Limits...
Using energy budgets to combine ecology and toxicology in a mammalian sentinel species

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Process-driven modelling approaches can resolve many of the shortcomings of traditional descriptive and non-mechanistic toxicology. We developed a simple dynamic energy budget (DEB) model for the mink (Mustela vison), a sentinel species in mammalian toxicology, which coupled animal physiology, ecology and toxicology, in order to mechanistically investigate the accumulation and adverse effects of lifelong dietary exposure to persistent environmental toxicants, most notably polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Our novel mammalian DEB model accurately predicted, based on energy allocations to the interconnected metabolic processes of growth, development, maintenance and reproduction, lifelong patterns in mink growth, reproductive performance and dietary accumulation of PCBs as reported in the literature. Our model results were consistent with empirical data from captive and free-ranging studies in mink and other wildlife and suggest that PCB exposure can have significant population-level impacts resulting from targeted effects on fetal toxicity, kit mortality and growth and development. Our approach provides a simple and cross-species framework to explore the mechanistic interactions of physiological processes and ecotoxicology, thus allowing for a deeper understanding and interpretation of stressor-induced adverse effects at all levels of biological organization.

No MeSH data available.


Simplified schematic diagram of mass flow in the mink DEB model.Toxicant stress on individual parameters are highlighted with colour: blue = increase, red = decrease. Description of the DEB parameters are provided in Table 1.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5384198&req=5

f1: Simplified schematic diagram of mass flow in the mink DEB model.Toxicant stress on individual parameters are highlighted with colour: blue = increase, red = decrease. Description of the DEB parameters are provided in Table 1.

Mentions: Process-based approaches that can be used to further our understanding of the physiological implications of toxic exposures are attractive alternatives to traditional approaches in ecotoxicology. The conservation laws of mass and energy provide a basis for bioenergetics models, such as dynamic energy budget (DEB) theory, that study the flow of energy through living organisms as it relates to physiological processes such as growth, development, reproduction and maintenance3 (see Fig. 1). DEB theory resolves many of the shortcomings of descriptive toxicology through the implementation of a mechanistic-based framework that accounts for interactions between animal ecology, toxicology, and metabolic processes throughout the entire lifecycle of an organism. In this context, toxicants exert their effect on model parameters which in turn alters animal physiology and life-history output over time45. This can also allow predictions to be made outside of the conditions tested in experiments2, a notably important feature for marine wildlife being exposed to critally high levels of environmental toxicants678.


Using energy budgets to combine ecology and toxicology in a mammalian sentinel species
Simplified schematic diagram of mass flow in the mink DEB model.Toxicant stress on individual parameters are highlighted with colour: blue = increase, red = decrease. Description of the DEB parameters are provided in Table 1.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5384198&req=5

f1: Simplified schematic diagram of mass flow in the mink DEB model.Toxicant stress on individual parameters are highlighted with colour: blue = increase, red = decrease. Description of the DEB parameters are provided in Table 1.
Mentions: Process-based approaches that can be used to further our understanding of the physiological implications of toxic exposures are attractive alternatives to traditional approaches in ecotoxicology. The conservation laws of mass and energy provide a basis for bioenergetics models, such as dynamic energy budget (DEB) theory, that study the flow of energy through living organisms as it relates to physiological processes such as growth, development, reproduction and maintenance3 (see Fig. 1). DEB theory resolves many of the shortcomings of descriptive toxicology through the implementation of a mechanistic-based framework that accounts for interactions between animal ecology, toxicology, and metabolic processes throughout the entire lifecycle of an organism. In this context, toxicants exert their effect on model parameters which in turn alters animal physiology and life-history output over time45. This can also allow predictions to be made outside of the conditions tested in experiments2, a notably important feature for marine wildlife being exposed to critally high levels of environmental toxicants678.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Process-driven modelling approaches can resolve many of the shortcomings of traditional descriptive and non-mechanistic toxicology. We developed a simple dynamic energy budget (DEB) model for the mink (Mustela vison), a sentinel species in mammalian toxicology, which coupled animal physiology, ecology and toxicology, in order to mechanistically investigate the accumulation and adverse effects of lifelong dietary exposure to persistent environmental toxicants, most notably polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Our novel mammalian DEB model accurately predicted, based on energy allocations to the interconnected metabolic processes of growth, development, maintenance and reproduction, lifelong patterns in mink growth, reproductive performance and dietary accumulation of PCBs as reported in the literature. Our model results were consistent with empirical data from captive and free-ranging studies in mink and other wildlife and suggest that PCB exposure can have significant population-level impacts resulting from targeted effects on fetal toxicity, kit mortality and growth and development. Our approach provides a simple and cross-species framework to explore the mechanistic interactions of physiological processes and ecotoxicology, thus allowing for a deeper understanding and interpretation of stressor-induced adverse effects at all levels of biological organization.

No MeSH data available.