Development and validation of models to assess and predict the impact of pollutants on aquatic ecosystems and biodiversity.

RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment took a leading role in an Integrated Project under EU Sixth Framework Programme and entitled Models for Assessing and Forecasting the Impact of Environmental Key Pollutants on Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems and Biodiversity. This project was in line with the European Water Framework Directive (WFD) demands for good ecological status of European surface waters by 2015.

Chemical stress due to environmental pollutants is one of the main causes of deterioration of ecological status and reduced biodiversity of freshwater and marine ecosystems. However, reliable diagnosis, prediction and forecasting of toxic impacts on aquatic ecosystems and efficient mitigation of toxic risks demand identification of respective stressors and reliable cause-effect relationships between chemical pollution and biodiversity deterioration. Gaps in knowledge impede evaluation and mitigation of the causes of ecological deterioration of many aquatic ecosystems. MODELKEY was designed to bridge these knowledge gaps.