AMORE Decision Support System for probabilistic Ecological Risk Assessment - Part I: Exposure and risk assessment of the case study on cyanide.

Affiliation

Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics, University Ca' Foscari of Venice, Venice, Italy. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

Ecological Risk Assessment of chemicals in fluvial systems is a highly researched topic, but its importance for the environmental protection of our planet is vital. Thus, new developments and improvements to existing methodologies are proposed constantly, for providing more advanced tools and more accurate results to researchers and other interested parties. In the field of probabilistic Ecological Risk Assessment, a new Decision Support System is proposed, developed, tested and evaluated. The AMORE DSS is a modular DSS, which incorporates a series of new methodologies, and is built upon the notions of 'Exposure Assessment', 'Effect Assessment' and 'Risk Assessment'. The AMORE Decision Support System has been developed as part of the AMORE research project (French National Research Agency project). The DSS provides a set of tools for analysing and integrating both exposure and effect information in order to evaluate the risk for species living on a given contaminated aquatic system in terms of the Potentially Affected Fraction. The DSS has been tested through a case study on ERA of cyanide in the watershed of river Selune in France. The paper presents the 'Exposure Assessment' and 'Risk Assessment' of the cyanide case study, as well as the complete functionalities of the AMORE DSS. The main results presented in the paper are the statistical analysis of the measured environmental concentrations of cyanide (Exposure Assessment) and the probabilistic 'Risk assessment' of the same contaminant in the area of interest, based on the functionalities of the DSS. The results are described and discussed in detail with the use of various graphs and risk indices. The risk indices are calculated for all the available ecotoxicological data, as well as for the data on trophic levels or taxonomic groups separately. A risk comparison is presented between the innovative methodologies included in the DSS and the currently existing methodologies.

Keywords

Cyanide,Decision Support System,Potentially Affected Fraction,Predicted Environmental Concentration,Probabilistic Ecological Risk Assessment,