chapter  8
14 Pages

Taxonomic Resolution and Cost Effectiveness of Rapid Bioassessment

Although rapid bioassessments are efficient, not all bioassessment protocols allow for identification of organisms to family or higher taxonomic levels. There is considerable debate about the taxonomic resolution necessary to accurately determine community condition in bioassessments. Resh and Unzicker (1975) have demonstrated that component species of 61 of the 89 genera for which water-quality tolerances have been established fall into different tolerance categories. They stress the importance of species level or “lowest practical level” due to the substantial variation among species

Taxonomic Effort and Cost .................................................................................... 122 Taxonomic Resolution Analysis............................................................................. 123 Cost/Benefit Analysis ............................................................................................. 127 References .............................................................................................................. 128

of pollution. Hawkins et al. (2000) concluded that, in taxonomically rich areas, it was necessary to identify to genus or species level to explain variation among communities, but in areas of little taxonomic diversity, family-level identification was sufficient.