NCEAS Project 2065

Predicting population level effects of toxicants

  • Roger M. Nisbet

ActivityDatesFurther Information
Sabbatical Fellow1st July 1998—30th June 1999Participant List  
Working Group14th—18th December 1998Participant List  
Working Group1st—8th October 1999Participant List  
Working Group5th—8th May 2000Participant List  
Working Group19th—20th June 2000Participant List  


Exposure to sub-lethal concentrations of many toxic compounds in the environment affects the rates of assimilation and utilization of food by individual organisms. These effects may lead to large changes in the dynamics of a population, and to the structure of communities. Dynamic energy budget (DEB) models have had considerable success in describing the effects of toxicants on individual performance, notably in describing changes in rates of growth and reproduction. This proposal has two components:

  • Synthesis of DEB theory for effects of contaminants on individual organisms.
  • Development of DEB-based theory for population dynamics, including synthesis of three different modeling approaches currently applied to practical problems in conservation ecology, environmental impact assessment, and water quality management.
The first will be the responsibility of R.M. Nisbet during a one-year sabbatical at NCEAS. The second will involve a working group of theorists and experimentalists. Methodology will be evaluated through modeling marine microcosms, before widening the group's activity to natural and managed populations.

TypeProduct of NCEAS Research
Journal Article Nisbet, Roger M.; Muller, Erik B.; Lika, K.; Kooijman, S. A. L. M. 2000. From molecules to ecosystems through dynamic energy budget models. Journal of Animal Ecology. Vol: 69. Pages 913.