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G4 Biotic Indices and Indicator Species

Drishti Jain, Numair Rizwan, Divya Jethwani

Environmental Change
Environmental change is defined as a change or disturbance of the environment by natural ecological processes such as Climate change and biophysical environment.

Indicator Species
Indicator species are used to indicate changes and monitor the quality of an environment Highly sensitive to environmental changes and have a limited tolerance rate Population increases or decreases, or specific changes are dependent on environmental change Macroinvertebrates help found in rivers and streams detect and judge the quality of water http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8exG4KRLkc

Lichens
Live on rocks and trees Indicator of air quality as they are sensitive to pollution Not found on trees in cities Retain metal traces in tissues

Show presence of lead and mercury in the air

Biotic Indices
Biotic indices compare the relative frequency of indicator species. It is calculated to provide an overall environmental assessment of an ecosystem Calculating biotic indices involves multiplying the population size of each indicator species by its pollution tolerance rating A high biotic index indicates an abundance of pollution sensitive organisms and hence denotes an unpolluted environment A low biotic index indicates the absence of indicator species and an abundance of pollution tolerant organisms (hence a polluted environment) A change in the biotic index over time marks a change in the environmental conditions within the ecosystem