Development of an innovative conceptual model and a tiered testing strategy for the ecological risk assessment of rice pesticides
Rice paddies constitute a very special agrobiosystem, which for some circumstances, could be considered as a human driven wetland. The complexity of such dynamic systems is a key element for conducting ecological risk assessments, in addition, the proximity of rice paddies to areas of high ecological value must be considered. This paper presents a new conceptual model for conducting ecological risk assessments of pesticides and other agrochemicals in rice, based on a combination of three main elements, the source of the stressor, the exposed environmental compartments and the relevance of the ecological receptors. A tiered testing strategy, starting with the standard requirements for pesticides and moving to specific higher tier studies with three levels of risk refinement is also presented.