To characterize risk, it is necessary to quantify the linkages and interactions between chemical, physical and biological stressors and endpoints in the conceptual framework for ecological risk assessment (ERA). This can present challenges in a multiple stressor analysis, and it will not always be possible to develop a quantitative stressor-response profile. This review commences with a conceptual representation of the problem of developing a linkage analysis for multiple stressors and responses. The remainder of the review surveys a variety of mathematical and statistical methods (e.g., ranking methods, matrix models, multivariate dose-response for mixtures, indices, visualization, simulation modeling and decision-oriented methods) for accomplishing the linkage analysis for multiple stressors. Describing the relationships between multiple stressors and ecological effects are critical components of 'effects assessment' in the ecological risk assessment framework.