Introduction to Environmental Toxicology: Molecular Substructures to Ecological Landscapes, Fourth Edition, 4th Edition (Hardback) book cover

Introduction to Environmental Toxicology

Molecular Substructures to Ecological Landscapes, Fourth Edition

By Wayne Landis, Ruth Sofield, Ming-Ho Yu, Wayne G. Landis, Ruth M. Sofield, Ming-Ho Yu

© 2011 – CRC Press

542 pages | 207 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2010-12-16
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After fifteen years and three editions, Introduction to Environmental Toxicology: Molecular Substructures to Ecological Landscapes has become a standard that defines the field of environmental toxicology, and the fourth edition is no exception. The authors take an integrated approach to environmental toxicology that emphasizes scale and context as important factors in understanding effects and management options.

New in the Fourth Edition:

  • New author, Dr. Ruth M. Sofield
  • 8-page color insert
  • New chapter on fate and transport of contaminants
  • Emphasis on the use of all types of models in understanding how nature works
  • Revised sections on synergy and atrazine toxicity
  • Updated coverage of the analysis of impacts to populations, communities and ecosystems
  • Enlarged risk assessment chapter with an in-depth description of a regional scale risk assessment

This edition benefits from the insight of a new author, Dr. Ruth M. Sofield, who prepared the new chapter on the fate and transport of contaminants. The relationship between structure and toxicological properties has been a major theme of this book since its inception and this new chapter expands this fundamental concept to include fate and transport. In the early chapters the use of models in science is discussed and this theme carries throughout the rest of the book.

So much has changed in the fifteen years since the publication of the first edition. The mid-1990s seem so long ago, when our understanding of environmental toxicology was very basic. Ecological risk assessment was in its very early stages and the consideration of the effects of toxicants on landscapes was only beginning. Computation was still hard, genes stayed put, and it was only becoming recognized that xenobiotics could have hormonal effects — developments that are taken for granted in this edition. Written by authors who teach this subject, a feature that is reflected in their straightforward style, the book provides a foundation for understanding environmental toxicology and its application.


Praise for the Second Edition:

"Buy the book, read it, and learn from it. This book genuinely helps to unify and clarify the ecotoxicology field, and as such joins a select few titles bringing coherence to a complex scientific arena. I hope that the authors will keep carefully revised and updated editions in circulation for many years to come."

—P.G. Wells, Environmental Conservation Branch, Environment Canada, in Ecotoxicology, Vol. 9, No.3

Table of Contents

Introduction to Environmental Toxicology

Environmental Toxicology as an Interdisciplinary Science

A Brief History and Organizations in Environmental Toxicology

Interactions and Connections of Environmental Toxicology to the Management of Ecological Systems


Introduction to This Textbook

Study Questions

Frameworks and Paradigms for Environmental Toxicology

The Fundamentals


Fundamental Models for Environmental Toxicology

The Classical Viewpoint for Classifying Toxicological Effects

Chemical Physical–Chemical Characteristics


Receptors and the Mode of Action

Biochemical and Molecular Effects

Physiological and Behavioral Effects

Population Parameters

Community Effects

Ecosystem Effects

An Alternative Framework Incorporating Complexity Theory

Spatial and Temporal Scales

Combining Scale and Ecological Dynamics: The Hierarchical Patch Dynamic Paradigm

Strategy and Tactics in the Use of Models in Environmental Toxicology

Study Questions

References and Suggested Readings

An Introduction to Toxicity Testing


The Dose-Responsive Curve

Thresholds and Hormesis

Terminology Based upon Hypothesis Testing

Classification of Toxicity Tests

Design Parameters for Single-Species Toxicity Tests

Limitations and Alternatives to Hypothesis Testing

Commonly Used Methods for the Calculation of Endpoints

Comparison of Calculations of Several Programs for Calculating Probit Analysis

Hypothesis Testing

Curve Fitting and Regression Modeling versus Hypothesis Testing

The Design of Multispecies Toxicity Tests

Univariate Methods

Multivariate Methods


Summary of Design Guidelines for Multispecies Toxicity Tests

Standard Methods

Study Questions

References and Suggested Readings

Survey and Review of Typical Toxicity Test Methods


Animal Care and Use Considerations

Single-Species Toxicity Tests

Multispecies Toxicity Tests


Study Questions

Appendix 4.1: The Natural History and Utilization of Selected Test Species

The Fate and Transport of Contaminants


Transport Mechanisms



Abiotic Degradation/Transformation

Multimedia Box Models


The Fugacity Approach

Bioconcentration versus Biomagnification



Study Questions

References and Suggested Readings

Uptake and Modes of Action

The Damage Process

Atmospheric Pollutants and Plants

Mechanisms of Action

Specific Modes of Action in Detail

Receptor-Mediated Toxicity, Endocrine Disruption

Introduction to QSAR

Study Questions

References and Suggested Readings

Factors Modifying the Activity of Toxicants


Physicochemical Properties of Pollutants

Time and Mode of Exposure

Environmental Factors

Interaction of Pollutants

Toxicity of Mixtures

Biological Factors Affecting ToxicityStudy Questions

References and Suggested Readings

Inorganic Gaseous PollutantsSulfur Oxides

Nitrogen Oxides


Carbon Monoxide

Study Questions

References and Suggested Readings

Fluoride as a Contaminant of Developing Economies

Environmental Sources and Forms of Fluoride

Industrial Sources of Fluoride Pollution

Effect on Plants

Effect on Animals

Effect on Human Health

Biochemical Effect

Study Questions

References and Suggested Readings

Heavy Metals





Study Questions

References and Suggested Readings

Biotransformation, Detoxification, and Biodegradation


Metabolism of Environmental Chemicals: Biotransformation

Types of Biotransformation

Mechanisms of Biotransformation

Consequences of Biotransformation

Microbial Degradation


An Example of a Detoxification Enzyme: The Organophosphate Acid (OPA) Anhydrolases

Study Questions

References and Suggested Readings

Ecological Effects from Biomarkers to Populations


Terminology and Context

The Key to Context: The Hierarchical Patch Dynamics Paradigm

Measurement of Ecological Effects at Various Scales or Levels of Biological Organization


Molecular and Physiological Indicators of Chemical Stress Biomarkers

Assemblage and Community Parameters

Effects at the Population Scale

Interacting Populations in a Patchy Environment

The Importance of Patch Dynamics


Appendix: Age-Structured Population Modeling in Detail

Study Questions

References and Suggested Readings

Ecological Effects: Community to Landscape Scales of Toxicological Impacts


Community Effects

Effects on Ecosystems or Ecological Structures

Application of Multivariate Techniques

Pollution-Induced Community Tolerance

Interpretation of Ecosystem Level Impacts

An Alternative Model: The Community Conditioning Hypothesis

The Design of Field Studies

Making Decisions

Appendix: Multivariate Techniques—Nonmetric Clustering

Study Questions

References and Suggested Readings

Ecological Risk Assessment


Basics of Risk Assessment

Ecological Risk Assessment

Ecological Risk Assessment Framework

Risk Characterization

Techniques in Ecological Risk AssessmentStudy Questions

References and Suggested Readings

Appendix A: References for Toxicity Testing and Interpretation, Compiled by April J. Markiewicz


Subject Categories

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