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      Assessing the ecology in ecotoxicology: a review and synthesis in freshwater systems.

      1 ,
      Ecology letters
      Wiley

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          Abstract

          The field of ecotoxicology is experiencing a surge in attention among ecologists as we gain a deeper appreciation for how contaminants can impact natural ecosystems. This interest is particularly strong in aquatic systems where many non-target organisms experience pesticides. In this article, we assess how pesticides affect freshwater systems by applying the conceptual framework of density- and trait-mediated indirect effects from the field of basic ecology. We demonstrate the utility of this framework for understanding the conditions under which pesticides affect species interactions, communities and ecosystems. Through the integration of laboratory toxicity tests and this ecological framework, ecotoxicologists should be better able to identify the mechanisms through which pesticides affect communities and ecosystems. We also identify several areas of research that are in critical need of empirical attention including synergistic effects between pesticides and natural stressors, the importance of pesticides on community assembly via habitat preferences and oviposition effects, the timing and frequency of pesticide applications, pesticide effects on population dynamics, the evolution of pesticide resistance in non-target organisms and ecosystem recovery. With this knowledge, one can improve upon management decisions and help protect non-target species that are of conservation concern.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Ecol Lett
          Ecology letters
          Wiley
          1461-0248
          1461-023X
          Oct 2006
          : 9
          : 10
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Department of Biological Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA. relyea@pitt.edu
          Article
          ELE966
          10.1111/j.1461-0248.2006.00966.x
          16972879
          847b1c4f-22f9-45ae-af1c-1c1a50cc0f64
          History

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