Indicator Species

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  • Indicator Species
    • Indicator species can be studied to monitor the levels of pollution because they are very sensitive to changes in their environment.
    • 1. Water pollution
      • If raw sewage or other pollutants are released into a river the bacterial population increase and uses up the oxygen.
      • e.g. Stonefly larvae and freshwater shrimps are indicators for water pollution because they are sensitive to the concentration of dissolved oxygen in the water.
      • Other invertebrate spies have adapted to live in polluted environments so if you see them they indicate a very high level of water pollution e.g. blood worms and sludgeworms
    • 2. Air pollution
      • Lichen that is very sensitive to the concentration of sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere can monitor the air pollution.
        • The number and type of lichen at a particular location will indicate how clean the air is. The air is clean is there is more lichen.
      • Black spot fungus is found on rose leaves which is sensitive to the level of sulfur dioxide in the air so its presence will indicate clean air.


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