Assessing Biological Effects of Contaminants In Situ

by Kenneth D. Jenkins, California State Univ, Long Beach, CA, USA,
Brenda M. Sanders, California State Univ, Long Beach, CA, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Urban Runoff Quality: Impact and Quality Enhancement Technology


This paper presents a monitoring strategy for assessing the effects of anthropogenic contaminants on aquatic organisms. This strategy takes advantage of our increased understanding of the mechanisms which underlie stress metabolism as a basis for assessing stress in native organisms in situ. General stress responses which react to a wide range of environmental factors are used to initially screen for deleterious biological effects due to contaminants. If data from this initial screening indicate that organisms are stressed, stressor-specific responses which are elicited by specific contaminants or classes of contaminants would be measured to identify the causative factors. When these data are taken together it is possible to determine both the extent of biological stress in native organisms in situ and to identify the environmental factors responsible for the observed effects.

Subject Headings: Organisms | Biological processes | Pollutants | Field tests | Water pollution | Aquatic habitats

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