Terrestrial toxicology

K. Gruiz, M. Molnár, Cs Hajdu, Zs M. Nagy, O. Klebercz, I. Fekete-Kertész, Ujaczki, M. Tolner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Citations (Scopus)


Soil is the key compartment of the terrestrial ecosystem, the scene of element cycling, the habitat of myriads of bacteria and other microorganisms, plants, fungi and animals. The intensively interacting solid, liquid and gas phases of the soil together with the complex microbiota ensure an enormous capacity of genetic, chemical, biochemical and biological activities, storage and buffering capacity of the terrestrial habitat. Exposure to chemical substances endangers the delicate equilibrium of the soil ecosystem and leads to soil deterioration. Science still cannot precisely identify a healthy soil structure and function, so assessment of deviations from a healthy state and identification of the unacceptable scale of changes are difficult both in theory and practice. Terrestrial toxicology may provide valuable information about chemical risk in soil. Terrestrial toxicology seeks to understand the soil’s capability to buffer adverse effects by capturing and releasing toxicants. The toxicity buffering capacity together with air, water and nutrient management protects soil habitats and at the same time serves the benefit of the environment as a whole. Simplified chemical, biological and ecological models as well as complex field assessments are applied in terrestrial ecotoxicology depending on the aim of the survey. Mobility, bioavailability, partition between physical phases, degradation, biological uptake, bioaccumulation and any other outcome of the interaction of the soil matrix and its inhabitants with the contaminant play an important role in chemical substances exerting their effect. This chapter describes the basic knowledge of test organisms and test methods used in terrestrial toxicology. Microcalorimetry, which is introduced in detail, is not a typical toxicity testing tool although heat production is directly related to all the organism’s activities. The authors introduce the application of TAM(Thermo Activity Monitor) for testing the effect of chemical substances in soil.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEngineering Tools for Environmental Risk Management
Subtitle of host publication2. Environmental Toxicology
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages82
ISBN (Electronic)9781315778778
ISBN (Print)9781138001558
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)

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    Gruiz, K., Molnár, M., Hajdu, C., Nagy, Z. M., Klebercz, O., Fekete-Kertész, I., Ujaczki, & Tolner, M. (2015). Terrestrial toxicology. In Engineering Tools for Environmental Risk Management: 2. Environmental Toxicology (pp. 229-310). CRC Press. https://doi.org/10.1201/b18181