Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Work package 6

Description of work


WP6.1 Stressors and effects: from individual to population: We will estimate potential single effects for anthropogenic stressors, i.e. energetic stress, AHS exposure, infectious disease prevalence and climate change, by quantifying the impact on fertility and mortality rates which affects the overall population demographic patterns.


WP6.2 Effects from AHS exposure on individual fitness: We will build physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models for major AHSs, such as PCBs and Hg, as well as AHSs identified in WP3. PBPK models follow the route of the contaminant from ingestion of contaminated prey (WP2) through body organs taking metabolism and excretion into account. The model is set up as a system of differential equations. Members of the BONUS BALTHEALTH team have recently adjusted PBPK models to a range of mammal top predator species.


WP6.3 Modelling the population-level impact from infectious diseases: Here risks for dramatic drops (quasi-extinction) in population sizes are modelled for pathogens infecting earlier infected populations, as well as acquisition of immunity after repeated epidemic outbreaks in individually based models. Frequency and severity of catastrophic events are modelled by ecological risk analyses.


WP6.4 Climate change scenarios: Predictions for future climate variability in the Baltic region are available from the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute regional atmospheric climate model which in turn is driven by a global climate model (e.g. ECHAM5). We will produce scenarios of health impacts of climate change with relevance to the different stressors investigated in BONUS BALTHEALTH.


WP6.5 Ecological Risk Assessment: Individual based stochastic models will be tailored to different top predators’ life history (age and sex dependent birth and survival rates). Projections forward in time will reveal the risk of sudden declines in population abundance for different scenarios of AHS exposure, climate variability and infectious disease prevalence. The ecological risk assessment is our tool to measure impact from different anthropogenic stressors at the population level. We can investigate effects from a stressor in isolation and in different combinations.