Lam, P. K. S. Department of Biology & Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, bhpksl@cityu.edu.hk
Richardson, B. J. Department of Biology & Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, bhbrucer@cityu.edu.hk
Martin, M. California Department of Fish and Game, 103455.2442@compuserve.com

 
ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT: PACIFIC RIM BIPOLARITY?
 
Ecological Risk Assessments (ERAs) are being more frequently conducted in many North American, Asian, and European centres, with the processes and methods of assessment being employed somewhat independently. The aim of this paper is to compare and contrast the ERA methodologies employed in Californian and Hong Kong environments. In particular, the assessment of risks to communities and ecosystems appear to be the most intractable endpoints that are currently evaluated. Typical ERAs determine chemicals of potential ecological concern, identify the potential receptors present, spatially delineate the chemical distributions, measure toxicological effects from various media and exposure to surrogate receptors, and evaluate the levels of contamination which estimates biological impairment, using a comparative hazard index. The determination of risk to ecological receptors relies upon the weight-of-evidence process: distribution of ambient concentrations of chemicals (compared to literature toxicity data), aqueous and sediment toxicity tests, and fish or benthic invertebrate community surveys. Many historic ecological data sets were not designed specifically for use in ecological risk assessment; as a result they have limited application and use in ERAs. It is proposed here that it may be possible to group ecological habitats into ecosystem types by focussing on common key attributes related to their structure and function. This paper considers possible ways by which existing data sets can be modified/used to provide information on
 
Day: Friday, Feb. 5
Time: 09:15 - 09:30am
Location: Hilton of Santa Fe
 
Code: SS11FR0915H