branes—needs to be much better understood. How consumer organisms bioaccumulate and transfer contaminants to their predators is essential to understanding the broad effects of some types of soil and sediment contamination.
Quantitatively descriptive models of bioavailability processes are critical and at present lacking. Such models are integral to accurately predicting the fate of contaminants and describing links between bioavailability processes. For example, well tested models of the association–dissociation processes which account for the heterogeneous nature of soil and sediment and the various retention mechanisms operating at different contaminant concentrations are needed to accurately predict bioavailability process A in Figure 1-1 for a spectrum of field settings. Similarly, knowledge of the dynamic properties of contaminant uptake (focusing on D in Figure 1-1) would allow development of species-specific bioaccumulation models that could incorporate factors that affect bioavailability (e.g., food type). Data for model development and validation are generally scarce and yet essential for accurate bioavailability assessment.
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