Ecotoxicological models are in principle not representing a model type, as biogeochemical models or population dynamic models are applied widely in ecotoxicology. It is, however, preferable to treat ecotoxicological models as a separate model type, because of the following reasons:
1. Our knowledge of the parameters is limited and estimation methods are therefore needed and have been developed.
2. Due to the use of safety factors and the limited knowledge of the parameters, ecotoxciological models are often simple. In particular, the so-called fugacity models illustrate this feature.
3. They include often an effect component.
The advantages of this model type are as follows:
• It is tailored to ecotoxicological problems.
• It includes often an effect component or can easily be interpreted to quantify the effect.
The disadvantages are as follows:
• The number of parameters needed to develop models for all toxic substances is very high and we know only at the most 1% of these parameters.
• It implies that we need estimation methods that inevitably have a high uncertainty. The model results have therefore also a high uncertainty.
• Inclusion of an effect component requires knowledge of the effect, which is also limited.
The area of application is in this case obvious: to solve ecotoxicological research and management problems and perform environmental risk assessment for the application of chemicals.
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