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Incorporating toxicokinetics into an individual-based model for more realistic pesticide exposure estimates: A case study of the wood mouse

Liu, C., Bednarska, A. J., Sibly, R. M. ORCID:, Murfitt, R. C., Edwards, P. and Thorbek, P. (2014) Incorporating toxicokinetics into an individual-based model for more realistic pesticide exposure estimates: A case study of the wood mouse. Ecological Modelling, 280. pp. 30-39. ISSN 0304-3800

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2013.09.007


The potential risk of agricultural pesticides to mammals typically depends on internal concentrations within individuals, and these are determined by the amount ingested and by absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME). Pesticide residues ingested depend, amongst other things, on individual spatial choices which determine how much and when feeding sites and areas of pesticide application overlap, and can be calculated using individual-based models (IBMs). Internal concentrations can be calculated using toxicokinetic (TK) models, which are quantitative representations of ADME processes. Here we provide a population model for the wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus) in which TK submodels were incorporated into an IBM representation of individuals making choices about where to feed. This allows us to estimate the contribution of individual spatial choice and TK processes to risk. We compared the risk predicted by four IBMs: (i) “AllExposed-NonTK”: assuming no spatial choice so all mice have 100% exposure, no TK, (ii) “AllExposed-TK”: identical to (i) except that the TK processes are included where individuals vary because they have different temporal patterns of ingestion in the IBM, (iii) “Spatial-NonTK”: individual spatial choice, no TK, and (iv) “Spatial-TK”: individual spatial choice and with TK. The TK parameters for hypothetical pesticides used in this study were selected such that a conventional risk assessment would fail. Exposures were standardised using risk quotients (RQ; exposure divided by LD50 or LC50). We found that for the exposed sub-population including either spatial choice or TK reduced the RQ by 37–85%, and for the total population the reduction was 37–94%. However spatial choice and TK together had little further effect in reducing RQ. The reasons for this are that when the proportion of time spent in treated crop (PT) approaches 1, TK processes dominate and spatial choice has very little effect, and conversely if PT is small spatial choice dominates and TK makes little contribution to exposure reduction. The latter situation means that a short time spent in the pesticide-treated field mimics exposure from a small gavage dose, but TK only makes a substantial difference when the dose was consumed over a longer period. We concluded that a combined TK-IBM is most likely to bring added value to the risk assessment process when the temporal pattern of feeding, time spent in exposed area and TK parameters are at an intermediate level; for instance wood mice in foliar spray scenarios spending more time in crop fields because of better plant cover.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
ID Code:37862

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