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, 21 (11), 606-13

Community Ecology as a Framework for Predicting Contaminant Effects

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Community Ecology as a Framework for Predicting Contaminant Effects

Jason R Rohr et al. Trends Ecol Evol.

Abstract

Most ecosystems receive an assortment of anthropogenic chemicals from the thousands possible, making it important to identify a predictive theory for their direct and indirect effects. Here, we propose that the impacts of contaminants can be simplified and unified under the framework of community ecology. This approach offers predictions of the strength and direction of indirect effects, which species are crucial for propagating these effects, which communities will be sensitive to contaminants, and which contaminants will be most insidious to communities. We discuss insights offered by this approach, potential limitations and extensions, outstanding questions, and its value for integrated pest management, ecological risk assessment, and the development of remediation and ecosystem management strategies.

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