Effect Modeling

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Mechanistic models of pesticide effects on non-target organisms

Effects of the potential exposure of non-target organisms to pesticides are usually assessed based on standardized or more complex higher tier tests. However, questions related to the effect of more complex exposure situations (e.g. variable exposure over time or in combination with other stressors), recovery of affected species or indirect effects can often not be answered with experiments alone. Thus, mechanistic models of effects and recovery are increasingly used for refined effect assessments.

In cooperation with the Institute for Environmental Research at the RWTH Aachen University we use different modeling approaches:

- Toxicokinetic/toxicodynamic models on the level of the organism

- Simple population models (differential equations, matrix models)

- Detailed population models (individual-based models)

Ecosystem models

Depending on the specific question we use existing models, modifiy available models or develop new ones.

To improve model development and model application in chemical risk assessment the Fraunhofer IME is involved in international projects and board activities (see below).


Available software


Hommen, U., Forbes, V., Grimm, V., Preuss, T. G., Thorbek, P., Ducrot, V.:
How to use mechanistic effect models in environmental risk assessment of pesticides: Case studies and recommendations from the SETAC workshop MODELINK. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management 12 (2016) No. 1: 21–31 (DOI: 10.1002/ieam.1704)

Hommen, U., Schmitt, W., Heine, S., Brock, T. C. M., Duquesne, S., Manson, P., Meregalli, G., Ochoa-Acuña, H., van Vliet, P., Arts, G.:
How TK-TD and population models for aquatic macrophytes could support the risk assessment for plant protection products. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management 12 (2016) No. 1: 82-95 [online first 2015] (DOI: 10.1002/ieam.1715)

Topping, C. J., Kjær, L. J., Hommen, U., Høye, T. T., Preuss, T. G., Sibly, R. M., van Vliet, P.:
Recovery based on plot experiments is a poor predictor of landscape-level population impacts of agricultural pesticides. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Vol. 33 (7) 2014: 1499–1507. DOI: 10.1002/etc.2388

Ibrahim, L., Preuss, T. G., Schaeffer, A., Hommen, U.:
A contribution to the identification of representative vulnerable fish species for pesticide risk assessment in Europe - a comparison of population resilience using matrix models. Ecological Modelling, Vol 280, 2014: 65–75. (DOI:10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2013.08.001)

Ibrahim L, Preuss TG, Ratte HT, Hommen U.:
A list of fish species that are potentially exposed to pesticides in edge-of-field water bodies in the European Union - a first step towards identifying vulnerable representatives for risk assessment. Environ Sci Pol Res Int 20 (2013) No. 4: 2679-2687. Open access. (DOI: 10.1007/s11356-013-1471-x)

Kulkarni, D., Hommen, U., Schäffer, A., Preuss, T.G.:
Ecological interactions affecting population-level responses to chemical stress in Mesocyclops leuckarti. Chemosphere 112 (2014) 340–347
(DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2014.04.062)

Kulkarni D, Gergs A, Hommen U, Ratte HT & Preuss TG.: 
A plea for the use of copepods in freshwater ecotoxicology. Environ Sci Pollut Res 20 (2013) 75–85. (DOI: 10.1007/s11356-012-1117-4)

Gergs A, Classen A, Hommen U, Preuss TG:
Identification of realistic worst case aquatic macroinvertebrate species for prospective risk assessment using the trait concept. Environmental Science and Pollution Research 18 (8) (2011) 1316-1323 (DOI: 10.1007/s11356-011-0484-6)

Hommen U, Baveco JM, Galic N, van den Brink PJ.:
Potential application of ecological models in the European ecological risk assessment of chemicals I. Review of protection goals in EU directives and regulations. IEAM 6 (3) (2010) 325–337 (DOI: 10.1002/ieam.69)

Galic N, Hommen U, Baveco JM, van den Brink, PJ:
Potential application of population models in the European ecological risk assessment of chemicals: II review of models and their capability to address environmental protection aims. IEAM 6 (3) (2010) 338-360 (DOI: 10.1002/ieam.68)

Thorbek P, Forbes V, Heimbach F, Hommen U, Thulke H-H, Van den Brink PJ, Wogram J, Grimm V (eds).:
Ecological models for regulatory risk assessments of pesticides: Developing a strategy for the future. CRC Press. Boca Raton, Florida (2009) 160 pp. ISBN 9781439805114

Forbes VE, Hommen U, Thorbek P, Heimbach F, van den Brink PJ, Wogram J, Thulke HH, Grimm G.:
Ecological models in support of regulatory risk assessments of pesticides: developing a strategy for the future. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management 5 (1) (2009) 167–172 (DOI: 10.1897/IEAM_2008-029.1)

Grimm V, Ashauer R, Forbes V, Hommen U, Preuss TG, Schmidt A, van den Brink PJ, Wogram J, Thorbek P.:
CREAM: a European project on mechanistic effect models for ecological risk assessment of chemicals. Environmental Science and Pollution Research 16 (2009) 614-617 (DOI: 10.1007/s11356-009-0228-z)

Preuss TG, Hammers-Wirtz M, Hommen U, Rubach MN, Ratte HT:
Development and validatlion of an individual based Daphnia magna population model: The influence of crowding on population dynamics. Ecological Modelling 220 (2009) 310-329 (DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2008.09.018)

Preuss TG, Hommen U, Alix A, Ashauer R, van den Brink P, Chapman P, Ducrot V, Forbes V, Grimm V, Schafer D, Streissl F, Thorbek :
Mechanistic effect models for ecological risk assessment of chemicals (MEMoRisk) - a new SETAC-Europe Advisory Group. Environmental Science and Pollution Research 16 (2009) 250-252 (DOI: 10.1007/s11356-009-0124-6)

Hommen U, Ashauer R, van den Brink P, Caquet T, Ducrot V, Lagadic L, Ratte HT:
Extrapolation methods in aquatic effects assessment of time-variable exposures to pesticides. In: Brock TCM, Alix A, Brown C, Capri E, Gottesbueren B, Heimbach F, Lythgo C, Schulz R, Streloke M. Linking Aquatic Exposure and Effects: Risk Assessment of Pesticides. CRC Press. Boca Raton. FL. USA. (2009) p. 255 - 286; Print ISBN: 978-1-4398-1347-8 (DOI: 10.1201/9781439813492-c14)

Munns, W.R. ; Gervais, J.A. ; Hoffmann, A.A.; Hommen, U. ; Nacci, D.E. ; Nakamaru, M. ; Sibly, R. ; Topping, C.J. :
Modeling approaches to population-level ecological risk assessment. In: Barnthouse, L.W.:Munns WR, Sorensen MT (eds.) Population-level ecological risk assessment. Boca Raton : Taylor & Francis (2007) 179-210; ISBN 9781420053326

Baird DJ, Brock TCM, de Ruiter PC, Boxall ABA, Culp JM, Eldridge P, Hommen U, Jak RG, Kidd KA & Dewitt T:
The food web approach in the environmental management of toxic substances. In: Baird DJ & Burton GA (Eds.) Ecological Variability: Separating Anthropogenic from Natural Causes of Ecosystem Impairment. SETAC Press, Pensacola, USA (2001) 83-122; ISBN: 1-88061-143-0

Sommer S, Hommen U:
Modelling the effects of life-history traits and changing ecological conditions on the population dynamics and persistence of the endangered Malagasy giant jumping rat (Hypogeomys antimena). Animal Conservation 3 (2000) 333-343