||The European City Fish project aimed to develop a generic methodology for ecological risk assessment for urban rivers. Since traditional methods only consider a small fraction of substances present in the water cycle, biological effect monitoring is required for a more reliable assessment of the pollution status. A major challenge for environmental risk assessment (ERA) is the application of adverse outcome pathways (AOP), i.e. the linking of pollutant exposure via early molecular and biochemical changes to physiological effects and, ultimately, effects on populations and ecosystems. We investigated the linkage between responses at these different levels. Many AOP aspects were investigated, from external and internal exposure to different classes of micropollutants, via molecular key events (MICE) the impacts on organs and organisms (fish physiology), to changes in the population dynamics of fish. Risk assessment procedures were evaluated by comparing environmental quality standards, bioassay responses, biomarkers in caged and feral fish, and the impact on fish populations. Although no complete AOP was observed, indirect relationships linking pollutant exposure via MICE to impaired locomotion were demonstrated at the most polluted site near a landfill for chemical waste. The pathway indicated that several upstream key events requiring energy for stress responses and toxic defence are likely to converge at a single common MKE: increased metabolic demands. Both fish biomarkers and the bioanalytical SIMONI strategy are valuable indicators for micropollutant risks to fish communities.