Ecotoxicology: A Comprehensive Treatment, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover


A Comprehensive Treatment, 1st Edition

By Michael C. Newman, William H. Clements

CRC Press

880 pages | 250 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2007-12-13
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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.


"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. … The book is extremely well written.. In summary, it is - in my opinion - the definitive book to date on the complex and emerging science of ecotoxicology."

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

"The result is a book, highly informative, rich in details that are integrated as much as currently possible in the new science of ecotoxicology and, in summary, very pleasant to read. A milestone in the field . . ."

– J. Abaigés, CID-CSIC, in International Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry, April 2008, Vol. 88, No. 5

"I have only scratched the surface of this impressive book but suffice it to say, it is well written and to the extent I can evaluate its content is exceedingly well done."

– Gary F. Bennett, Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, University of Toledo, in Journal of Hazardous Materials, 2008, Vol. 160

"This is the most conceptual and philosophical text available for ecotoxicology . . . The obvious virtue of this book is that it encourages the reader to think about fundamental issues and assumptions in the science of ecotoxicology. Many of the ideas that they pronounced would be worth discussing among practicing environmental scientists as well as in the classroom."

– Glenn Suter, SETAC Reviews Editor, in Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, 2008, Vol. 4, No. 4

Table of Contents


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


About the Originator

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Environmental Science
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Environmental / General