Special Issue "Predictive Methods in Ecotoxicology: Are they Ready for Ecological Risk Assessment?"

A special issue of Toxics (ISSN 2305-6304). This special issue belongs to the section "Risk Assessment and Risk Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Marco Vighi
Guest Editor
Ecotoxicology Research Group, IMDEA Water Institute, Avenida Punto Com, nº 2. 28805 Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain
Interests: ecotoxicology; ecological risk assessment; persistent organic pollutants; effects of mixtures on ecosystems; effects of combined stressors on ecosystems
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Prof. Antonio Di Guardo

Guest Editor
Environmental Modelling Group, Department of Science and High Technology University of Insubria, Via Valleggio 9, 22100 COMO (CO), ITALY
Interests: ecotoxicology; ecological risk assessment; multimedia models for exposure prediction
Dr. Francesca Grisoni
Guest Editor
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Milano-Bicocca, piazza della Scienza 1, Milano, Italy
Interests: machine learning, QSAR, toxicology, ecotoxicology, drug design

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

Predictive approaches in ecotoxicology are fundamental tools for ecological risk assessment. In particular, three types of predictive approaches may be used:

  • Multimedia distribution and fate models to predict exposure;
  • QSAR (Quantitative Structure–Activity Relationships) models to predict effects on individual species;
  • Ecological models to predict secondary ecological effects and responses at the level of populations, communities, and ecosystems.

Exposure models, mainly based on the partitioning properties of chemicals, have long been used for regulatory purposes and represent a vital tool for prospective ecological risk assessment. Their success is largely due, in addition to their predictive capability, to their clear mechanistic nature that makes them transparent (and therefore acceptable) for non-specialist stakeholders. However, even the exposure models need to be updated, e.g., to be able to account for polar and ionized chemicals and dynamic ecological scenarios. In contrast, although the interest of regulators in ecotoxicological modeling has steadily been increasing, the acceptance of models capable of describing and predicting ecotoxicological effects at different levels of biological organizations, such as QSARs, toxicokinetic-toxicodynamic (TK-TD), and population/community models, is still controversial and problematic from a regulatory perspective.

The Special Issue will cover the following main topics:

  • An overview of the present status of the different predictive approaches;
  • An analysis of the reasons for their different levels of use and acceptance for regulatory purposes;
  • How the regulatory use of predictive approaches may be improved.
Prof. Dr. Marco Vighi
Prof. Antonio Di Guardo
Dr. Francesca Grisoni
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Toxics is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • ecotoxicology
  • ecological risk assessment
  • predictive approaches
  • exposure models
  • effect models
  • QSAR
  • TD-TK models
  • ecological modeling
  • regulatory risk assessment

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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