Laboratory Classes in Ecotoxicology
FCH-BC_EKT_PAcad. year: 2020/2021
The content of the course is to inform students about the principles and reasons for testing of chemicals, chemical products and wastes with regard to their potential ecotoxicity and to familiarize with the practical utility of the obtained results in the assessment of the effects of tested matrices on ecosystems. Structure of content is following. Ecological properties of chemicals, chemical products and waste. Basic principles and reasons for testing of chemicals and wastes. Legislation in the field ecotoxicological testing of chemicals and waste, sludge and sediments. Importance and the main principles of aquatic and terrestrial ecotoxicology, Bioassays - definition, importance, principles, classification. Preparation of chemicals for ecotoxicological testing; testing scheme, the concentration range, limit, preliminary and final tests. Preparation of waste water leachates for the purposes of assessing hazardous properties ecotoxicity H-14 (initial tests, confirmatory tests, preliminary tests, basic tests). Testing and subsequent evaluation of the results of tests conducted on organisms of aquatic ecosystems (Daphnia magna, Thamnocephalus platyurus, Lemna minor, Vibrio fischeri, Desmodesmus subspicatus). Testing and evaluation of test results on organisms of terrestrial ecosystems (Eisenia fetida, Sinapis alba, Lactuca sativa).
Learning outcomes of the course unit
Increasing the knowledge, skills and competencies of students is reflected in the following areas:
1. Students will learn how to practically implement ecotoxicological bioassays and interpret the obtained results. This means that they will be able to design, organise realisation of tests and to interpret results of ecotoxicological evaluation of different types of matrices (chemicals, wastes, contaminated, environmental matrices) in accordance with requirements of current legislation.
2. Students will be able to select optimal ecotoxicity tests (aquatic/contact) ant to design optimal battery of ecotoxicity tests (standard or alternative) in accordance with the objectives of the concrete study;
3. On the base of results of ecotoxicological tests (LC50, EC50 etc.) students will be able to predict the influence of various chemicals and contaminated environmental matrices on biota of the specific ecosystem.
4. They will be able to confront all findings with the requirements of current legislation of the Czech Republic and the EU on the evaluation of chemicals and waste with regard to environmental protection.
All findings will be confronted with the requirements of current legislation of the Czech Republic and the EU concerning process assessment of chemicals and wastes with regard to environmental protection.
Basic knowledge of toxicology, biology, ecology, environmental chemistry, fundamentals of statistic data evaluation. Practical skills necessary to work in a chemical laboratory obtained in basic laboratory classes.
Recommended optional programme components
Recommended or required reading
Fargašová A.: Environmentálna toxikológia a všeobecná ekotoxikológia. Bratislava -Orman, 2008 (CS)
Fargašová A.: Ekotoxikologické biotesty. Bratislava, Perfekt. 2009 (CS)
Svobodová Z. a kol.: Ekotoxikologie, praktická cvičení. VFU Brno, 2010 (CS)
Planned learning activities and teaching methods
The course uses teaching methods in form of Laboratory exercise - 2 teaching hours per week. The e-learning system (LMS Moodle) is available to teachers and students.
Assesment methods and criteria linked to learning outcomes
The basis for obtaining the credit is:
1. developing protocols of the required quality from practical tasks
2. completing all laboratory tasks
3. final presentation of ecotoxicity test results.
Language of instruction
1. Basic principles and reasons for testing of chemicals and wastes. Legislation in the field of ecotoxicological evaluation of chemicals, sewage sludge and sediments. Importance and the main principles of aquatic and terrestrial ecotoxicology, Bioassays - definition, importance, principles, classification. Preparation of chemicals for ecotoxicological testing, concentration range, limit, preliminary and final tests. Waste water leachates preparation.
2. Standard tests (ISO, OECD) versus alternative tests. The using alternative tests in aquatic ecotoxicology - Thamnotoxkit FTM, Daphtoxkit FTM - practical implementation.
3. Standard tests in aquatic arrangement - tests on Lemna minor, Sinapis alba – practical implementation.
4. Test on algae Desmodesmus subspicatus, on bacteria Vibrio fischeri and on fish Brachydanio rerio – presentation.
5. Tests in contact arrangement – sediment testing on ostracoda Heterocypris incongruens (Ostracodtoxkit).
6. Tests in contact arrangement - screening tests on seeds of salad Lactuca sativa - practical implementation.
7. Artificial soil preparation for terrestrial tests, pH and humidity adjustment, concentration series in contact arrangement of tested matrices preparation.
8. Test on snail Helix aspersa aspersa.
9. Acute, chronic tests on earthworm Eisenia fetida, Test of escape behavior on Eisenia fetida – presentation.
10. Test on organism Folsomia candida, escape behavior test.
11. Test on organism Vibrio fischeri.
12. Calculation of ecotoxicological values (LC, EC, IC etc.) and their presentation with regards of present legislation in field chemicals and waste and prediction of their effects on ecosystem.
Gaining knowledge enabling the use of bioassays for ecotoxicological assessment of the level of contamination of the environment; familiarize students with the principles of ecotoxicological testing using standard and alternative ecotoxicity tests to evaluate the effects of various contaminated environmental matrices (waste water, soil, sediment) and chemicals and wastes on the live components of the ecosystem. Apply their knowledge in real situation - the choice of relevant test (tests battery) and proper arrangement of tests (in contact arrangement /aquatic arrangement of the tests) for predicting the effects on the different functional levels (producers, consumers, decomposers) ecosystems (aquatic / terrestrial), calculate the output ecotoxicological values (LC, EC, IC, NOEC, LOEC) and on their basis to estimate risk for the ecosystem.
Specification of controlled education, way of implementation and compensation for absences
Attendance at the laboratory exercise is compulsory, submission of the protocols, processing presentation of the results of ecotoxicological tests. 100% participation at exercise.
Type of course unit
39 hours, compulsory
Teacher / Lecturer