Selecting surrogate endpoints for estimating pesticide effects on avian reproductive success

Authors

  • Richard S Bennett,

    Corresponding author
    • Mid-Continent Ecology Division, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, US Environmental Protection Agency, Duluth, Minnesota
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  • Matthew A Etterson

    1. Mid-Continent Ecology Division, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, US Environmental Protection Agency, Duluth, Minnesota
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To whom correspondence may be addressed: bennett.rick@epa.gov

ABSTRACT

A Markov chain nest productivity model (MCnest) has been developed for projecting the effects of a specific pesticide-use scenario on the annual reproductive success of avian species of concern. A critical element in MCnest is the use of surrogate endpoints, defined as measured endpoints from avian toxicity tests that represent specific types of effects possible in field populations at specific phases of a nesting attempt. In this article, we discuss the attributes of surrogate endpoints and provide guidance for selecting surrogates from existing avian laboratory tests as well as other possible sources. We also discuss some of the assumptions and uncertainties related to using surrogate endpoints to represent field effects. The process of explicitly considering how toxicity test results can be used to assess effects in the field helps identify uncertainties and data gaps that could be targeted in higher-tier risk assessments. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2013;9:600–609. © 2013 SETAC

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