WP5: Effects

5.1. Assess and compare the sensitivity and vulnerability of aquatic populations and communities to GC and chemical pollution under different geographical and biological (community composition) scenarios.

5.2. Quantify the impacts of chemicals on key ecological functions.

5.3. Develop a set of validated in silico tools to evaluate the effects of the chemicals at different levels of biological organization.

Description of Work and Role of Specific Beneficiaries / Partner Organisations

In this WP we will assess the vulnerability and resilience of aquatic ecosystems to chemical pollution under future environmental change scenarios and develop conceptual and modelling frameworks to improve the effect assessment of chemicals. Experimental research into the effects of chemicals on aquatic populations and communities will be performed by WU, IMDEA and SU by selecting relevant combination of stress factors (as highlighted by WP3), while WU will be involved in the development, parameterization and validation of ecological models. WU will assess the sensitivity of aquatic communities to increasing temperatures and CO2 conditions in different geographical regions of the EU. IMDEA will assess how different climate-related factors affect the vulnerability of aquatic communities to future chemical contamination and propose a framework to establish relationships between varying community composition and responses to chemical pollution. SU will evaluate the resilience of microbial communities to chemical pollution, define chemical impacts on key ecological functions, explore tipping points and define ecosystem pollution tolerance limits. Finally, WU will develop a set of modelling tools to assess to assess the influence of GC on ecosystem function and structure and its interaction with chemical stress at different levels of biological organization (individual, population, community, and ecosystem). The parameterization and validation of the models will be carried our using the data obtained from the different experiments performed by WU, IMDEA and SU. Finally the ecological framework and modelling tools developed by this WP will be integrated into WP5 to develop improved risk assessment and mitigation approaches.

Description of Deliverables

5.1     Comparison of sensitivity and vulnerability to climate change and chemical stress in different geographical regions

5.2     New Framework for evaluating the influence of community structure and global change on the vulnerability to chemicals

5.3     EU-level chemical vulnerability maps and scenarios

5.4     New framework for assessing the resilience of microbial communities to chemical stress

5.5     Determination of the chemical effects on microbial ecological functions and chemical tolerance limits

5.6     New Modelling framework for assessing the combined effects of chemical and GC stressors

5.7     Set of validated ecological models for assessing the combined effects of GC and chemical stress