Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 23, Issue 11, pp 11363–11378 | Cite as

Soil ecotoxicology in Brazil is taking its course

  • Cintia Carla NivaEmail author
  • Julia Carina Niemeyer
  • Flávio Manoel Rodrigues Da Silva Júnior
  • Maria Edna Tenório Nunes
  • Danilo Lourenço De Sousa
  • Clara Wandenkolck Silva Aragão
  • Klaus Dieter Sautter
  • Evaldo Gaeta Espindola
  • José Paulo Sousa
  • Jörg Römbke
Research and Education Highlights


Soil ecotoxicology has been motivated by the increasing global awareness on environmental issues. Northern Hemisphere has been the main driver of this science branch; however, the number and quality of contributions from the Southern Hemisphere are increasing quickly. In this case study, Brazil is taken as an example of how soil ecotoxicology has developed over the last 30 years. It starts with a brief historical overview depicting the main events on soil ecotoxicology in the country. Following, an overview on the Brazilian legislation related to soil ecotoxicology is given, covering regulations with prospective focus, mainly on the registration of pesticides. Regulations with retrospective focus in contaminated areas are also given. Then, an outline of the actors in soil ecotoxicology and examples of prospective ecotoxicological studies performed with soil organisms and plants are given by stressor groups: pesticides, pharmaceuticals, metals, and residues. Experiences from retrospective studies, mainly looking at the assessment of industrial sites, are also covered. Emphasis is given on methodological aspects, pointing to needed actions, mainly regarding the different biotic and abiotic conditions of a tropical country. Finally, the last session discusses how soil ecotoxicology could be improved in methodological adaptations as well as legal requirements.


Soil ecotoxicology Tropics Legislation Soil organisms Pesticides Residues Risk assessment 



Cintia Carla Niva was granted with a postdoctoral scholarship by PNPD/CNPq no. 151666/2008-3 (2008-2013) at Embrapa Florestas and PNPD/CAPES (2013-2014) at Universidade Positivo. Maria Edna T. Nunes was granted with a postdoctoral scholarship by PNPD/CAPES (2013-2016) at EESC/USP. José Paulo Sousa was funded by “Fundação CAPES” Visitors Research Grant under the project no. 079/2012 of “Ciência sem Fronteiras—CAPES” programme. The authors thank Marcos Garcia and Andrea Waichman for the dedication in risk assessment studies in the early days of soil ecotoxicology in Brazil.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cintia Carla Niva
    • 1
    Email author
  • Julia Carina Niemeyer
    • 2
  • Flávio Manoel Rodrigues Da Silva Júnior
    • 3
  • Maria Edna Tenório Nunes
    • 4
  • Danilo Lourenço De Sousa
    • 5
  • Clara Wandenkolck Silva Aragão
    • 5
  • Klaus Dieter Sautter
    • 6
  • Evaldo Gaeta Espindola
    • 7
  • José Paulo Sousa
    • 8
  • Jörg Römbke
    • 9
  1. 1.Embrapa CerradosBrasiliaBrazil
  2. 2.Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), Campus de CuritibanosCuritibanosBrazil
  3. 3.Instituto de Ciências BiológicasUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande (FURG)Rio GrandeBrazil
  4. 4.Programa de Pós-graduação em Ciências da Engenharia Ambiental/EESC/USP, Núcleo de Ecotoxicologia e Ecologia Aplicada, CRHEA/EESC/USPSão CarlosBrazil
  5. 5.Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renováveis (IBAMA), Diretoria de Qualidade Ambiental, Coordenação de Avaliação Ambiental de Produtos PerigososBrasíliaBrazil
  6. 6.Universidade Positivo, Pós-Graduação em Gestão AmbientalCuritibaBrasil
  7. 7.Departamento de Hidráulica e Saneamento/EESC/USPSão CarlosBrazil
  8. 8.Department of Life SciencesUniversidade de Coimbra, Centre for Functional Ecology, University of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal
  9. 9.ECT Oekotoxikologie GmbHFlörsheim am MainGermany

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