Bioindicators and Biomonitors: Use of Organisms to Observe the Influence of Chemicals on the Environment

Chapter
Part of the Plant Ecophysiology book series (KLEC, volume 8)

Abstract

For a number of years “classical” programs for environmental monitoring are being supplemented by bioindication measures already. Here, investigations on living organisms or their remains (e.g. peat) are used to indicate the environmental situation in either qualitative (bioindication) or quantitative (biomonitoring) terms. This provides pieces of information on environmental burdens of a region at a given point of time or on its changes with time (trend analysis). Classical bioindication often deals with observation and measurements of chemical noxae (both inorganic and organic ones) in well-defined bioindicator plants or animals (including man). In terms of analytical procedures and results there are parallel developments between progresses in bioindication and innovation in analytical methods. After some 30 years of development in bioindication there are now following lines of further development: 1) more frequent inclusion of multi-element total analyses for a thorough investigation of mutual correlations in the sense of the Biological System of Elements, 2) more work on (analytical) speciation issues to proceed into real effect-oriented environmental sciences, and 3) there should and must be a focus on integrative bioindication methods because for a large number of environmental monitoring problems a single bioindicator will not provide any meaningful information: a single bioindicator is about as good as none at all. Integrative concepts such as the Multi-Markered Bioindication Concept (MMBC) provide basic means to get into precautionary environmental protection effects drawing upon such a second-generation bioindication methodology.

Keywords

Reaction Indicator Environmental Specimen Banking Human Toxicology Specimen Banking Ecosystem Compartment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank all colleagues, friends, clients and students of numerous field studies worldwide for their critical and intensive discussions on our common topic (bioindication and biomonitoring) since a lot of years. A lot of their thoughts have influenced our MS.

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lehrstuhl für UmweltverfahrenstechnikZittauGermany
  2. 2.Haren/ErikaGermany

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