Biological Monitoring and Tropical Biodiversity in Marine Environments: A Critique with Recommendations, and Comments on the Use of Amphipods as Bioindicators
Journal of Natural History
Amphipods, Biodiversity, Biological criteria, Coral reefs, Index of biotic integrity, Marine monitoring
Preoccupations with regulatory and legal liability issues in marine environmental monitoring have led to programmes based on reductionist models that use nonbiological parameters which are indirect measures of biotic condition. The ability to assess the effectiveness of current monitoring programmes to protect the marine environment at regional and national scales does not currently exist. Current monitoring programmes rarely serve the function for which they were intended: an accurate and sensitive source of information from which conditions and trends can be defined and recognized, and management decisions made. In addition, the natural variability of systems is problematic and must be documented in order to distinguish natural from anthropogenic changes in environmental conditions. Owing to their ecological importance, numerical abundance, and sensitivity to a variety of toxicants and pollutants, amphipod crustaceans have long been known as sensitive environmental indicators. However, application and use of amphipods in such programmes is limited to the few regions where ongoing comprehensive taxonomic and natural history investigations have been undertaken. Potential for amphipods as bioindicators exists in a wide variety of environments, especially in the tropics, but their incorporation into such programmes is dependent upon completion of taxonomic surveys and inventories.
James Darwin Thomas. 1993. Biological Monitoring and Tropical Biodiversity in Marine Environments: A Critique with Recommendations, and Comments on the Use of Amphipods as Bioindicators .Journal of Natural History , (4) : 795 -806. https://nsuworks.nova.edu/occ_facarticles/585.