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Single species toxicity tests, microcosm toxicity tests, and ecosystem level field studies all have their advantages and limitations in determining the effect of a toxicant on an ecosystem. In spite of their limitations, laboratory toxicity studies are necessary for gaining autecological insights to how organisms respond. Microcosm tests are a first approximation to how an ecosystem might respond to the intrusion of a toxicant. Population, community, and ecosystem level field studies are necessary to interpret laboratory findings from single species and microcosm tests in light of the field realities.
aquatic toxicology, autecology, controls, ecology, ecosystem analysis, ecosystem states, microcosms, population ecology, processes, single species toxicity tests, synecology
Professor, Utah State University, Logan, UT