The interest in and use bioindicators (including biomarkers and biocriteria) for use in environmental assessment has increased steadily during the last decades. With a greater variety of biological assessment tools now available an improved understanding of ecosystem structure and function, and an increased ability to interpret biological data, biocriteria have become more attractive and useful for assessing the effects of environmental stressors on biological systems. Biomarkers and bioindicators have their own unique set of advantages and limitations relative to their value and use for assessing the effects of stress on aquatic ecosystems. In general, biomarkers are used to indicate exposure of an organism to a stressor, and bioindicators are used primarily as indicators of stress effect at higher levels of organization mainly because of their composite or integrative nature. The main attributes of biomarkers and bioindicators that are important for consideration in the design of bioassessment studies are sensitivity, temporal scales of response, and ecological or biological significance. In this course student will learn the main bioindicators and biomarkers used for assessing the health of marine ecosystem and organisms. Also this course will provide guidance relative to the design, measurement, and application of various biocriteria in aquatic ecosystems. The lectures will address all major levels of biological organization from biomolecular to the community and landscape levels.
Understanding the bioindicators and biomarkers
Guidance of methods applied for monitoring and assessment studies.
Design of biocriteria for ecosystem risk assessment
Integrating biondicators and biomarkers to ecological relevance
Student's final grade will be based on class participation and discussions (25%); presentation of bibliography assignment (30%); and practical exercises and case study (45%).