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18-01-2021 | Issue 2/2021

Environmental Management 2/2021

A Review of Biological Monitoring of Aquatic Ecosystems Approaches: with Special Reference to Macroinvertebrates and Pesticide Pollution

Journal:
Environmental Management > Issue 2/2021
Authors:
R. G. I. Sumudumali, J. M. C. K. Jayawardana
Important notes
A correction to this article is available online at https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s00267-021-01463-0.
Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Abstract

Biological monitoring is the evaluating changes in the environment using the biological responses with the intent of using such information in quality control of the ecosystem. Biomarkers and bioindicators are two main components of the hierarchy of biomonitoring process. Bioindicators can be used to monitor changes of ecosystems and to distinguish alteration of human impact from natural variability. There is a wide range of aquatic taxa such as macroinvertebrates, fish and periphyton, planktons which are successfully used in the biomonitoring process. Among them, macroinvertebrates are an important group of aquatic organisms that involves transferring energy and material through the trophic levels of the aquatic food chain and their sensitivity to environmental changes differs among the species. The main approaches of assessing freshwater ecosystems health using macroinvertebrates include measurement of diversity indices, biotic indices, multimetric approaches, multivariate approaches, Indices of Biological Integrity (IBI), and trait-based approaches. Among these, biotic indices and multimetric approaches are commonly used to evaluate the pesticide impacts on aquatic systems. Recently developed trait-based approaches such as SPEcies At Risk of pesticides (SPEAR) index was successfully applied in temperate regions to monitor the events of pesticide pollution of aquatic ecosystems but with limited use in tropics. This paper reviews the literature on different approaches of biomonitoring of the aquatic environment giving special reference to macroinvertebrates. It also reviews the literature on how biomonitoring could be used to monitor pesticide pollution of the aquatic environment. Thus the review aims to instil the importance of current approaches of biomonitoring for the conservation and management of aquatic ecosystems especially in the regions of the world where such knowledge has not been integrated in ecosystem conservation approaches.

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