4th Edition

Principles of Ecotoxicology

ISBN 9781439862667
Published March 12, 2012 by CRC Press
386 Pages 151 B/W Illustrations

USD $115.00

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Book Description

Cutting across traditional subject boundaries, Principles of Ecotoxicology, Fourth Edition gives readers an integrated view of ecotoxicology, from molecules to ecosystems. This new edition of a bestselling textbook continues to emphasize principles rather than practice, providing the interdisciplinary perspective and grounding required for research.

Organized into three sections, the book first describes the molecular structures, properties, and environmental fate of pollutants. It then deals with the effects of pollutants on living organisms at the molecular, cellular, and individual levels. Moving into population biology and population genetics, the third part of the book addresses a question of great interest to ecologists: What effects do pollutants have at the levels of population, community, and the whole ecosystem?

The book also looks at how ecotoxicology is used in the biomonitoring of environmental pollution, the investigation of pollution problems, the conducting of field trials, the study of the development of resistance, and the growing area of environmental risk assessments. Throughout, examples and case studies illustrate the principles.

This updated fourth edition includes new material on nanoparticle pollution, bioaccumulation, biomarkers, and chemical warfare in nature, as well as a new chapter on the future directions of ecotoxicology. A concise textbook that will also appeal to practicing ecotoxicologists, it provides a solid basis for understanding what happens to chemicals in the real world, where they go, how they ultimately degrade, and how they affect the individuals and populations that encounter them.

What’s New in This Edition

  • Revised and updated material throughout
  • A chapter on future directions of ecotoxicology
  • New material on nanoparticle pollution and chemical warfare in nature
  • Expanded coverage of bioaccumulation, biomarkers, and risk assessment for affected populations
  • More case studies, many from the United States
  • Discussion of neurotoxic and behavioral effects of pollutants
  • Recent research on the decline of vultures and effects of neonicotinoids on bees

Organic Pollutants: An Ecotoxicological Perspective, Second Edition (CRC Press, 2008), a companion volume to this book, covers the mechanistic aspects of ecotoxicology in more depth.

Table of Contents


Pollutants and Their Fate in Ecosystems

Major Classes of Pollutants
Routes by Which Pollutants Enter Ecosystems
Long-Range Movements and Global Transport of Pollutants
The Fate of Metals and Radioactive Isotopes in Contaminated Ecosystems
Fates of Organic Pollutants in Individuals and in Ecosystems

Effects of Pollutants on Individual Organisms

Testing for Ecotoxicity
Biochemical Effects of Pollutants
Physiological Effects of Pollutants
Interactive Effects of Pollutants
In Situ Biological Monitoring

Effects of Pollutants on Populations and Communities

Changes in Numbers: Population Dynamics
Evolution of Resistance to Pollution
Changes in Communities and Ecosystems
Extrapolating from Molecular Interactions to Consequent Effects at Population Level
Biomarkers in Population Studies
Ecotoxicology: Looking to the Future


Chapters include a summary and further reading.

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Featured Author Profiles

Author - Colin  Walker

Colin Walker

Professor Emeritus / Honorary Associate / Writer, Reading University & The School of Biosciences, Exeter University

Learn more about Colin Walker »


An excellent fresh edition to one of the best ecotoxicology textbooks. Authored by some of the best scientists in the field, it deserves a place on the bookshelf of any serious environmental scientist.
—Michael C. Newman, College of William & Mary – Virginia Institute of Marine Science, USA

Praise for Previous Editions

Keeping the focus on principles over practice is what has made each incarnation of this book a bestseller. The third edition follows this central theme while bringing the text up to date and strengthening coverage in areas that have come to the forefront of the field. …With updates to every chapter, the text provides essential information in an easy to use format.
International Pest Control, Vol. 48 (2), March/April

The book is quite extensive in content and length….the authors continue to assist us in understanding the integration of this new knowledge by focusing on the 'principles' of the science.
—Lee R. Shugart in Ecotoxicology, Vol. 16 (483), 2007

…its aim is to provide a wide-ranging, concise and readable introduction to ecotoxicology that will encourages student to want to learn more about the field…continues to succeed.
—David Spurgeon in The British Toxicology Society Newsletter, Winter 2006

The coauthorship is advantageous in that it ensures that all topics are addressed by an expert, but the style is consistent and the content is integrated in a way that texts assembled by editors cannot achieve.
—Glenn Suter in SETAC Globe, July-August 2001

To say that ecotoxicology is a multidisciplinary subject is an understatement. This text attempts a comprehensive survey of all of these aspects. It succeeds admirably.
—Dr. J.W. Daniel in Chemistry & Industry, March 5, 2001

The authors used their outstanding interdisciplinary experience to describe the progression from chemical analysis of environmental pollutants to their effects at the levels of the individual, population, community and, ultimately, ecosystem. Using appropriate examples and relevant case studies, they have made ecotoxicology more accessible to any person who is concerned with environmental changes induced by pollution.
—Dr. Laurent Lagadic in Ecotoxicology, Vol. 10 (6), 2001

This is, by any standards, an outstanding book, written by a chemist, a mathematician and a zoologist, who have achieved their aim in producing a truly interdisciplinary approach across the full spectrum of topics, from molecules to ecosystems….This book will certainly succeed in serving its primary purpose—providing a textbook for students, which covers the principles of ecotoxicology with a broad approach, cutting across traditional subject boundaries.
—Michael Balls in ATLA, 1996

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