Incorporation of the biomarker concept in ecotoxicology calls for a redefinition of terms

  title={Incorporation of the biomarker concept in ecotoxicology calls for a redefinition of terms},
  author={C.A.M. van Gestel and T. C. Van Brummelen},
Biomarkers have received a lot of attention but the biomarker concept has not yet been defined properly. As a consequence, various interpretations of the term ‘biomarker’ exist, some of which overlap with well-established ecotoxicological concepts. To allow incorporation of the biomarker concept within the framework of modern ecotoxicology, a clarification of terms is needed. In this paper, definitions are presented for the terms ‘biomarker’, ‘bioindicator’ and ‘ecological indicator’, which do… 

Biomarkers, Bioindicators, and the Trondheim Biomonitoring System

Experimental and theoretical approaches based on the weight of evidence are presented to answer the question of whether biomarker responses are relevant for effects at higher biological levels (i.e., populations or ecosystems).

The use of biomarkers in ecological risk assessment: recommendations from the Christchurch conference on Biomarkers in Ecotoxicology

This study highlights the need to understand more fully the role of phosphorous in the build-up of Legionnaires' disease in animals and the immune system.

Validation of Selected Biomarkers in Invertebrates from the Polluted Silesian Region

Research activities from the laboratory, concentrated on application of biomonitoring and biomarkers in terrestrial invertebrates from this region to monitoring programmes, are presented and their advantages, validation and constraints are discussed.

Earthworm biomarkers in ecological risk assessment.

This review summarizes recent available information concerning the most investigated earthworm biomarkers and suggests future lines of research are suggested besides the recommendations made by others.

Effective biomarkers to assess the toxicity of pharmaceutical residues on marine bivalves

  • G. Aguirre-Martínez
  • Environmental Science, Biology
    Pharmaceuticals in Marine and Coastal Environments
  • 2021

Relationship Between Biomarkers and Pesticide Exposure in Fishes: A Review

In the modern world, small livelihood-based farms that grow multiple crops have been mostly replaced by large, agricultural conglomerates, in which food is grown in monocultures. This shift has



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It is proposed that, in addition to biomarker measurements on samples obtained from organisms at field sites, biomarker screening tests should be initiated in the laboratory with a range of new chemicals and organisms relevant to the field sites thought to be at risk to establish links between laboratory-based testing and adverse effects in situ.

A critique of the use of distribution-based extrapolation models in ecotoxicology

The features and assumptions of recently developed distribution-based extrapolation models that are currently in use (OECD 1991; Van Leeuwen et al. 1992) are examined and it is suggested that the rational use of these models as ecotoxicological tools for environmental regulation requires additional basic knowledge in two areas.

The role of biomarkers in environmental assessment (4). Terrestrial plants

It is argued that a battery of biomarkers is necessary to evaluate chemical hazards to species and the efficiency of a biomarker will depend on the degree of already present adaptation to environmental stress and on the homogeneity of the investigated population.

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Among the various biochemical parameters used as biomarkers in invertebrates exposed to pollutants in the field, only those for which changes at population or community level can be suggested are discussed in the present review.

The role of biomarkers in environmental assessment (3). Vertebrates

Suites of biomarkers have the potential to play an important role in environmental assessment and can give information on the effect of pollutants rather than mere quantification of the levels present.

Biomarkers : research and application in the assessment of environmental health

This book provides a conceptional framework for the application of biomarkers and formulate a unified strategy for the development and validation of biomarker-based biomonitoring researchers as well as appropriate protocols for their implementation and interpretation in a biological monitoring programme.

The role of biomarkers in environmental assessment (1). Introduction

  • D. Peakall
  • Environmental Science, Biology
  • 1994
A series of four papers, commissioned by the European Science Foundation, are presented on the state-of-the-art of the use of biomarkers in environmental assessment and cover invertebrates, vertebrates, plants and invertebrate populations and communities.

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Although single species toxicity tests form the backbone of the environmental safety testing, it is argued that multispecies testing can provide valuable additional evidence for protecting the environment.

Extrapolation methods for setting ecological standards for water quality: statistical and ecological concerns

Extrapolation methods form the basis for most recent techniques used to set ‘safe’ levels of toxicants for ecosystems, but they have not been validated for safety and, before the approach is fully applied, needs to be validated.

Status and use of biological indicators for evaluating the effects of stress on fish

Laboratory bioassays and other conventional methods of assessing stress on aquatic organisms generally lack ecological realism because of the many environmental factors that can influence stress