Advantages of toxicokinetic and toxicodynamic modelling in aquatic ecotoxicology and risk assessment†
Toxicokinetic-toxicodynamic (TK-TD) models simulate the processes that lead to toxicity at the level of organisms over time. These dynamic simulation models quantify toxicity, but more importantly they also provide a conceptual framework to better understand the causes for variability in different species' sensitivity to the same compound as well as causes for different toxicity of different compounds to the same species. Thus TK-TD models bring advantages for very diverse ecotoxicological questions as they can address two major challenges: the large number of species that are potentially affected and the large number of chemicals of concern. The first important benefit of TK-TD models is the role that they can play to formalize established knowledge about toxicity of compounds, sensitivity of organisms, organism recovery times and carry-over toxicity. The second important aspect of TK-TD models is their ability to simulate temporal aspects of toxicity which makes them excellent extrapolation tools for risk assessment of fluctuating or pulsed exposures to pollutants. We provide a general introduction to the concept of TK-TD modelling for environmental scientists and discuss opportunities as well as current limitations.