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NICE - Marine Environmental Research

Mixtures of toxic chemicals regularly occur in our coastal ecosystems. The research project NICE - Novel instruments for effectbased assessment of chemical pollution in coastal ecosystems develops instruments for monitoring their ecological effects, as required by the Water Framework Directive and needed for identification of the relevant pollutants in the field.

The NICE tools will be evaluated in field studies. We will suggest options for environmental regulation of chemical mixtures, thus providing input to the water management in Västra Götaland. Reference and contaminated sites mainly on the Swedish coast will be selected in co-operation with stakeholder authorities and subjected to deeper ecotoxicological investigations. Chemical monitoring data will initially be used for pinpointing the pollutants at each site. These will be ranked according to their expected environmental impact and then further investigated by extended chemical analysis.

Ecotoxicological effect profiles (“fingerprints”) of the priority pollutants will be recorded for microbial communities, invertebrates and fish, using classic biomarkers, population level endpoints, ecological effect indicators (PICT) and advanced fingerprints based on (gen-)OMICs. The fingerprints will be used to detect effects in the environment, providing causal links between the mere presence of pollutants and their ecological impact of a site. The effect profiles will be aggregated into models for site-specific ecological impacts, which will be amended, if needed, to take into account the presence of unknown pollutants and interactions.

NICE is financed through the Swedish Research Council Formas as a Strong research environments project.

Watch a short movie about the NICE project and the summerschool

Page Manager: Thomas Backhaus|Last update: 7/3/2017

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