GETREAL: Incorporating spatial and temporal variability in community sensitivity into chemical risk assessment. – Working Package 3: Determination and prediction of terrestrial species (spiders and earthworms) and assemblage sensitivity

Project description

The current chemical risk assessment with respect to effects on non-target organisms basically follows a one-size-fits-all approach. However, real world species assemblages vary in their composition over space and time, and so may their sensitivity towards a chemical. Therefore; applying the current risk assessment can result in over and under protection for these species. GETREAL aims to characterize the special and seasonal variation of traits in selected organism assemblages. We are specifically addressing the variation across Europe and seasons with a particular emphasis on chemical sensitivity to evaluate the consequences for chemical risk assessment. To achieve the general project’s objective, GETREAL has different interdisciplinary work packages (WP). The scope of the WP3 is to evaluate the extent to which we can predict species and assemblage sensitivities to pesticides, by performing single-species acute toxicity tests with field-captured individuals (i.e. earthworms and spiders), covering the macroecological gradients to produce data that improve the predictive capacity of our sensitivity models such as hierarchical SSDs.

Participating researchers in Landau

Tomás Duque

Sebastian Scheu

Martin Entling

Ralf B. Schäfer




Long-Range Research Initiative (LRI)


Wageningen University

Université de Namur

The University of Sheffield



Risk assessment, pesticides; non-target terrestrial organisms; earthworms, spiders; Europe