cod. 16562

Academic year 2012/13
3° year of course - First semester
Academic discipline
Ecologia (BIO/07)
A scelta dello studente
Type of training activity
Student's choice
54 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit
in - - -

Learning objectives

To provide knowledge of the available methods to predict and monitor the impact of potentially harmful chemicals on natural ecosystems


Ecology, Statistics

Course unit content

Part I: From toxicology to ecotoxicology
Analysis of toxic effects:
- acute, chronic and sublethal effects
- response: binary and continuous variables
- experimental design and analysis of concentration-response data
- limits of laboratory tests

Part II: Application in environmental toxicology
General criteria for selecting test types and methodology.
Toxicology of aquatic systems:
- tests with freshwater and marine organisms
- sediment toxicity tests.
Toxicology of terrestrial systems.
Biomarkers: principles and applications

Part III: Prediction of toxicity and environmental quality criteria
Quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSARs): principles and applications
Environmental quality criteria: the different approaches to their quantification
Complex mixtures
Toxicity identification and evaluation (TIE)

Part IV: Biodegradability and environmental fate
Physical-chemical properties of toxicants in predictive ecotoxicology.
Degradation processes
Bioaccumulation, bioconcentration and biomagnification.
Fate models

Part V: Risk assessment
General principles and applications.

Laboratory practical
Acute toxicity tests with freshwater invertebrates

Full programme

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o Recommended readings: Vighi M., Bacci E. (1998). Ecotossicologia. UTET, Torino

Calow P. (1994). Handbook of Ecotoxicology. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford. Vol. 1 and 2.

Teaching methods

Oral lessons and laboratory

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral exam

Other information

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