Mechanistic Effect Modeling of Earthworms in the Context of Pesticide Risk Assessment: Synthesis of the FORESEE Workshop

Valery E. Forbes, Annika Agatz, Roman Ashauer, Kevin R. Butt, Yvan Capowiez, Sabine Duquesne, Gregor Ernst, Andreas Focks, Andre Gergs, Mark E. Hodson, Martin Holmstrup, Alice S.A. Johnston, Mattia Meli, Dirk Nickisch, Silvia Pieper, Kim J. Rakel, Melissa Reed, Joerg Roembke, Ralf B. Schäfer, Pernille ThorbekDavid J. Spurgeon, Erik Van den Berg, Cornelis A.M. Van Gestel, Mathilde I. Zorn, Vanessa Roeben

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Earthworms are important ecosystem engineers, and assessment of the risk of plant protection products toward them is part of the European environmental risk assessment (ERA). In the current ERA scheme, exposure and effects are represented simplistically and are not well integrated, resulting in uncertainty when the results are applied to ecosystems. Modeling offers a powerful tool to integrate the effects observed in lower tier laboratory studies with the environmental conditions under which exposure is expected in the field. This paper provides a summary of the (In)Field Organism Risk modEling by coupling Soil Exposure and Effect (FORESEE) Workshop held 28-30 January 2020 in Düsseldorf, Germany. This workshop focused on toxicokinetic-toxicodynamic (TKTD) and population modeling of earthworms in the context of ERA. The goal was to bring together scientists from different stakeholder groups to discuss the current state of soil invertebrate modeling and to explore how earthworm modeling could be applied to risk assessments, in particular how the different model outputs can be used in the tiered ERA approach. In support of these goals, the workshop aimed at addressing the requirements and concerns of the different stakeholder groups to support further model development. The modeling approach included 4 submodules to cover the most relevant processes for earthworm risk assessment: environment, behavior (feeding, vertical movement), TKTD, and population. Four workgroups examined different aspects of the model with relevance for risk assessment, earthworm ecology, uptake routes, and cross-species extrapolation and model testing. Here, we present the perspectives of each workgroup and highlight how the collaborative effort of participants from multidisciplinary backgrounds helped to establish common ground. In addition, we provide a list of recommendations for how earthworm TKTD modeling could address some of the uncertainties in current risk assessments for plant protection products. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2021;17:352-363. © 2020 SETAC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)352-363
Number of pages12
JournalIntegrated environmental assessment and management
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 SETAC


  • Cross-species extrapolation
  • Plant protection products
  • Population modeling
  • Soil organisms
  • Uptake routes
  • Risk Assessment
  • Humans
  • Oligochaeta
  • Animals
  • Ecosystem
  • Pesticides/toxicity
  • Soil
  • Germany

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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