Biological Responses at Supraindividual Levels

Angel Borja, Julie Bremner, Inigo Muxika, J. German Rodriguez

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Citations (Scopus)


The effects of pollutants on marine fauna and flora cover many direct and indirect effects at supraindividual levels, from populations to ecosystems. In recent times, hundreds of indicators, metrics, and assessment methods have been developed to determine the impacts of those pollutants on different components of the ecosystem. This development is generally included in the framework of national and international legislation, approved in different continents. Pollution effects on organisms can imply consequences at the population level to different degrees, from changes in population dynamics or genetic diversity, to the local extinction of a population. In turn, ecological integrity assessment requires the study of structure (e.g., richness, diversity), function (e.g., response of sensitive and opportunistic species or biological traits to pollution), and processes at the community level. However, the most important challenge is to understand the response of the complete ecosystem to interactions between multiple stressors (i.e., cumulative, synergistic, antagonistic) and to assess marine health in an integrative way at regional or global scales.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAquatic ecotoxicology
Subtitle of host publicationAdvancing tools for dealing with emerging risks
EditorsC Amiard-Triquet, J.C. Amiard, C Mouneyrac
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9780128011768
ISBN (Print)9780128009499
Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2015

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