Bi2003 Ecotoxicology

Faculty of Science
Autumn 2012
Extent and Intensity
2/0/1. 2 credit(s) (fasci plus compl plus > 4). Recommended Type of Completion: zk (examination). Other types of completion: k (colloquium), graded credit, z (credit).
prof. RNDr. Luděk Bláha, Ph.D. (lecturer)
doc. RNDr. Pavel Čupr, Ph.D. (lecturer)
doc. Mgr. Klára Hilscherová, Ph.D. (lecturer)
prof. RNDr. Jakub Hofman, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Sergio Jarque Ortiz, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
prof. RNDr. Ivan Holoubek, CSc.
RECETOX - Faculty of Science
Contact Person: prof. RNDr. Jakub Hofman, Ph.D.
Supplier department: RECETOX - Faculty of Science
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is offered to students of any study field.
The capacity limit for the course is 20 student(s).
Current registration and enrolment status: enrolled: 0/20, only registered: 0/20, only registered with preference (fields directly associated with the programme): 0/20
Course objectives
After this course, students should be able to:
- describe and understand basic principles of ecotoxicology
- discuss and explain environmental stressors (chemical compounds, physical and biological stressors)
- classify and interpret adverse effects (organisms are understood as receptors of the stress) at different levels and for different organisms (bacteria, algae, plants, invertebrates, vertebrates including man)
- explain and use methodological approaches in ecotoxicology
- solve practical problems of the ecotoxicology applications
- explain the legislative framework of ecotoxicological biotests
- discuss the approaches for evaluation of ecotoxicity of chemical compounds and hazardous materials
- know the guidelines, their structure and system of standardized ecotoxicological biotests
- suggest the optimal test or battery of tests according to the requirement of the study
- plan sampling strategies for various biotic and abiotic matrices
- suggest bioindication and biomonitoring approaches for studies in situ
- determine and calculate the crucial parameters characterizing the toxicity from the test results
- combine the information obtained by biotests with data from chemical analysis for effective risk assessment of polluted environmental matrices
- discuss basic principles, specifics, methods and approaches of aquatic and soil ecotoxicology
- characterize main water and soil properties and discuss their relations to the effects of contaminants
- discuss factors affecting bioavailibility and fate of pollutants in the aquatic and soil environment
  • 1. General ecotoxicology
  • • history and present ecotoxicology frame; ecotoxicology definitions, links, relations, ecotoxicology areas and types
  • • chemical compounds in ecosystems; single chemical vs. mixtures; environmentally relevant properties of chemical compounds; fate of chemicals in the environment; biotic transformations; major classes of important contaminants – sources, fate and effects
  • • biological systems in ecotoxicology; exposure-dose-response concept; toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics; acute and chronic toxicity vs. genotoxicity vs. carcinogenity; biomarkers; hierarchy of biological systems
  • • (eco)toxicological effects at various levels; subcellular and cellular level; modes of toxic action; mutagenicity and genotoxicity; organ level; organismal level; population, community and ecosystem level; levels of trophic chains: producents, consumers, predators, destruents
  • 2. Experimental approaches of ecotoxicology
  • • laboratory testing vs. in situ studies vs. biomonitoring - design and principles; standardization (ISO, OECD, US EPA); factors affecting test results; data analysis and interpretation; good laboratory practice
  • • laboratory biotests; classification and hierarchy of tests; test batteries; parameterization of effects - derivation and interpretation of ECx, LCx, LO(A)EL, NO(A)EL values; needs and requirements of the tests; alternative biotests
  • • methods for testing toxicity of chemicals and environmental samples - representatives and examples; multispecies testing - laboratory microcosms; tests with destruents; genotoxicity tests; tests with producers and consumers
  • • ecological methods of in situ studies; design and needs; measured parameters; characteristics of community structure; problems and specifics of bioindicators; bioindication of air quality, soil quality and water quality
  • • evaluation of biomarkers and toxicity mechanisms; principles, methods and approaches; endocrine disruption; in vitro testing
  • • sampling, handling and preparation of samples from various environmental matrices for ecotoxicological assessment, sampling design and strategies
  • 3. Aquatic and soil ecotoxicology
  • • classification of waters; properties of aquatic ecosystems; factors affecting the fate of contaminants and their effects; sediment; properties of sediments and their specifics
  • • problems in aquatic ecosystems; cyanobacterial blooms; pharmaceuticals and personal care products; endocrine disruption; Water Framework Directive 2000/60 EEC
  • • toxicity tests for aquatic ecosystems; in situ studies; using plankton, benthos, algae, macrophytes, invertebrates, vertebrates in aquatic ecotoxicology; passive sampling of pollutants
  • • soil properties and functions; problems of soils, their contamination and protection of soils; legislative framework of soil ecotoxicology • fate of contaminants in soils; bioavailability
  • • effects of contaminants on soil microorganisms, invertebrates and plants; methods, examples, principles and interpretations; bioassays and bioindication
  • 4. Applications of ecotoxicology
  • • regulatory frame for ecotoxicology; role of ecotoxicology in environmental protection
  • • national and international standards in ecotoxicology; safety limits or benchmarks; national and international approaches for testing of chemicals (REACH)
  • • predictive ecotoxicology; QSAR and mathematical models
  • • risk assessment; human vs. ecological risks
  • Rombke, J. and Moltmann, J.F. (1996): Applied ecotoxicology. CRC Press LLC, New York. ISBN 0-56670-070-1.
  • Soil ecotoxicology. Edited by Joseph Tarradellas - Gabriel Bitton - Dominique Rossel. Boca Raton : Lewis Publishers, 1996. 386 s. ISBN 1-56670-134-1.
  • Hill, I.R. et al. Freshwater field tests for hazard assessment of chemicals. CRC Press, 1994m Boca Raton, Florida
  • NEWMAN, Michael C. and William H. CLEMENTS. Ecotoxicology : a comprehensive treatment. Boca Raton, Fla.: CRC Press, 2008. 852 s. ISBN 9780849333576. info
  • Ecological risk assessment. Edited by Glenn W. Suter. 2nd ed. Boca Raton: CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, 2007. 643 p. ISBN 9781566706346. URL info
  • NEWMAN, Michael C. and Michael A. UNGER. Fundamentals of ecotoxicology. 2nd ed. Boca Raton, Fla.: Lewis Publishers, 2003. 458 p. ISBN 1566705983. URL info
  • Fundamentals of aquatic toxicology : effects, environmental fate, and risk assessment. Edited by Gary M. Rand. 2nd ed. Boca Raton: CRC Press, 1995. xxi, 1125. ISBN 1560320915. info
  • Handbook of ecotoxicology. Edited by Peter Calow. Oxford: Blackwell scientific publications, 1994. 416 s. ISBN 0632029897. info
  • HOFFMAN, D.J. and B.A. RATTNER. Handbook of Ecotoxicology. Boca Raton, FL, USA: CRC Press, 1994. info
Teaching methods
Education is performed as lectures (weekly or in blocks) with Powerpoint presentation. Understanding of mechanisms and consequences is emphasized. Students are frequently asked questions to think about actual topic. They are encouraged to ask questions and be in interaction with the lecturer. Students perform independent seminar project (1x during the semester). In laboratory exercises (blocks at the end of semester) basic methods related to the field of the course will be demonstrated.
Assessment methods
Attendance of the lectures is not mandatory but strongly recommended for fluent understanding of the educated subjects. During the lectures, students are asked about subjects of past lecture. Final assessment (at the end of semester) is by written examination or oral exam
Language of instruction
Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
Study Materials
The course can also be completed outside the examination period.
The course is taught each semester.
The course is taught: in blocks.
General note:
Teacher's information
The course is also listed under the following terms Spring 2011 - only for the accreditation, Autumn 2010 - only for the accreditation, Autumn 2010, Spring 2011, Autumn 2011, Spring 2012, Autumn 2011 - acreditation, spring 2012 - acreditation, Spring 2013, Autumn 2013, Spring 2014, Autumn 2014, Spring 2015, Autumn 2015, Spring 2016, Autumn 2016, Spring 2017, autumn 2017, spring 2018, Autumn 2018, Spring 2019, Autumn 2019, Spring 2020, Autumn 2020, Spring 2021, autumn 2021, Spring 2022.
  • Enrolment Statistics (Autumn 2012, recent)
  • Permalink: