CERC Science Topic: Ecological Risk Assessment

amphibian in situ exposuresEcological risk assessments are conducted to evaluate the likely responses of natural systems exposed to altered physical, chemical, or biotic variables that alone and in combination may pose stress to the environment.

Risk assessments evaluate the likelihood that the observed injuries are the result of exposure to stressors, and predict the likelihood of future adverse effects. Risk assessments consider the magnitude and timing of exposure to the stressor relative to threshold sensitivity of ecological receptor, and determine if causal pathways exist that would enable such exposures to occur. An ecological risk assessment can define undesirable changes such as alterations of important structural or functional characteristics of ecosystems.
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