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Stoichiometric Ecotoxicology for a Multisubstance World

by Teresa J Mathews, Louise M Stevenson
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132 to 147

Nutritional and contaminant stressors influence organismal physiology, trophic interactions, community structure, and ecosystem level processes, however only a few ecotoxicity studies have examined toxicity-elemental imbalance interactions. Integrating well developed ecological theories that cross all levels of biological organization can enhance our understanding of ecotoxicology. In this paper, we underline the opportunity to couple concepts and approaches used in theory of ecological stoichiometry (ES) to ask ecotoxicological questions and introduce stoichiometric ecotoxicology, a subfield in ecology, that examines how contaminant stress, nutrient supply, and elemental constraints interact throughout all levels of biological organization. This conceptual framework unifying ecotoxicology with ES offers potential, for both empirical and theoretical studies, to deepen our mechanistic understandings of the adverse outcomes of chemicals across ecological scales and improve the predictive powers of ecotoxicology.