subsequent laboratory experiment employing field fungicide concentrations suggested that the microbial community changes are causal. Overall, our results suggest that fungicides can affect LD under field conditions. Article History: Received 20 April 2015; Revised 22 June 2015; Accepted 22 June 2015 Article Note: (miscellaneous) Editor: D. Barcelo
    Keywords: Fungicides – Analysis ; Vineyards – Analysis ; Wineries – Analysis ; Freshwater Ecosystems – Analysis ; Sediments (Geology) – Analysis
    ISSN: 0048-9697
    Source: Cengage Learning, Inc.
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  • 7
    Language: English
    In: The Science of the Total Environment, Jan 15, 2012, Vol.415, p.61(8)
    Description: To link to full-text access for this article, visit this link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2011.05.056 Byline: Ben J. Kefford, Ralf B. Schafer, Leon Metzeling Keywords: Biological traits; Stream macroinvertebrates; Salinization; Suspended sediments; Spatial scale Abbreviations: ANOSIM, analysis of similarity; Br, Breather; EC, electrical conductivity (salinity); JI, Jaccard's Index; PSS, pooled sample sets; NTU, Nephelometric Turbidity Units; NUE, no unacceptable effect; RSF, relative species retention; S.sub.org, sensitivity to organic toxicants; SSD, species sensitivity distribution; UED, unacceptable effect detected Abstract: Ecological risk assessments mostly consider measures of community composition (structure) across large spatial scales. These assessments, using species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) or the relative species retention (RSR), may not be protective of ecosystem functions and services at smaller spatial scales. Here we examine how changes in biological traits, as proxy for ecosystem functions/services, at a fine spatial scale relate to larger scale assessment of structure. We use functional traits of stream insect species in south-east Australia in two habitats (riffle and edge/pool). We find that the protection of community structure in terms of 95% of species over multiple sites against adverse effects of salinity (as electrical conductivity) and turbidity will mostly, but not always, protect traits at smaller scales. Considering different combinations of trait modalities, contaminants and habitat, a mean of 17.5% (range 0%-36.8) of cases would result in under-protection of trait modalities despite protecting species composition (in terms of Jaccard's Index). This under-protection of trait modalities is only because of the different spatial scales that community structure and the traits were considered. We recommend that where the protection of biological traits, ecosystem functions or ecosystem services from stressors is a management goal, protective targets should not be solely set using measures of community structure such as SSDs or RSR. To protect both structural and functional attributes separate risk assessments should be done. Article History: Received 24 February 2011; Revised 6 May 2011; Accepted 8 May 2011
    Keywords: Wildlife Conservation ; Soil Salinity ; Risk Assessment ; Ecosystems ; Electrical Conductivity
    ISSN: 0048-9697
    Source: Cengage Learning, Inc.
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  • 8
    Language: English
    In: The Science of the Total Environment, Dec 15, 2015, Vol.537, p.187(10)
    Description: To link to full-text access for this article, visit this link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.08.011 Byline: Katja Bunzel, Ralf B. Schafer, Daniela Thran, Mira Kattwinkel Abstract: The European Union aims to reach a 10% share of biofuels in the transport sector by 2020. The major burden is most likely to fall on already established annual energy crops such as rapeseed and cereals for the production of biodiesel and bioethanol, respectively. Annual energy crops are typically cultivated in intensive agricultural production systems, which require the application of pesticides. Agricultural pesticides can have adverse effects on aquatic invertebrates in adjacent streams. We assessed the relative ecological risk to aquatic invertebrates associated with the chemical pest management from six energy crops (maize, potato, sugar beet, winter barley, winter rapeseed, and winter wheat) as well as from mixed cultivation scenarios. The pesticide exposure related to energy crops and cultivation scenarios was estimated as surface runoff for 253 small stream sites in Central Germany using a GIS-based runoff potential model. The ecological risk for aquatic invertebrates, an important organism group for the functioning of stream ecosystems, was assessed using acute toxicity data (48-h LC.sub.50 values) of the crustacean Daphnia magna. We calculated the Ecological Risk from potential Pesticide Runoff (ERPR) for all three main groups of pesticides (herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides). Our findings suggest that the crops potato, sugar beet, and rapeseed pose a higher ecological risk to aquatic invertebrates than maize, barley, and wheat. As maize had by far the lowest ERPR values, from the perspective of pesticide pollution, its cultivation as substrate for the production of the gaseous biofuel biomethane may be preferable compared to the production of, for example, biodiesel from rapeseed. Article History: Received 2 July 2015; Revised 3 August 2015; Accepted 3 August 2015 Article Note: (miscellaneous) Editor: D. Barcelo
    Keywords: Energy Crops – Analysis ; Fungicides – Analysis ; Biomass Energy – Analysis ; Herbicides – Analysis ; Potatoes – Analysis ; Agriculture – Analysis ; Ecosystems – Analysis ; Runoff – Analysis
    ISSN: 0048-9697
    Source: Cengage Learning, Inc.
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  • 9
    Language: English
    In: The Science of the Total Environment, Dec 15, 2012, Vol.441, p.213(7)
    Description: To link to full-text access for this article, visit this link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.09.047 Byline: Ben J. Kefford, Matthias Liess, Michael St. J. Warne, Leon Metzeling, Ralf B. Schafer Keywords: Ecological risk assessment; Intermittent pollution; Periodic contamination; Stream invertebrates; Biological traits; Recovery Abbreviations: LC.sub.50, concentration lethal to 50% of a test population; PC.sub.p, protective concentration for p% of species; S.sub.organic, sensitivity organic scores; SPEAR, SPEcies At Risk; SSD, species sensitivity distribution Abstract: In flowing water pollution regularly occurs in short pulses (hours to days). Populations of species affected by pulses have the potential to recover in the absence of further disturbance but recovery rates will vary between species due to resilience (e.g. generation time and dispersal ability) and avoidance traits. Current assessments of the risks of chemicals to community structure - predominantly based on species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) - only consider physiological sensitivity and do not give any consideration as to the rate at which populations will recover. We constructed SSDs of ecologically sensitive and tolerant stream invertebrate assemblages (based on 3 traits previously shown to be important in determining how species relative abundances respond to pesticide toxicity) from south-east Australia and in regions of Finland, Germany and France. There were differences in SSDs of a generic measure of physiological sensitivity to organic chemicals between ecologically sensitive and tolerant species, though these differences were not consistent between the regions studied. We conclude that it is important for community level risk assessments of pulses of chemicals that the ecological sensitivity of the regional species assemblage is considered and discuss several options as to how this could be achieved. Article History: Received 24 April 2012; Revised 5 September 2012; Accepted 22 September 2012
    Keywords: Risk Assessment -- Physiological Aspects ; Risk Assessment -- Environmental Aspects ; Endangered Species -- Physiological Aspects ; Endangered Species -- Environmental Aspects
    ISSN: 0048-9697
    Source: Cengage Learning, Inc.
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  • 10
    Language: English
    In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 01 July 2014, Vol.111(26), pp.9549-54
    Description: Organic chemicals can contribute to local and regional losses of freshwater biodiversity and ecosystem services. However, their overall relevance regarding larger spatial scales remains unknown. Here, we present, to our knowledge, the first risk assessment of organic chemicals on the continental scale comprising 4,000 European monitoring sites. Organic chemicals were likely to exert acute lethal and chronic long-term effects on sensitive fish, invertebrate, or algae species in 14% and 42% of the sites, respectively. Of the 223 chemicals monitored, pesticides, tributyltin, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and brominated flame retardants were the major contributors to the chemical risk. Their presence was related to agricultural and urban areas in the upstream catchment. The risk of potential acute lethal and chronic long-term effects increased with the number of ecotoxicologically relevant chemicals analyzed at each site. As most monitoring programs considered in this study only included a subset of these chemicals, our assessment likely underestimates the actual risk. Increasing chemical risk was associated with deterioration in the quality status of fish and invertebrate communities. Our results clearly indicate that chemical pollution is a large-scale environmental problem and requires far-reaching, holistic mitigation measures to preserve and restore ecosystem health.
    Keywords: Ecological Data ; Effect Thresholds ; River Basins ; Streams ; Toxicity ; Ecosystem ; Fresh Water ; Environmental Monitoring -- Statistics & Numerical Data ; Organic Chemicals -- Analysis ; Risk Assessment -- Statistics & Numerical Data ; Water Pollutants, Chemical -- Analysis
    ISSN: 00278424
    E-ISSN: 1091-6490
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