APPLICATION OF INTEGRAL INDICES TO THE ASSESSMENT OF ECOLOGICAL RISKS AND DAMAGES
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Human activities such as industry, agriculture and sewage water discharge have considerable impact on water ecosystems and lead to their degradation. Quantitative evaluation of the environmental status of ecosystems with regard to various types of pollutants is an important factor in the river system management. Among various parameters, trace metal concentrations in water and in water organisms and sediments are widely used for environmental monitoring (Van der Oost et al., 1997; Sokal and Rohlf, 2000). The following problems are relevant to the management of complex natural systems: the level of pollution, probabilities of extreme pollution events, risks for human health, etc. (Levikov and Baumert, 2002). Here, integral ecological indices (henceforth referred to as “eco-indices”) represent a convenient tool. In this paper we demonstrate applications of eco-indices using measurements in the Danube River in 1995-1996. We distinguish between eco-indices characterising (i) variations of microbiological and hydro-chemical conditions in different parts of a water basin (Bashmakova, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2004; Muller et al., 2000); and (ii) hydro-chemical or ecological state of a region or the whole basin (Levikov and Baumert, 2002).
KeywordsEcological Risk Water Basin Trace Metal Concentration Danube Delta Trophic Index
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