Chapter 1 Definitions, strategies and principles for bioindication/biomonitoring of the environment

Trace Metals and other Contaminants in the Environment 01/2003; 6:3-39. DOI: 10.1016/S0927-5215(03)80131-5


In the context of environmental monitoring studies bioindicators reflect organisms (or parts of organisms or communities of organisms) that contain information on quality of the environment (or a part of the environment). Biomonitors, on the other hand, are organisms (or parts of organisms or communities of organisms) that contain informations on the quantitative aspects of quality of the environment. When data and information obtained by bioindication are moved up to the level of knowledge the subjectivity of interpretation increases with the complexity and dynamics of a system (“staircase of knowing”).In this article clearcut definitions are attempted for most terms used in environmental monitoring studies. From there a comparison of instrumental measurements with the use of bioindicators/biomonitors with respect to harmonisation and quality control will be drawn. Precision, accuracy, calibration and harmonisation in between national standards and international routines seem to be the leading goals in quality studies of international working groups dealing with biomonitoring throughout the world. Common strategies and concepts will fill the gap in between single source results and integrated approaches related either for human health aspects or environmental protection purposes, f.e. via biodiversity monitoring. Here we report on well established monitoring programmes like Environmental Specimen Banking (ESB) or newly developed strategies as the Multi-Markered Bioindication Concept (MMBC) with its functional and integrated windows of prophylactic health care.

  • Source
    • "Using biological materials in environmental cleaning is a quite cheap and reliable method of decontamination. Biomonitors are organisms that provide quantitative information on environmental pollution levels (Markert et al., 2003; Akguc et al., 2008; Aksoy et al., 2012). P. australis is a rather common macrophyte in aquatic ecosystems. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Water contamination by heavy metals is a serious global problem due to increased environmental and health-related issues. In this study, we have comparatively investigated the heavy metal concentrations and mineral nutrient levels in Karasu river sediments and in plants samples of Phragmites australis (Cav.) in order to assess the biomonitoring capacity. Plant and sediment samples were collected from four different localities along Karasu River, and those samples were analyzed in terms of heavy metals such as Fe, Zn, Mn, Ni, Cr, Cu, Pb, Co and Cd, and in terms of mineral elements such as K, Ca, Mg, Na, Al, and B using ICP-OES. In addition, lipid peroxidation, chlorophyll and carotenoid levels in plant samples were also checked. Sediments in Karasu River contained high concentrations of Ni and Cr metals. Moreover, P. australis showed hyper-accumulation for Cd and Zn in root and leaf samples, respectively. Although there was no significant difference in chlorophyll amounts among locations, lipid peroxidation was found to be high in samples taken from İliç.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Global Nest Journal
  • Source
    • "[3] Use of plant bioindicators is a convenient tool for determining harmful results of human activity. [4] Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are an abundant and widespread class of brominated flame retardant additives. Although their use has been restricted, they are found in the environment even in areas where no local sources of these compounds exist. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are persistent xenobiotics with harmful effects on humans and wildlife. Their levels in the environment and accumulation in biota must be carefully controlled especially in species harvested from wild populations and commonly used as medicines. Our objective has been to determine PBDE concentrations (BDEs 28, 47, 66, 85, 99, 100, 153, 154, 183 and 209) in Centaurium erythraea collected at sites with various levels of environmental pollution. PBDE congener profiles in C. erythraea were dominated by BDE209, which accounted for 47-89% of the total PBDE burden in the plants. Principal Component and Classification Analysis, which classifies the concentration of PBDEs in C. erythraea, allowed us to distinguish the pattern of these compounds characteristic for the origin of pollution: BDEs 28, 47, 66, 85, 99, 100 for lignite and general chemical industry and the vicinity of an expressway and BDEs 183 and 209 for a thermal power plant and ferrochrome smelting industry. Careful selection of sites with C. erythraea for medicinal purposes is necessary as this herb can accumulate PBDEs while growing at polluted sites.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Journal of Environmental Science and Health Part A
  • Source
    • "Many lichens, mosses and higher plant species have been employed as bioindicators (Harmens et al., 2013; Kefauver et al., 2014; Llop et al., 2012; Noth et al., 2013; Paoletti et al., 2009; Remon et al., 2013; Sawidis et al., 2011). Among the standardized biomarkers measured in such species are the visible leaf injury after microscopic validation and xenobiotic substance accumulation in different organs, such as heavy metals or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) (Benham et al., 2010; Beramendi-Orosco et al., 2013; Desalme et al., 2013; Fr€ ainzle, 2003; Markert et al., 2003; Simonich and Hites, 1994; Weiss et al., 2003). The passive biomonitoring commonly conducted in the Northern Hemisphere, which is based on selected responses of native species in the forest ecosystem under evaluation, has high ecological relevance. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study summarizes the first effort to search for bioindicator tree species and respective potential biomarkers for future assessment of potential mixed pollution effects on the highly diverse Atlantic Forest in SE-Brazil. Leaves of the three most abundant species inventoried in a phytosociological survey (Croton floribundus, Piptadenia gonoacantha and Astronium graveolens) were collected in four forest remnants during winter and summer (2012). Their potential bioindicator attributes were highlighted using a screening of morphological, chemical and biochemical markers. The leaf surface structure and/or epicuticular wax composition pointed the accumulator properties of C. floribundus and P. gonoacantha. C. floribundus is a candidate for assessing potential accumulation of Cu, Cd, Mn, Ni, S and Zn. P. gonoacantha is a candidate to monitor polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Increased levels of secondary metabolites and decreased antioxidant capacity in leaves of A. graveolens may support its value as a bioindicator for oxidative pollutants by visible dark stipplings. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Environmental Pollution
Show more