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Dynamic sensing of pollution disasters and predictive modeling of their ecological impact

Acronym: ECODIS
Period: October 2005 till September 2008
Status: Completed

Institutes (2)  Top 
  • Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR), more, co-ordinator
  • European Commission Joint Research Center (JRC), more, partner

ECODIS will develop sensor technologies for monitoring the physicochemical reactivity and biological impact of inorganic and organic pollutant species in aquatic systems. ECODIS will also apply these technologies to the study of the short and long term chemical and biological status of aquatic ecosystems following a pollution disaster. Exposure conditions experienced by organisms are defined by the temporal profiles of concentration and speciation of pollutants. These profiles will be quantitatively linked to biological effects via an innovative dynamic approach based on the flux of pollutant species as a key parameter in effective ecosystem quality. The dynamic features of pollutant species distributions over biotic and abiotic components will be a basic component of a new generic dynamic approach for any macroscopic aquatic ecosystem impacted by a pollution disaster event. This will involve the integration of the dynamic features of pollutants with their macroscale transport resulting from diffusion and flows in the water body. One of the major goals of ECODIS is to arrive at a model that includes predicted pollutant species distributions, and ensuing biological risks, in all compartments of the aquatic ecosystem as a function of time and space. Especially in disaster situations, the pollutant sink/source functioning of ecosystems under extreme load will be a key factor in the rate of spread of the disaster impact. ECODIS will couple the sink/source function with the transport modelling and derive the ensuing immediate and long term impact of a given pollution disaster. ECODIS will also open the way for developing sophisticated strategies for dynamic risk assessment and disaster management policies. One of the ultimate goals in ECODIS's action plan is the formulation of a set of guidelines for monitoring, data management, and interpretation of pollution disasters.

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