, Volume 18, Issue 7, pp 918–928 | Cite as

Standardizing acute toxicity data for use in ecotoxicology models: influence of test type, life stage, and concentration reporting

  • Sandy Raimondo
  • Deborah N. Vivian
  • Mace G. Barron


Ecotoxicological models generally have large data requirements and are frequently based on existing information from diverse sources. Standardizing data for toxicological models may be necessary to reduce extraneous variation and to ensure models reflect intrinsic relationships. However, the extent to which data standardization is necessary remains unclear, particularly when data transformations are used in model development. An extensive acute toxicity database was compiled for aquatic species to comprehensively assess the variation associated with acute toxicity test type (e.g., flow-through, static), reporting concentrations as nominal or measured, and organism life stage. Three approaches were used to assess the influence of these factors on log-transformed acute toxicity: toxicity ratios, log-linear models of factor groups, and comparison of interspecies correlation estimation (ICE) models developed using either standardized test types or reported concentration type. In general, median ratios were generally less than 2.0, the slopes of log-linear models were approximately one for well-represented comparisons, and ICE models developed using data from standardized test types or reported concentrations did not differ substantially. These results indicate that standardizing test data by acute test type, reported concentration type, or life stage may not be critical for developing ecotoxicological models using large datasets of log-transformed values.


Ecotoxicological models Data standardization Acute toxicity Life stage Acute test type Measured concentrations 



Sorci Soriano, Marion Marchetto, and Sarah Kell provided invaluable assistance with database quality assurance. Sonya Doten assisted with collection of technical materials. Chuck Stephan reviewed an earlier version of this manuscript. The information in this document has been funded by the US Environmental Protection Agency. It has been subjected to review by the National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory and approved for publication. Approval does not signify that the contents reflect the views of the Agency, nor does mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation for use. This is contribution number 1350 from the Gulf Ecology Division.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (XLS 40 kb)
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Supplementary material 2 (XLS 28 kb)


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Copyright information

© US Government 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandy Raimondo
    • 1
  • Deborah N. Vivian
    • 1
  • Mace G. Barron
    • 1
  1. 1.National Health and Environmental Effects Laboratory, Gulf Ecology DivisionUS Environmental Protection AgencyGulf BreezeUSA

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