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Establishment of ecoregions based on soil functional communities for pesticide risk assessment in Europe: Germany as a case study

2010Defining ecoregions based on soil invertebrates for defining pesticide exposure scenariosMURILLO CONTRERAS Liliana del Carmen (El Salvador)
Organisation:University of Coimbra, Coimbra (PT) - ECT GmbH (Germany)Supervisor :José Paulo Sousa (UC) & Joerg Roembke (ECT)
Summary: Europe can be divided into a number of regions mainly defined by soil properties and climate, each region supports a different soil community that may play a different role in supporting relevant soil services. Pesticide risk assessment should take into account not only soil and climate, but also soil organisms in order to increase realism on ecotoxicologicallly relevant concentration in soil. The objective of this study is to contribute to define a EU-wide Ecoregion based map to improve the ecological relevance of soil exposure scenarios for selected soil organism communities, using Germany as a Case Study. Different species within the community may share similar traits that may influence the way they are exposed to chemicals. Ecologically Relevant Exposure Scenarios (ERES) should describe the exposure in those soil layers that are the habitat of key soil organism communities modulating key soil services/processes, and be based an Ecoregion approach. The combination of soil properties, climate, the potential soil community based on the composition of trait groups, and the land-use defines an ecoregion, each characterized by different set of exposure scenarios. The main assumptions are that species are exposed to pesticides according to their traits and that the exposure pathway of species having the same combination of traits is similar, but the actual exposure is different. This concept will be tested using data from Germany, available through different publications and soil, land use and climate maps, using statistical tools and GIS to analyze the information.