A review of aquatic biomonitoring with particular reference to its possible use in the AOSERP study area

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  • The general principles, approaches, and methods of aquatic biomonitoring are outlined from a review of the literature, with emphasis on those aspects directly applicable to the Alberta Oil Sands Environmental Research Program (AOSERP) study area. It is argued that an aquatic biomonitoring program must be implemented in the study area to ensure that measures taken to protect the water systems are working, so that improvements may be made if need be. A series of suggestions for an aquatic biomonitoring program in the study area are made. The report recommends that: 1. A biomonitoring program be initiated in the study area; 2. Routine biomonitoring be preceded by at least a year of preliminary studies to establish the methodology that should be applied routinely, over the long term; 3. Consideration be given to monitoring four major groups of aquatic organisms (benthic invertebrates, periphyton, sessile bacteria, and fish); and 4. The biomonitoring program should be the responsibility of a group specializing in such studies.

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