Harmonizing Aquatic Ecosystems

11 May by ryanbefair

Harmonizing Aquatic Ecosystems

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Aquatic ecosystems are critical to the health of Earth. From freshwater lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands to the vast marine oceans and seas, they provide vital services, including oxygen production and food for plants and animals. These ecosystems are not just natural wonders; they also play a pivotal role in shaping climate patterns, economies, and cultures worldwide. Find out: https://focusingonwildlife.com/news/harmonizing-aquatic-ecosystems-strategies-for-plant-fish-coexistence-in-aquariums/

Sustainable Practices to Protect Aquatic Environments

However, many of these essential aquatic habitats have been compromised by human activities. Human emissions of chemicals, which enter the water and subsequently accumulate within aquatic organisms, can significantly alter their structure, function, and quality. These changes can threaten the survival of these ecosystems and their inhabitants, thus compromising their viability as productive and valuable resources.

A number of approaches exist to assess the impacts of anthropogenic chemical exposure on aquatic systems, but few are able to assess these risks at the ecosystem level. For example, toxicological responses of individual organisms are well characterized, but risk assessments rarely account for the cumulative effects of multiple contaminants and their interactions across trophic levels.

Harmonizing Aquatic Ecosystems aims to bridge this gap. A key element of this effort is the development and implementation of a system to identify high ecological value ecosystems (HEVAE) at a global scale. This system, based on an existing Life Cycle Initiative model (USEtox), was developed in conjunction with Module 4 Aquatic Ecosystems Delineation and Description Guidelines, but can also be used independently. To develop the system, a wide range of internationally recognized experts in environmental exposure and effect modeling participated in an initial harmonization workshop held back-to-back with a Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Conference.

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