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Journal Articles Aquatic Ecology Year : 2022

Aquatic chemical ecology meets ecotoxicology


Chemical ecology and ecotoxicology are research directions that emerged between the 1950s and 1970s following a rise in awareness for info- or allelochemicals influencing biotic interactions or ecological and ecosystem consequences of anthropogenic pollutants. The aim of this paper, focussing mainly on freshwater systems, is to present already existing links between both disciplines and to outline the potential of a strengthened alliance for a better evaluation of environmental risks. A wide range of anthropogenic or natural contaminants may cause a so-called infodisruption, the disturbance of infochemical-mediated biotic interactions. Metals, pesticides and personal care products are among the most cited pollutants that might interfere with the chemical ecology of organisms. Given the widespread environmental pollution in the current era of the Anthropocene, it seems important to consider disturbances such as “infodisruption” in environmental risk assessment. Chemical ecology can provide new response factors that might help identifying sublethal effects of pollutants. Further, exploring natural, non-toxic alternatives to currently used biocides can help in risk management. The link between both disciplines should be fostered as both are already multi- and interdisciplinary fields, and developing common themes between chemical ecology and ecotoxicology might enhance a deeper understanding of ecological processes. It can also help to achieve the aim of the 2020 European chemicals strategy for sustainability towards a toxic-free environment.


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hal-03938445 , version 1 (13-01-2023)



Elisabeth Maria Gross. Aquatic chemical ecology meets ecotoxicology. Aquatic Ecology, 2022, 56 (2), pp.493-511. ⟨10.1007/s10452-021-09938-2⟩. ⟨hal-03938445⟩
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