Ecological risk assessment quantifies the likelihood of undesirable impacts of stressors, primarily at high levels of biological organization. Data used to inform ecological risk assessments come primarily from tests on individual organisms or from suborganismal studies, indicating a disconnect between primary data and protection goals. We know how to relate individual responses to population dynamics using individual-based models, and there are emerging ideas on how to make connections to ecosystem services. However, there is no established methodology to connect effects seen at higher levels of biological organization with suborganismal dynamics, despite progress made in identifying Adverse Outcome Pathways (AOPs) that link molecular initiating events to ecologically relevant key events. This chapter is a product of a working group at the National Center for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) that assessed the feasibility of using dynamic energy budget (DEB) models of individual organisms as a "pivot" connecting suborganismal processes to higher level ecological processes. AOP models quantify explicit molecular, cellular or organ-level processes, but do not offer a route to linking sub-organismal damage to adverse effects on individual growth, reproduction, and survival, which can be propagated to the population level through individual-based models. DEB models describe these processes, but use abstract variables with undetermined connections to suborganismal biology. We propose linking DEB and quantitative AOP models by interpreting AOP key events as measures of damage-inducing processes in a DEB model. Here, we present a conceptual model for linking AOPs to DEB models and review existing modeling tools available for both AOP and DEB.
|Title of host publication||A Systems Biology Approach to Advancing Adverse Outcome Pathways for Risk Assessment|
|Publisher||Springer International Publishing|
|Number of pages||22|
|State||Published - Feb 24 2018|