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The layered and historical nature of ecological systems and the risk assessment of pesticides
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (1996)
  • Wayne G. Landis, Western Washington University
  • Robin A. Matthews, Western Washington University
  • Geoffrey B. Matthews, Western Washington University
The community conditioning hypothesis is used as a framework in which to place the layers of effects during and after pesticide intoxication. Community conditioning states that information about the history of a system can be and is written at a variety of organismal and ecological levels. This historical component or etiology determines the future dynamics of a system. The storage of information concerning prior stressor events has been observed in a variety of compartments. Fish populations have been observed to have different genetic structures in populations that have been exposed to toxicant stressors. Analysis of biomarker data from field experiments reveals a variety of patterns, some due to the location of the field plots. Treatment groups within a series of microcosm experiments maintain their identities long after the degradation of the toxicant. The dynamics of the treatment groups in multivariate ecological space are characteristic of a particular treatment. Other microcosm systems differentially respond to invasion depending upon the order of the inoculation of the biotic components, even though at the time of the invasion the systems are indistinguishable. A major factor in the uncertainty of pesticide risk assessment will be the unknown etiology of the system of interest.
  • Community conditioning,
  • Nonequilibrium dynamics,
  • Risk assessment,
  • Pesticides
Publication Date
April, 1996
Publisher Statement
Published by the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Citation Information
Wayne G. Landis, Robin A. Matthews and Geoffrey B. Matthews. "The layered and historical nature of ecological systems and the risk assessment of pesticides" Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Vol. 15 Iss. 4 (1996) p. 432 - 440
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