Developments and Trends in Ecological Risk Assessment
Ecological risk assessment (ERA) has been defined as “the process that evaluates the likelihood that adverse ecological effects may occur or are occurring as a result of exposure to one or more stressors” . Functionally, risk assessment is technical support for decision making under uncertainty. It is applied to finance, industrial safety, wildfire management, regulation of chemicals, and many other fields. ERAs are simply those risk assessments that support decisions concerning a hazard to nonhuman biological systems. It is distinguished from other types of environmental assessments by the clear definition of a decision which must be made by a decision maker who acknowledges uncertainty. The explicit analysis of uncertainty leads to other properties of risk assessment such as the requirement of clearly defined endpoints and the involvement of a decision maker in formulating the assessment problem.
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