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What are Bioindicators

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» plants used as biomonitors

Definition

What are Bioindicators

Bioindicators are species, populations, or groups of species that due to their variability (biochemical, physiological, ethological and ecological) allow characterization the condition of an ecosystem and reveal, as early as possible, natural or anthropogenic changes thereof.

What are Bioindicators
© 2013. What are Bioindicators
About Bioindicators

What are Bioindicators

The idea of ​​bio-indicator species is circulated since the last century, when it was observed capacity indicator lichens in terms of composition, purity and humidity of air. In the second half of the twentieth century, research has generally focused on finding indicators and the development of methods that provide information about pollution (of air, soil, water).
Later, as concerns on other ecosystem degradation, to seek to identify bioindicators that offer information about the stability of ecosystems, the maintenance of biodiversity, the sustainable management of forest ecosystems or agriculture (the effect of some measures or management techniques on these ecosystems), or information about the response of ecosystems to global climate change.

Regarding indicators of pollution, they are of two types: sensitive species, indicating the presence of a pollutant by the appearance of lesions or malformations and accumulator species, which concentrates the pollutant in their bodies. There is also another category, ie species that proliferate and become abundant in polluted areas.

Effect of some potentially toxic pollutants on the environment, in biological aspect, is not always known. Physicochemical studies can offer a quantitative image of the various substances that are dispersed in the environment and sometimes an indication of their toxicity on the human body, but only biological monitoring may give an insight into their effects on organisms. From this point of view, living organisms are very important to highlight the effects of pollution, because it presents some additional advantages compared to physical and chemical analysis.

 

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