AMORE Decision Support System for probabilistic Ecological Risk Assessment - Part II: Effect assessment of the case study on cyanide.


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


Ecotoxicological data are highly important for risk assessment processes and are used for deriving environmental quality criteria, which are enacted for assuring the good quality of waters, soils or sediments and achieving desirable environmental quality objectives. Therefore, it is of significant importance the evaluation of the reliability and relevance of available data for analysing their possible use in the aforementioned processes. In this context, a new methodology which has been developed based on Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) techniques, is being used, demonstrated and tested for analysing the reliability and relevance of ecotoxicological data of cyanide (which are produced through laboratory biotests for individual effects). The proposed methodology is also used for the production of Weighted by Data Quality Species Sensitivity Distributions (SSD-WDQ), as a component of the Ecological Risk Assessment of chemicals in aquatic systems. The SSD-WDQ production resulted in the estimation of environmental quality criteria (hazard concentration affecting 5% and 50% of the species). The proposed work is part of the development of the AMORE Decision Support System (DSS) for the application of probabilistic Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA), presented in the companion paper (Isigonis et al., 2019). 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 'Effect Assessment' of cyanide, based on the aforementioned methodologies. The main results presented in the paper are the probabilistic analysis of the estimated species sensitivity on cyanide (Effect Assessment) and the calculation of Hazardous Concentration (HCx) of the same contaminant in the Selune river area, based on the functionalities of the DSS. The results are described and discussed in detail, with the use of various graphs and indices. The indices are calculated for all the available ecotoxicological data, as well as for the data on trophic levels or taxonomic groups separately. An effect comparison is presented between the innovative methodologies included in the DSS and the currently existing methodologies.


Chemical contaminants,Cyanide,Data quality,Ecological Risk Assessment,Ecotoxicological data,Species sensitivity distribution,