Course detail

Selected Chapters from Ecotoxicology

FCH-MC_VKEAcad. year: 2023/2024

The subject of ecotoxicology is the definition and characterization of the field of science. Definition and principle of ecotoxicological bioassays. Explanation of basic principles of using bioindication systems. General overview of methodological procedures used in ecotoxicology and their classification. Biosystem - general properties and hierarchical arrangement of living systems in relation to their bioindication importance. Effects of chemicals at the individual level, population. Ecosystem ecotoxicology. Prospective and retrospective ecotoxicology - their importance, tools and practical use for estimating risk for ecosystem; Ecora - ecological risk assessment process.

Language of instruction


Number of ECTS credits


Mode of study

Not applicable.

Entry knowledge

Knowledge of environmental chemistry

Rules for evaluation and completion of the course

The condition for the exam is the elaboration of a seminar paper according to the assignment of the teacher. The examination includes a written part and oral examination not only to clarify the controversial answers.
Examination requirements correspond to the syllabus "Selected chapters from ecotoxicology".
Students have available e-learning materials and can get acquainted with the topics discussed.
Lectures are recommended, but they are not mandatory.


The aim of the course is to clarify the essence of ecotoxicological work; The use of bioindication systems as a tool to assess the effects of chemical substances or contaminated matrices present in the environment on different biological species. To predict the effects not only at the person level but also at the ecosystem level, i.e. to assess the impact of chemicals on ecosystem balance and vulnerability. To give an overview about the tests of ecotoxicity and their use at waste management and environmental protection.
1. The student gains knowledge about principles and performance of ecotoxicological tests.
2. The student Get acquired with all types of tests that are recommended by the legislation of the Czech Republic and the EU a OECD.
3. The student will master the test evaluation procedures, including interpretation of their results.
4. The student will acquire knowledge enabling the use of ecotoxicological tests to assess the level of environmental contamination in environmental monitoring.
5. Knowledge of legislation and overview of the wide range of ecotoxicity tests will also enable the student to apply them in waste management or environmental protection.

Study aids

Not applicable.

Prerequisites and corequisites

Not applicable.

Basic literature

ANDĚL, P.: Ekotoxikologie, bioindikace a biomonitoring. Evernia. Rok vydání: 2011. ISBN: 9788090378797. (CS)
Kočí, V., Mocová, K.A.: Ekotoxikologie pro chemiky (skripta). VŠCHT Praha 2009, pp200 (CS)

Recommended reading

Not applicable.

Classification of course in study plans

  • Programme NPCP_ECHT Master's, 2. year of study, winter semester, compulsory-optional
  • Programme NKCP_ECHT Master's, 2. year of study, winter semester, compulsory-optional

Type of course unit



26 hours, optionally

Teacher / Lecturer


1. Introduction to ecotoxicology - definition and charakterization of the field. Biosystem; definition, general properties of living systems and their hierarchical arrangement. The importance of the position of the biosystem in this arrangement from the point of view of the evaluation of ecotoxicological tests
2. Bioassay - definitions, basic rules for testing. Dose-effect relationship. Acute, subchronic, chronic effect. Principles of ecotoxicological testing in aquatic and terrestric ecotoxicology.
3. Interactions between toxicants; addition, potentiation, synergism, antagonism), toxicity evaluation of mixtures based on ecotoxicological values, databases.
4. Exposure; ecosystem exposure model, fate of chemicals in ecosystem. Bioavailability, bioconcentration, bioaccumulation.
5. Sensitive and accumulative bioindicators - characteristics, classification. Their use in the evaluation of exposure and effect in bioindication methods.
6. Overview of tests of aquatic and terrestrial ecotoxicology. Methodology OECD, EPA, ISO.
7. Effects of substances at sub-organism and organism level. Alterations at genotoxic, biochemical, physiological and morphological levels. Biomarkers, genotoxicity tests - importance for ecosystem protection. Behavioral changes in individuals due to the effects of toxicants, effects of these changes on the population.
8. Population ecotoxicology - influence of toxicant on population dynamics and population size. Monitoring of endocrine disruptors by ecotoxicology tools.
9. Evaluation of ecotoxicological effects at community level; disruption of food chains, the domino effect of a toxicant on biocoenosis. Aquatic and terrestrial ecotoxicology; meaning, common characteristics and specifics.
10. Ecosystem ecotoxicology; Importance of ecotoxicology methods in ECORA process.
11. Ecotoxicological tests in the Czech legislation - overview of laws, decrees and methodological instructions with reference to the use of the results of ecotoxicological tests for relevant decisions.
12. Case studies in the field of aquatic and terrestric ecotoxicology.
13. Benefits of application of ecotoxicological procedures in the area of environmental monitoring and protection.

Guided consultation in combined form of studies

26 hours, obligation not entered

Teacher / Lecturer