Pub. Date:
Springer US
Bioassessment of Freshwater Ecosystems: Using the Reference Condition Approach / Edition 1

Bioassessment of Freshwater Ecosystems: Using the Reference Condition Approach / Edition 1


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Aquatic ecosystem assessment is a rapidly developing field, and one of the newer approaches to assessing the condition of rivers and lakes is the Reference Condition Approach. This is a significant advancement in biomonitoring because it solves the problem of trying to locate nearby control or reference sites when studying an ecosystem that may be degraded, a problem that bedevils traditional approaches. Rather than using upstream reference sites in a river system or next-bay-over reference sites in a lake, an array of ecologically similar, least-exposed to stress sites scattered throughout a catchment or region is used. Once the reference condition has been established, any site suspected of being impacted can be assessed by comparison to the reference sites, and its status determined. The Reference Condition database, once formed, can be used repeatedly.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781402076701
Publisher: Springer US
Publication date: 04/05/2005
Edition description: 1st ed 2004. Corr. 2nd printing 2005
Pages: 170
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.36(d)

Table of Contents

Bioassessment of Freshwater Ecosystems1
2.Key concepts5
3.Development of the Reference Condition Approach8
4.Points to remember15
Introduction to the Case Studies17
1.Sediment assessment of the near shore environment of North American Great Lakes18
2.Fraser River (British Columbia) biomonitoring program20
3.Spring and Autumn Assessment of Streams in the Australian Capital Territory23
4.Points to remember25
Defining the Reference Condition27
1.Define the objectives of the study28
2.Determine the spatial extent, time-scale and grain-size of the study29
3.Determine the criteria for acceptable reference sites36
4.Determine the appropriate number and locations of reference sites41
5.Choose descriptors of the benthic invertebrate community and its environment43
6.Design a data storage and management system47
7.Ensure data quality48
8.Case Studies50
9.Points to remember61
Variation in the Reference Condition63
1.Why characterizing reference site variation is important63
2.How to describe variation among reference sites64
3.Case Studie68
4.Why it is important to model and explaine variation among reference sites84
5.How to model variation among reference sites87
6.Why residual variation among reference communities is important92
7.Case studies100
8.Points to remember118
1.Why do we need decision rules on passing and failing test sites119
2.How are decision rules arrived at?121
3.Sensitivity of assessments: how often do real test sites fail?125
4.Case Studies126
5.Points to remember131
Beyond Pass and Fail133
1.Severity of fail: Magnitude and nature of deviation from Reference Condition133
2.Why did it fail?136
3.Scenario building: What will be the effect of rehabilitation or stress?141
4.Points to remember144
The Reference Condition Approach: In a nutshell145
1.Bioassessment of freshwater ecosystems using the Reference Condition Approach145
2.Case Studies146
3.Defining the Reference Condition147
4.Describing and modeling variation in the Reference Condition148
6.Beyond Pass and Fail151

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