RECOTOX network

RECOTOX network

RECOTOX is a network of pre-existing and already instrumented research sites with the ambition to monitor, understand and mitigate the eco-toxicological impacts of pollutants in socio-agro-ecosystems. RECOTOX’s goal is to organize and ramp up observations and experimentations in ecotoxicology and toxicology from the perspective of the fate-exposure-impacts chain applied to pesticides, to support public policy. This network, in relation with the research infrastructure AnaEE-France, is composed of instrumented sites, most of these currently labelled in observatories for research in environment (SOERE RZA, SOERE RBV and PNACC), located on the whole French territory (metropolitain and overseas France) and Tunisia. Thanks to its wide diversity of sites, RECOTOX is able to cover a full range of socio-agro-ecosystem types  with a very nice coverage of all biogeographical  gradients. RECOTOX thus offers transversal thematic approaches as it aims at coordinating and structuring knowledge in ecotoxicology and toxicology, providing a monitoring tool. It also aims to link RECOTOX sites in order to allow process analyses with upscaling spatial and temporal scales and contents, and provide experimental tools at various spatial scales, from mesocosm to landscapes.

RECOTOX objectives are to :

  • Coordinating, achieving synergy and structuring research to provide a better monitoring and understanding  of the pressures to impacts chain,
  • Improve the organization and coordination of the data as well as their open access,
  • Ensure the consistency of the data and encourage the harmonization of methods and protocols,
  • Foster the valorization and the transfer of the results, as well as the national and international initiatives.

RECOTOX, is supported by AllEnvi and co-carried by INRA, Irstea and CNRS-INEE.

Scientific objectives :

First, RECOTOX focuses on pesticides and biocides in order to settle methodological bases for future research with a broader scope including other contaminants and other ecosystems. Even if the main pollutants considered along this causal-effect chain will start with pesticides, other toxicants present in agricultural systems, will also be considered, first as interacting factors. These compounds will be pharmaceuticals, veterinary or human, urban or industrial pollutants. RECOTOX considers a range of soil-bedrock, agronomic and climatic-hydrologic characteristics to explore the variability of the results among the sites and tend toward systemic and more generic approaches that generate source, biotransformation and transfer.

RECOTOX especially intends to tackle a set of scientific questions poorly simultaneously considered so far :

  • A better characterization of the transfer and the distribution of pesticides (as well as their relevant transformation products) in the atmospheric compartment and throughout food webs at local and landscape scales, and consider explicitly how the natural environment and landscape features may mitigate or reinforce the spread of pesticides, thus influence the vulnerability of agricultural catchments to pesticides,
  • A better characterization of environmental and trophic exposures , as RECOTOX ambitions are to advise toxicologists on the link between farming systems and exposures,
  • A better characterization of the effects of pesticides on organisms.

While the project mainly focuses on the ecotoxicological impacts of pesticides, its added-value in terms of skills, knowledge and tool capitalization will be transposed to the field of toxicology.

In particular, RECOTOX will coordinate its network so as:

  • To promote scientific synergies between sites,
  • To share means (instrument, methods, protocols, databases…),
  • To contribute to install new equipment, to monitor new parameters, and define, organize and monitor the coherence of the research between the sites,
  • To store a bank of samples (media, biota…) for supplementary analyses,
  • To develop databases on actual farmer practices,
  • To reinforce the visibility of sites and the access to data,
  • To contribute to national and international initiatives, especially concerning Research Infrastructure development.


Integration of RECOTOX in the national and international landscape

Through its original, transverse and integrative scientific questioning, RECOTOX positions itself as an interface between networks of scientific animation and Research Infrastructures in ecotoxicology and toxicology, but also in environmental sciences.

Positioning of RECOTOX in a French integrated framework supporting research open to the community of ecotoxicologists and agro environmental scient...

Positioning of RECOTOX in a French integrated framework supporting research open to the community of ecotoxicologists and agro environmental scientists

To have a detailed descriptions of those research infrastructure, go to the « partnership » webpage.

RECOTOX has been conceived as a complement to other research infrastructures on continental ecosystems already existing or in project, at the French or European levels.

Modification date: 03 July 2023 | Publication date: 21 August 2017 | By: Julie Berthou