Adams, S. . Oak Ridge National Laboratory,
Power, M. . University of Manitoba, power@cc.UManitoba.CA
McCarty, L. M. McCarty Scientific Consulting,

While ecological risk assessment (ERA) has proven to be a popular approach for attempting to increase the scientific defensibility of environmental decision making, one of its major limitations continues to be the general lack of ecological realism inherent in its design and application. In particular, some of the more obvious limitations of ERA relative to ecological realism include: (1) no protocol for including cumulative or multiple stressors in its design, (b) failure to consider the modifying capability of abiotic processes, (3) no provision for pulses of abiotic and biotic events (temporally static), (4) a lack of integration across levels of biological organization to include the early-warning indicators of stress, and (5) little validation of predictions with field data to refine or calibrate ERA models. All of these limitations can be addressed, to varying degrees, by including within the ERA process a population model framework which has its major components inputs of (a) a hydrodynamic submodel (b) water quality measurements, (c) a bioenergetic submodel, and (d) biomarkers/bioindicators. The outputs of the population model such as growth, mortality, recruitment, fecundity, and abundance can be used as ecologically relevant endpoints in the ERA predictive process. These model predictions can be further compared or calibrated to field data allowing adjustments and refinements in the inputs to the population model which should provide more ecologically sound and scientifically defensible predictions for effective environmental decision making in the future.
Day: Friday, Feb. 5
Time: 09:45 - 10:00am
Location: Hilton of Santa Fe
Code: SS11FR0945H