Improving Ecological Risk Assessment of Pesticides for Nontarget Terrestrial Vertebrates

EPA Grant Number: R825347
Title: Improving Ecological Risk Assessment of Pesticides for Nontarget Terrestrial Vertebrates
Investigators: Wolff, Jerry O. , Edge, W. Daniel
Institution: Oregon State University
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: January 1, 1997 through December 31, 1999
Project Amount: $358,354
RFA: Exploratory Research - Environmental Biology (1996) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Biology/Life Sciences , Aquatic Ecosystems


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency uses the "Quotient Model" (QM) for ecological risk assessments when evaluating pesticide registrations. Although appealing because of its simplicity and intuitive nature, the use of the QM has been questioned because of cases in which pesticides classified as "low risk" resulted in mortality in nontarget wildlife populations. Inherent in the use of the QM are at least 12 assumptions, many of which have not been critically examined under field conditions. Also, the QM does not consider how the natural history and behavior of individuals, environmental stochasticity, and chemical and physical properties of pesticides interact in natural environments t affect exposure and hazard. Building on our previous experimental research in risk assessment evaluation, we propose 4 field experiments over 3 years to test critical assumptions of the QM that take these mitigating factors into consideration. These experiments will directly or indirectly field test all 12 assumptions of the QM while incorporating life history characteristics into risk assessment. We will test specific hypothesis that will lead to a measurable understanding of some of the causes of variation in wildlife response to pesticides. This understanding will allo us to propose modifications that would improve ecological risk assessments.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 18 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 11 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

RFA, Health, Scientific Discipline, Toxics, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Ecology, Ecosystem/Assessment/Indicators, Ecosystem Protection, exploratory research environmental biology, Chemical Mixtures - Environmental Exposure & Risk, Environmental Chemistry, pesticides, Chemistry, Ecological Effects - Environmental Exposure & Risk, Risk Assessments, Ecological Effects - Human Health, Biology, Ecological Indicators, risk assessment, ecological exposure, ecological risk assessment, pesticide exposure, terrestrial vertebrates, mutagenic properties, field experiments, quotient model, wildlife populations, chemical mixtures, ecological assessment, mitigating factors, toxic environmental contaminants

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1997
  • 1998
  • Final Report