Ecological risk assessment for terrestrial ecosystems: The summary of discussions and recommendations from the Adelaide Workshop (April 2004)

Rai Singh Kookana, Raymond L. Correll, Mary B. Barnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA) workshop focused on the anthropogenic contaminants in the terrestrial environment, addressing various components of the ERA process. These included sources, exposure pathways, bioavailability, and toxicity to receptor organisms as well as risk communication. It was concluded that although the overseas experience on ERA for terrestrial ecosystems (e.g., International Standards or guidelines from the European Union and the United States) is very useful, it is not directly applicable to Australia due to the differences in receptor organisms, contaminants, soil, and environmental conditions. Workshop discussions stressed on the need for making ERA locally relevant (in terms of choice of receptor organisms, sampling strategy, and bioavailability considerations). The workshop discussions highlighted the need of better appreciation of both the similarities and the clear differences between aquatic and terrestrial ERAs. The availability of reliable data, problems with databases, estimation of bioavailability, and extrapolations from laboratory to field were noted among the key limitations. ERA—being inherently complex and involving a range of environmental compartments, target receptor, and exposure pathways—at a minimum requires a multidisciplinary approach to address the complexities. Bringing a multidisciplinary team together often proves a major challenge in ERA. The delegates called for continued efforts in this area and formation of a network or working group in Australia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-138
Number of pages9
JournalHuman and Ecological Risk Assessment
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Keywords

  • anthropogenic contaminants
  • risk management
  • uncertainty analysis
  • ecotoxicological databases
  • risk-based decisions
  • risk communication

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