Integrating effects of contaminants across levels of biological organization: an overview

  • William H. Clements
Editorial Introduction

Abstract

Effects of contaminants may occur at all levels oforganization, from molecular to ecosystem-levelresponses. While biochemical and physiologicalalterations in organisms may occur rapidly and areoften stressor-specific, the ecological relevance ofthese suborganismal indicators is uncertain.Alterations in populations and communities havegreater ecological relevance, but a firm mechanisticunderstanding of these responses is often lacking.Developing mechanistic linkages across levels ofbiological organization would greatly improve ourunderstanding of how organisms are affected bycontaminants in nature. The papers in this seriespresent several innovative approaches for integratingeffects of contaminants across levels of biologicalorganization. Authors were asked to describe theecological consequences of responses at lower levelsof organization (biochemical, physiological,individual) and to speculate on the underlyingmechanisms associated with population and communityalterations. The most consistent finding of the fivepapers in this series is that there is no singlespatiotemporal scale or level of biologicalorganization at which ecotoxicological investigationsshould be conducted.

biomarkers ecological relevance spatiotemporal scale levels of organization 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Adams, S.M., W.D. Crumby, M.S. Greeley Jr., M.G. Ryon & E.M. Schilling, 1992. Relationships between physiological and fish population responses in a contaminated stream. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 11: 1549–1557.Google Scholar
  2. Beyers, D.W., J.A. Rice, W.H. Clements & C.J. Henry, 1999a. Estimating physiological cost of chemical exposure: integrating energetics and stress to quantify toxic effects in fish. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 56: 814–822.Google Scholar
  3. Beyers, D.W., J.A. Rice & W.H. Clements, 1999b. Evaluating biological significance of chemical exposure to fish using a bioenergetics-based stressor-response model. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 56: 823–829.Google Scholar
  4. Cairns, J. Jr., 1983. Are single species toxicity tests alone adequate for estimating environmental hazard? Hydrobiologia 100: 47–57.Google Scholar
  5. Clements, W.H. & P.M. Kiffney, 1994a. Assessing contaminant impacts at higher levels of biological organization. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 13: 357–359.Google Scholar
  6. Clements, W.H. & P.M. Kiffney, 1994b. An integrated approach for assessing the impact of heavy metals at the Arkansas River, CO. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 13: 397–404.Google Scholar
  7. Hurlbert, S.H., 1984. Pseudoreplication and the design of ecological field experiments. Ecol. Monogr. 54: 187–211.Google Scholar
  8. Karr, J.R., 1993. Defining and assessing ecological integrity: beyond water quality. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 12: 1521–1531.Google Scholar
  9. Levin, S.A., 1992. The problem of pattern and scale in ecology. Ecology. 73: 1943–1967.Google Scholar
  10. Wallace, J.B., J.W. Grubaugh & M.R. Whiles, 1996. Biotic indices and stream ecosystem processes: Results from an experimental study. Ecol. Appl. 6: 140–151.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • William H. Clements
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Fishery and Wildlife BiologyColorado State UniversityFort CollinsU.S.A

Personalised recommendations