TOXSWA Experimental Research

Experimental Research

Research is performed in experimental systems ranging from laboratory-scale systems, via microcosms and 1 m wide enclosures, to outdour experimental ditches of 40 m length each. The use of microcosms, enclosures and ditches provides a bridge between the laboratory and the field.

The experimental systems are used to perform higher tier exposure assessments, estimate process parameters and validate fate models.
Data were collected on the fate of several pesticides to support higher-tier exposure assessments.

Contact for more information: Wim Beltman

Microcosm and Mesocosm studies (indoor and field)

For the ecological risk assessment of pesticides, microcosm and mesocosm experiments are carried out (indoor and field studies). Microcosms, mesocosms, experimental ditches and enclosures are all model ecosystems, i.e. experimental systems which mimic parts of natural ecosystems. The complexity of these systems has to be high enough to include direct and indirect interactions, e.g. intraspecific and interspecific competition for food and nutrients, between all structurally and functionally important groups.

The use of microcosms or mesocosms provides a bridge between the laboratory and the field, in terms of providing the opportunity to perform ecosystem-level research in replicable test systems. The systems provide realism in terms of ecological processes and exposure to the chemical. We have various microcosms and mesocosms in operation. They vary in size and consequently in ecosystem complexity and realism. The whole range of test systems include small plankton-dominated aquaria and macrophyte-dominated microcosms in the laboratory as well as more complex, semi-field mesocosms and outdoor experimental ditches.

Contact for more information: Ivo Roessink

More information on the experimental research facility can be found here.