The thesis analyses effects of pollutants on natural plankton communities on the basis of three independent mesocosm experiments and a series of laboratory experiments performed in Denmark and Greenland. The work focus on integrating functional and structural measures of community responses to reveal indirect effects and co-effects with the abiotic environment on three trophic levels, namely bacteria, phytoplankton and zooplankton. The role of mesocosms and community studies in risk assessment and their usefulness in integrating ecological knowledge into ecotoxicology is discussed with examples of work done on natural communities of phytoplankton and zooplankton. Abiotic conditions such as UV light and nutrient concentrations are shown to influence pollutant effects.
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