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Benthic Macroinvertebrates : Indicators of the Health of Watercourses

Rapid Assessment, Review of Literature


Water quality preservation is an important issue in our society, as quantitative and qualitative requirements are on the rise. Comprehension and management of complex aquatic systems require that control bodies use appropriate tools. Currently, biological and physico-chemical tools are used to evaluate water quality. In order to support the orientation framework of the Québec Water Policy, the increasing need for information, and a financial context where resources are limited, it is important to use the best tools available and adapt them to the new constraints. Among the available tools, we have chosen benthic macroinvertebrates (BMI), which appear to be good local biological indicators and are already being used to determine biotic integrity in many countries, including the province of Quebec. The methodological modifications with regard to sampling and BMI identification are simplified, while analysis becomes more complex due to the addition of various parameters and modelling. The confirmation of these tendencies through the adoption of these new methods should allow BMIs to become biological indicators that are considered acceptable by economists and highly informative by scientists.

Read and supervised by:

Mrs. Lyne Pelletier
Direction du suivi de létat de lenvironnement
Ministère de lEnvironnement du Québec

Reference: Goaziou, Y., 2004. Méthodes d’évaluation de l’intégrité biotique du milieu aquatique basées sur les macroinvertébrés benthiques – rapport de stage, Québec, ministère de l’Environnement, Direction du suivi de l’état de l’environnement, envirodoq no ENV/2004/0158, collection no QE/146, 37 p. et 2 ann.

Rapport, format PDF (French), 623 ko

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