Disciplinas > Ecotoxicologia  
Nome Ecotoxicologia
Departamento DBV
Prof Responsável Isabel Caçador
Posição em cursos Mestrado em Biologia Molecular e Genética, 1º ano, 1º ou 2º sem, Opcional
Créditos 6 ECTS
Pré-requisitos sem pré-requisitos
Fundamentação e Objectivos

The introduction of harmful substances into the environment which has occurred in last decades has been shown to have many adverse effects on human health, agricultural productivity and natural ecosystems and has caused severe environmental degradation. Given that environmental pollution poses one of the greatest threats the need for a greater understanding of it becomes even more important. This course introduces the students to the basic principles relating to the main types of environmental pollutants, their sources, chemical properties and the reactions they undergo in the air, water, and soil. The effects of pollutants on organisms and the environment are best studied after the nature of the chemicals involved and some basics about their environmental behaviour are understood. The transport and behaviour of pollutants in the environment, principles of ecotoxicology, bioavailability, assessment of the risks, which pollutants pose and the methods of monitoring and analysis are discussed in a general basis during the course. Remediation is also another important issue to be addressed during the course.

Programa Teórico

The term “ecotoxicology” was first coined in 1969 by R. Truhaut, who defined it as a science describing the toxic effects of various agents on living organisms, especially on populations and communities within ecosystems. The essence of ecotoxicology lies in two main areas: a study of the environment, with origins in the science of ecology; and a study of the interactions of toxic chemicals with individual living organisms-the science of toxicology.

A basic model of environmental pollution is a convenient way for studying and appreciating environmental pollution. So according this model all pollution events have certain characteristics in common: all involve 1. the pollutant, 2. the source of the pollutant, 3. the transport medium ( air, water or soil) and 4. the target (the organisms, ecosystems or items of property affected by the pollutant). The various components of this model are considered in the course.

The organisms according their availability accumulate heavy metals. In this section of the course several texts to evaluate metal bioavailability are discussed. The importance of the use of different organisms as biomonitors in monitoring programmers is also discussed.

Chemical can cause ecological stress through large complex landscape in a variety of ways, and cause changes in spatial, structural, and functional components of landscapes. Recently two approaches are considered: a retrospective approach, which assesses the levels of chemicals in the environment and uses this information to determine their potential past, present and future impacts. The second one, in contrast, seeks to predict the impact of chemicals through prospective studies. During the course a number of different types of landscape indicators in ecotoxicology, are presented recognizing the newness of this area of research.

The bioremediation technologies have led to the cleanup of many polluted groundwater and soils. This course gives an overview of the basic principles of biodegradation and shows how those principles relate to bioremediation.

Programa Prático Several soil, plant samples will be collected in a heavy metal polluted zone. In the laboratory heavy metals will be determined in soil and plants. Correlations between metal concentrations in soil and organisms will be discussed.
Resultados Expectaveis

To know the most important sources of pollutants, transport and behavior of pollutants in the environment, principles of ecotoxicology, bioavailability, assessment of the risks, which pollutants pose and the methods of monitoring and analysis. To identify different types of landscape indicators in ecotoxicology. The bioremediation technologies and the basic principles of biodegradation are also important issues to be known.

Literatura aconselhada



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