River biomonitoring: an integrative approach

River biomonitoring 2The main purpose of this project is to overcome the disadvantages resulting from the fragmented application of separate techniques by producing reliable metrics and indices that better reflect cause-effect associations and are also ecologically relevant. Further, such metrics and indices should exhibit low variability in relation to the same stressor and reflect short term responses but also they should be of a relatively permanent character.

Field studies carried out during this project will be conducted in the same reaches in close participation with team members; this will provide us with the opportunity to establish the links from all levels between the indicators and various types of contamination.

River biomonitoringThis project’s originality is based on the integration of a range of expertise and approaches to concerning aquatic ecosystem biomonitoring with the aim of providing simple and robust tools for water management. Results that will be combined and integrated will cover:

  1. fish and invertebrates metrics and traits that reflect life strategy adaptations to environmental conditions under different types of contamination
  2. assessment of chironomidade exuviae use as bioindicators
  3. fish biotansformation enzymes activities
  4. fish oxidative stress parameters
  5. micronucleus presence in fish erythrocytes
  6. fish liver, gills and gonads histopathology
  7. metrics based on microorganisms (fungi)
    1. collected in the water or
    2. resulting from analysis of the litter breakdown process


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