1st Edition

Ecotoxicology A Comprehensive Treatment

    880 Pages 250 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    Integrating ecotoxicological concepts across a range of hierarchical levels, Ecotoxicology: A Comprehensive Treatment focuses on the paradigms and fundamental themes of ecotoxicology while providing the detail and practical application of concepts often found in more specialized books. By synthesizing the best qualities of a general textbook and the narrower, more specific scope of a technical reference, the authors create a volume flexible enough to cover a variety of instructional vantages and thorough enough to engender a respect for the importance of understanding and integrating concepts from all levels of biological organization.

    Divided into six sections, the book builds progressively from the biomolecular level toward a discussion of effects on the global biosphere. It begins with the fundamentals of hierarchical ecotoxicology and vantages for exploring ecotoxicological issues. The second section introduces organismal ecotoxicology and examines effects to biochemicals, cells, organs, organ systems, and whole organisms, and bioaccumulation and bioavailability of contaminants. Population ecotoxicology, section three, places the discussion in the larger context of entire populations by analyzing epidemiology, population dynamics, demographics, genetics, and natural selection.

    Section four encompasses issues of community ecotoxicology. This section presents biotic and abiotic factors influencing communities, biomonitoring and community response, and the application of multimetric and multivariate approaches. Section five evaluates the entire ecosystem by describing assessment approaches, identifying patterns, analyzing relationships between species, and reviewing the effects of global atmospheric stressors. A detailed conclusion integrating the concepts discussed and promoting a balanced assessment of the overarching paradigms rounds out the coverage in section six.

    Hierarchical Ecotoxicology
    The Hierarchical Science of Ecotoxicology
     An Overarching Context of Hierarchical Ecotoxicology
     Reductionism vs. Holism Debate
     Requirements in the Science of Ecotoxicology
    Organismal Ecotoxicology
    The Organismal Ecotoxicology Context
     Organismal Ecotoxicology Defined
     The Value of the Organismal Ecotoxicology Vantage
    Biochemistry of Toxicants
     DNA Modification
     Detoxification of Organic Compounds
     Metal Detoxification, Regulation, and Sequestration
     Stress Proteins and Proteotoxicity
     Oxidative Stress
     Enzyme Dysfunction
    Heme Biosynthesis Inhibition
     Oxidative Phosphorylation Inhibition
    Cells and Tissues
     Sequestration and Accumulation
    Organs and Organ Systems
     General Integument
     Organs Associated with Gas Exchange
     Circulatory System
     Digestive System
     Liver and Analogous Organs of Invertebrates
     Excretory Organs
     Immune System
     Endocrine System
     Nervous, Sensory, and Motor-Related Organs and Systems
     Ionic and Osmotic Regulation
     Acid–Base Regulation
     Respiration and General Metabolism
     Plant-Related Processes
    Models of Bioaccumulation and Bioavailability
    Lethal Effects
     Quantifying Lethality
     Lethality Prediction
    Sublethal Effects
     General Categories of Effects
     Quantifying Sublethal Effects
     Some Particularly Key Concepts
     Concluding Remarks
    Population Ecotoxicology
    The Population Ecotoxicology Context
     Population Ecotoxicology Defined
     The Need for Population Ecotoxicology
     Inferences within and between Biological Levels
    Epidemiology: The Study of Disease in Populations
     Foundation Concepts and Metrics in Epidemiology
     Disease Association and Causation
     Infectious Disease and Toxicant-Exposed Populations
     Differences in Sensitivity within and among Populations
    Toxicants and Simple Population Models
     Toxicants Effects on Population Size and Dynamics
     Fundamentals of Population Dynamics
     Population Stability
     Spatial Distributions of Individuals in Populations
    Toxicants and Population Demographics
     Demography: Adding Individual Heterogeneity to Population Models
     Matrix Forms of Demographic Models
    Phenogenetics of Exposed Populations
     Toxicants and the Principle of Allocation (Concept of Strategy)
     Developmental Stability in Populations
    Population Genetics: Damage and Stochastic Dynamics of the Germ Line
    Direct Damage to the Germ Line
     Indirect Change to the Germ Line
     Genetic Diversity and Evolutionary Potential
    Population Genetics: Natural Selection
     Overview of Natural Selection
     Estimating Differential Fitness and Natural Selection
     Ecotoxicology’s Tradition of Tolerance
     Some Particularly Key Concepts
     Concluding Remarks
    Community Ecotoxicology
    Introduction to Community Ecotoxicology
     Definitions—Community Ecology and Ecotoxicology
     Historical Perspective of Community Ecology and Ecotoxicology
     Are Communities More Than the Sum of Individual Populations?
     Communities within the Hierarchy of Biological Organization
     Contemporary Topics in Community Ecotoxicology
    Biotic and Abiotic Factors that Regulate Communities
     Characterizing Community Structure and Organization
     Changes in Species Diversity and Composition along Environmental Gradients
     The Role of Keystone Species in Community Regulation
     The Role of Species Interactions in Community Ecology and Ecotoxicology
     Environmental Factors and Species Interactions
    Biomonitoring and the Responses of Communities to Contaminants
     Biomonitoring and Biological Integrity
     Conventional Approaches
     Biomonitoring and Community-Level Assessments
     Development and Application of Rapid Bioassessment Protocols
     Regional Reference Conditions
     Integrated Assessments of Biological Integrity
     Limitations of Biomonitoring
    Experimental Approaches in Community Ecology and Ecotoxicology
     Experimental Approaches in Basic Community Ecology
     Experimental Approaches in Community Ecotoxicology
     Microcosms and Mesocosms
     Whole Ecosystem Manipulations
     What is the Appropriate Experimental Approach for Community Ecotoxicology?
    Application of Multimetric and Multivariate Approaches in Community Ecotoxicology
     Multivariate Approaches
    Disturbance Ecology and the Responses of Communities to Contaminants
     The Importance of Disturbance in Structuring Communities
     Community Stability and Species Diversity
     Relationship between Natural and Anthropogenic Disturbance
     Contemporary Hypotheses to Explain Community Responses to Anthropogenic Disturbance
     Biotic and Abiotic Factors that Influence Community Recovery
     Influence of Environmental Variability on Resistance and Resilience
     Quantifying the Effects of Compound Perturbations
    Community Responses to Global and Atmospheric Stressors
     CO2 and Climate Change
     Stratospheric Ozone Depletion
     Acid Deposition
     Interactions among Global Atmospheric Stressors
    Effects of Contaminants on Trophic Structure and FoodWebs
    Basic Principles of FoodWeb Ecology
    Effects of Contaminants on Food Chains and FoodWeb Structure
     Some Particularly Key Concepts
    Ecosystem Ecotoxicology
     Introduction to Ecosystem Ecology and Ecotoxicology
     Background and Definitions
     Ecosystem Ecology and Ecotoxicology: A Historical Context
     Challenges to the Study of Whole Systems
     The Role of Ecosystem Theory
     Recent Developments in Ecosystem Science
     Ecosytem Ecotoxicology
     Links from Community to Ecosystem Ecotoxicology
    Overview of Ecosystem Processes
     Bioenergetics and Energy Flow through Ecosytems
     Nutrient Cycling and Materials Flow through Ecosystems
     Decomposition and Organic Matter Processing
    Descriptive Approaches for Assessing Ecosystem Responses to Contaminants
    Descriptive Approaches in Aquatic Ecosystems
    Terrestrial Ecosystems
    The Use of Microcosms, Mesocosms, and Field Experiments to Assess Ecosystem Responses to Contaminants and Other Stressors
    Microcosm and Mesocosm Experiments
     Whole Ecosystem Experiments
    Patterns and Processes: The Relationship between Species Diversity and Ecosystem Function
    Species Diversity and Ecosystem Function
    The Relationship between Ecosystem Function and Ecosystem Services
     Future Research Directions and Implications of the Diversity–Ecosystem Function Relationship for Ecotoxicology
     Ecological Thresholds and the Diversity–Ecosystem Function Relationship
    Fate and Transport of Contaminants in Ecosystems
    Bioconcentration, Bioaccumulation, Biomagnification, and Food Chain Transfer
     Modeling Contaminant Movement in FoodWebs
     Ecological Influences on Food Chain Transport of Contaminants
    Effects of Global Atmospheric Stressors on Ecosystem Processes
     Nitrogen Deposition and Acidification
     Ultraviolet Radiation
     Increased CO2 and Global Climate Change
     Interactions among Global Atmospheric Stressors
    Ecotoxicology: A Comprehensive Treatment—Conclusion
     Overarching Issues
     Summary: Sapere Aude


    Michael C. Newman, William H. Clements

    Reviewed by A. Russell Flegal, Department of Environmental Toxicology, University of California for The Limnology and Oceanography Bulletin Volume 17 (2) June 2008



    .Ecotoxicology: A Comprehensive Treatment. CRC

    Press. ISBN978-0-8493-3357-6 (hardcover) 852 p. US $139

    Toxicology, University of California, Santa Cruz, 1156 High Street,

    Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA; [email protected]

    Nearly three decades ago I received a call from a colleague who chaired a large, multi-disciplinary program at a premier research university. He told me that they had been authorized to hire an ecotoxicologist, and he wanted me to tell him how to describe the position for their search. He assumed that I would be able to provide him with that information because I was in the process of establishing our nascent Department of Environmental Toxicology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Unfortunately, I had to tell him that I hadn’t really been able to come up with a good description of an ecotoxicologist, but that I hoped that he would find someone else who had – because we were also supposed to recruit an ecotoxicologist for our program. I mention this shared ignorance, because I now find myself in awe of the breadth and depth of the new book by Newman and Clements (2008), Ecotoxicology: A Comprehensive Treatment. As the book extensively details, ecotoxicology is a new and still evolving science that synthesizes the complex fields of ecology and toxicology – which are themselves both multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary sciences.

    The book is simply the best that I have encountered in providing an integrative presentation of the vast amount of knowledge required to practice ecotoxicology. Moreover, the authors go to great lengths to provide both (1) an historic background of the evolution of the science to date and (2) comments, suggestions, and predictions on how the science will continue to evolve. Their orientation is evidenced by the book’s concluding paragraph, which states: "Ecotoxicology’s ambitious goals, immediate obligations to society, and unquestionable success in generating a rich information base have created the need for integration of information and explanations into a congruent whole…. We suggest that the Strongest Inference Possible approach is the most effective approach currently available." This conclusion is, of course, most fitting for a book that begins with an Overview in Chapter 2 that states, "Conceptual consilence is not an intellectual nicety: it is vital to the health of any science. Without consistency among theories and facts, there is no way for the ecotoxicologist to choose from among many the explanation for providing the best foundation for predicting pollutant effects." This excellent book is obviously the product of careful work by two recognized experts in the field. They appear comfortable providing their opinions and perspectives, in addition to the facts found in most textbooks. Their design is immediately evident in the Preface, where the authors state that the book "is intended to bridge a widening gap between ecotoxicology textbooks and technical books focused on specific ecotoxicological topics." As they then note, there are plenty of narrowly focused books on different aspects of ecotoxicology that are written for experts in those areas, and an increasing number of texts that "are often broad-brush treatments of the field of ecotoxicology". In contrast, their book is designed to provide greater depth than other texts on ecotoxciology, while still maintaining a focus on the paradigms and fundamental themes of the science. I found the orientation wonderfully refreshing, albeit challenging.

    Each chapter begins with a brief overview and then immediately goes into a relatively rigorous discussion. While many terms are defined, others are not – with the assumption that the reader is familiar with the argot and methodologies of each topic. Fortunately, each chapter then ends with a summary of bullets that synthesize the critical points covered in the chapter. Each chapter also has a list of references that is remarkably current and comprehensive. Consequently, while there may be few individuals that are fully conversant, much less expert, in all of the disciplines covered in the thirty-six (36) chapters of the long (852 page) book, it systematically provides summaries of the important points of each chapter and a wealth of references for further reading on each subject. The book is further organized into six (6) sections. These are titled "Hierarchical Ecotoxicology," "Organismal Ecotoxicology," "Population Ecotoxicology," "Community Ecotoxicology," "Ecosystem Ecotoxicology," and "Ecotoxicology: A Comprehensive Treatment – Conclusion." As previously indicated, each of those sections contains chapters that provide relatively rigorous, albeit terse, discussions using the argot and methodologies practiced by experts in the diverse disciplines. But what is relatively unusual about the different chapters with widely different topics is that the authors continually show how all of the material connects, routinely referring to related material in preceding and succeeding chapters. As a result, the book is both comprehensive and integrative (e.g., a population ecotoxicologist can appreciate the importance of a molecular toxicologist for their research and vice versa). The first section on "Hierarchial Ecotoxicology" is short: only 1 chapter and 10 pages long. It begins with the definition of ecotoxicology by Newman and Unger (2003): "Ecotoxicology is the science of contaminants in the biosphere and their effects on constituents of the biosphere, including humans." The chapter then illustrates the "unfixed cause–effect-significance concatenation" scheme applied to hierarchical subjects (e.g., from molecules to the biosphere). For example, toxicity observed in an organism may be explained by a toxic effect at the lower, suborganismal level and may be significant at the higher, population level. Consequently, the science of ecotoxicology needs to extend from the molecular level to the ecosystem level. The second section on "Organismal Ecotoxicology" focuses on factors influencing toxicity from molecular to cellular to tissue to organismal levels. When appropriate, the impacts of that toxicology are briefly extended to population and community 64 and ecosystem levels. However, most of the discussion is on biochemical and physiological processes involved in the accumulation, distribution, metabolism, and elimination of toxicants in cells, tissues, and individuals. The basic concepts of toxicology (e.g., bioavailability and bioaccumulation, dose-response curves, acute and sublethal toxicity) are also presented in this section. The third section on "Population Ecotoxicology" shifts to more mathematical models used in population biology and epidemiology. As the authors note, regulatory efforts are now primarily designed to protect populations from pollutants, using knowledge primarily derived from autecological studies. This incongruity both justifies the importance of the preceding section on organismal ecotoxicology and establishes the need to develop the emerging field of population ecotoxicology. Consequently, the section begins with a discussion on inferences within and between biological levels (e.g., individuals and populations) and then extends to a discussion of disease in populations (epidemiology). This sequencing is followed by the development of models of populations and of the effect of pollutants on populations, including models of population genetics and the phenogenetics of exposed populations. Again, this section employs the vocabulary and analytical methodologies used by researchers in population ecotoxicology, which are markedly different than those used by researchers in organismal ecotoxicology – but the authors systematically show how the two areas of research are closely connected. The fourth section on "Community Ecotoxicology" is more closely connected to the preceding section, in terms of argot and methodologies. Those two sections, along with the subsequent section on ecosystem ecotoxicology are what I have - apparently mistakenly - believed defined the range of ecotoxicology. Community ecotoxicology is also what I believed - apparently correctly - a relatively new focus for studies on the impacts of pollutants. As pointed out by the authors, while toxic effects are best understood at the lower levels of biological organization (e.g., molecular, cellular, and organismal), the adverse effects of toxicants may occur at broader spatial and temporal levels at higher levels of organization (e.g., population, community, and ecosystem) which may have greater ecological impact. This hierarchical concept is illustrated with discussions of principal biotic and abiotic considerations of factors governing community composition, the effects of toxicants on communities, biomonitoring communities, experimental studies of toxicants in communities, and whole ecosystem manipulation. These assessments build on models presented in the previous section, as well as numerous models presented within chapters in this section and an entire chapter on the application of multimeric and multivariate approaches in community ecotoxicology. The section then concludes with numerous examples of anthropogenic perturbations on communities (e.g., climate change, ozone depletion, acid deposition, and food web disruption). Consequently, I was pleased with the structure and depth of this section. The fifth section on "Ecosystem Ecotoxicology" extrapolates the concepts and methodologies of the preceding two sections to a more global scale. While the authors note that some ecologists consider ecosystems to be the fundamental units of nature, they concede that quantifying the effects of contaminants on ecosystems is extremely difficult – hence not routinely assessed. They then show the importance of global approaches to ecotoxicology, primarily though discussions on perturbations of biogeochemical cycles (e.g., C, N, P) and the resulting impacts on ecosystem productivity, composition, and health. There is also a chapter on the use of microcosms, mesocosms, and field experiments to assess ecosystem responses to stressors, including toxicants. After having been exposed to all of the terms and methods in the preceding sections, this section proved to be very easy to read and a wonderful conclusion to the book. However, there was yet another, sixth section on "Ecotoxicology: A Comprehensive Treatment – Conclusion," which I had no interest in reading but felt obligated to read for this review. Fortunately, the section consisted of a single (1), short (12 pages) chapter. And even better, the chapter was full of ideas and suggestions on how the science of ecotoxicology is evolving and how to optimize that evolution to benefit both science and society. The summary was essentially limited to the first paragraph of the chapter which stated that (1) the twin goals of differentiation and integration were presented in the first 35 chapters of the book and (2) "Facts and paradigms relevant to each level of the biological hierarchy were presented and then interconnected as much as presently possible." Then as previously indicated, the rest of the chapter provided metrics and concepts on what was needed for ecotoxicology to emerge as a "self-consistent science" and be of most value in addressing and resolving the increasingly complex and global environmental problems society now faces. While the brief concluding chapter could be the basis for an entire course, the utility of the book as the text for a course is more problematic. As I have repeatedly indicated – the book is quite long.

    The authors state that the book is "designed to be flexible enough to meet a variety of instructional vantages, subsets of chapters may be used while de-emphasizing others," and they provide two examples of selected chapters for a 3-credit ecotoxicology course. They also suggest the entire book could be covered by a 4 credit course. However, I doubt that there are many faculty with the breadth and depth of expertise of the authors, who could teach the course. But I believe that the book would be ideal for a course that is team-taught by someone with an expertise in basic toxicology (i.e., molecular, cellular, and organismal toxicology) along with another person with an expertise in ecological toxicology (i.e., population, community, and ecosystem ecotoxicology). Alternatively, the course could be taught by an ecotoxicologist – now that I have a better understanding of what that job description entails. Some final comments. (1) The book is extremely well written. I specifically looked for flaws in science and composition, and I found few of either. (2) For such a long book, the wording is terse. Entire concepts and studies are presented in phrases. As a result, even reading short chapters can be exhausting. (3) Fortunately, the authors have gone to great lengths to provide both classic and new references to expand on the material covered in each chapter. (4) As the authors state in the final chapter, the book provides differentiation and integration of various aspects of ecotoxicology, and facts and paradigms of ecotoxicology are systematically presented and interconnected the text. In summary, it is - in my opinion - the definitive book to date on the complex and emerging science of ecotoxicology.