Bioindicators

Bioindicators

 

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).

IA. A. BIRSHTEINAND V. P. DADYKIN

References in periodicals archive ?
Honey bees and their products: Bioindicators of environmental contamina tion.
This close relationship with the substrate can also contribute to considering them potential bioindicators of the studied reef systems.
In the natural world, certain species, called bioindicators, can be studied to measure the overall health of the environment.
Soil genotoxicity assessment: a new strategy based on biomolecular tool and plant bioindicators. Environmental Science and Technology, v.
Pondweeds are also useful in habitat classification and are important bioindicators of aquatic ecosystem health, as different species are adapted to different water temperatures and chemical compositions.
Tenders are invited for provision of the technical support service for the emerging biodiversity research group and bioindicators and (bibio) for the granollers natural sciences museum, in accordance with the technical specifications that regulate it.
These two taxa are insects from the Baetidae family which can serve as low organic pollutant bioindicators [50, 51].
Given such a large number of confounding factors may contribute to the isotopic composition of environments samples, it was concluded that while foliage samples may provide highly spatially and temporally resolved snapshots of elemental and isotopic interactions, a better understanding of the individual variables within the system is needed to understand the observed isotopic variability in bioindicators.
Bioindicators for Monitoring Arctic and Subarctic Air, Water, and Food Systems
IMPORTANCE OF LICHENS AS ENVIRONMENTAL BIOINDICATORS AND PROMISING SOURCE OF ANTI-CANCER COMPOUNDS
Their high functional and taxonomic diversity, ubiquity, tolerance of wide environmental gradients, rapid, and often predictable response to environment changes of natural and anthropogenic origin make them useful bioindicators of aquatic health status (Rosenberg & Resh, 1993; Bonada et al.
Therefore honeybees and their products can be considered representative bioindicators of theenvironmental pollution [5].