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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 39 No. 6, p. 1954-1965
    Received: Dec 6, 2009

    * Corresponding author(s): ebernhar@duke.edu


An Ecological Perspective on Nanomaterial Impacts in the Environment

  1. Emily S. Bernhardt *a,
  2. Benjamin P. Colmana,
  3. Michael F. Hochellab,
  4. Bradley J. Cardinalec,
  5. Roger M. Nisbetc,
  6. Curtis J. Richardsond and
  7. Liyan Yina
  1. a Dep. of Biology, Box 90338, Duke Univ., Durham, NC 27708
    b Dep. of Geosciences, 5049 Derring Hall, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061
    c Dep. of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, Building 408, Univ. of California-Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106
    d Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke Univ., Durham, NC 27708. Assigned to Associate Editor Joel Pedersen


Growing concerns over the potential for unintended, adverse consequences of engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) in the environment have generated new research initiatives focused on understanding the ecological effects of ENPs. Almost nothing is currently known about the fate and transport of ENPs in environmental waters, soils, and sediments or about the biological impacts of ENPs in natural environments, and the bulk of modern nanotoxicogical research is focused on highly controlled laboratory studies with single species in simple media. In this paper, we provide an ecological perspective on the current state of knowledge regarding the likely environmental impacts of nanomaterials and propose a strategy for making rapid progress in new research in ecological nanoscience.

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