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Modular Ecotoxicity Tests Incorporating Ecological Relevance - Assessing the toxicity and bioavailability of poorly water-soluble compounds in aquatic ecosystems


Development of a series of ecologically relevant toxicity tests to assess under realistic exposure scenarios the full breadth of responses of aquatic organisms to chemical contaminants.

METIER will build upon the results obtained within a preceding project in the STEP Programme (Contract EV5V-CT91-0009) which involved the development of a standard flow-through exposure system and a series of toxicity tests linked to a mechanistic physiological model of contaminant effects in the aquatic environment, to support the development of regulatory guidelines for poorly water-soluble compounds (pre-normative research) in relation to EC Directives 76/548/EEC and 88/379/EEC.
Specifically METIER will
- further develop the Daphnia magna model, including transfer options to other species (e.g. Carassius auratus, Chironomus riparius);
- investigate an artificial sediment matrix to allow manipulations of the bioavailability of poorly water-soluble compounds, and the development of a standardised sediment toxicity test using Chironomus riparius;
- examine the role of the binding of contaminants in the water column on particulate matter for the effective exposure estimates;
- continue developing the flow-through system for the testing of "difficult" substances;
- validate the test system using two EC Priority List I chemicals (3,4-dichloroaniline and parathion);
- develop rapid-test endpoints (e.g. feeding inhibition) which can be mechanistically linked to long-term life-cycle endpoints (e.g. inhibition of reproduction) using model simulations, with potential application in effluent "end-of-pipe" testing.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


Universidade de Coimbra
Largo Marquês De Pombal
3049 Coimbra

Participants (3)

Technische Universität Berlin
Goerzallee 253
14167 Berlin
United Kingdom
Western Bank
S10 2TN Sheffield
University of Stirling
United Kingdom
University Of Stirling
FK9 4LA Stirling