biological indicators, organisms whose presence, numbers, or intensity of development serves as an indication of some natural processes or environmental conditions—for example, the presence or absence of certain substances (including those of practical importance).

Masses of piscivorous marine birds serve as bioindicators of the location of schools of fish. The probability of successful fishing for herring and some other fishes dwelling in deep water can be judged from the plankton composition. The presence of many benthic and planktonic organisms is indicative of the origin of water masses—for example, Atlantic waters in the polar basin. Similarly, the composition of diatoms on floating ice indicates the origin and routes of drift of such ice. The quantity of these algae (Cocconeis ceticola) on the skin of whales tells how long the whales have been in antarctic waters.

Bioindicators are widely used to appraise water purity. The suitability of water for drinking purposes and the efficiency with which treatment facilities are operating can be judged from the composition of the water flora and fauna. Various methods exist for analyzing the degree of pollution (saprobic quality) of water from the indicator organisms.

Soil quality can be roughly assessed by means of so-called indicator plants. In the USSR, biological indication of soils based on differences in the soil fauna was suggested by M. S. Giliarov in 1949, and biological indication based on microbiological characteristics was suggested by E. N. Mishustin in 1950. Geologists use indicator plants in prospecting; it is possible to obtain a rough idea of the presence of fuel gases and petroleum in the interior of the earth from the presence of certain groups of microorganisms in the surface layers of the earth’s crust (V. S. Butkevich and others).

Animals, plants, and microorganisms are used in space research as bioindicators to determine the effect of spaceflight factors on living organisms.

Microorganisms are widely used as bioindicators in analytical work (determination of vitamins, antibiotics, amino acids, and other substances).


References in periodicals archive ?
Significant advances can be made in our use of bioindicators to signal environmental threats and to assess damage from invasives.
Use of human nails as bioindicators of heavy metals environmental exposure among school age children in Kenya.
Recent academic works still focus on the identification and evaluation of suitable bioindicators as prognostic tools (Tosti & Gallo 2012).
PLFAs can be divided into general bioindicators, which provide a measure of the total soil microbial biomass, and specific bioindicators, which can be used to estimate the biomass of certain groups of microorganisms.
Richness and composition of Calliphoridae in an Atlantic Forest fragment: implication for the use of dipteran species as bioindicators.
Fish and other aquatic biota that were commonly used as bioindicators of persistent organic pollutants [22] have been replaced in recent years successfully by ciliates [12].
Freshwater sponges are sensitive to perturbations and are used as bioindicators of water quality because of their preferences for chemical constituencies of water and substrates, limited mobility, and feeding from the water column (Poirrier, 1974; Mysing-Gubala and Poirrier, 1981; Poirrier and Trabanino, 1989; Richelle et al.
Because the functions and services of the terrestrial ecosystem depend on soils and soil biodiversity, it is important to identify bioindicators for both natural and anthropogenic environmental trends and changes (Havlicek, 2012).
They are very sensitive to land use changes and therefore often used as bioindicators in environmental impact assessments.
coccinea can be used as bioindicators for environmental pollution observation and control in Baku city.
To explain the role of bioindicators and biomarkers in the embryos of fish and the larvae of marine invertebrates under normal and stress conditions, Rudneva (ichthyology, South Seas National Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, Sevastopol) describes the formation of defense systems during early development and their response to both chemical and physical damage factors.