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The use of meiobenthos in marine pollution monitoring programmes - AE0210

R&D Summary Objectives:- Examine how meiobenthic communities respond to marine pollution with a view to using meiobenthos (orgaisms <0.5mm) in routine monitoring programmes as indicators of anthropogenic influences. Key customer purpose:- This is to provide MAFF with an improved method of assessing and monitoring the biological effects of pollutants on benthic communities.
Phase 1 1. Analysis of material to determine the taxonomic level at which the multivariate and univariate response to pollution can be detected. By this means we would hope to establish protocols for future monitoring programmes by non-experts in the taxonomy of meiobenthos. 2. Development of 'stress indices' which are appropriate to the meiobenthos. Determine the specificity of meiobenthic responses to particular classes of pollutants ( e.g. organic enrichment vs. chemical contamination). 3. Assess significance of any changes, and predictive capab ility from the analysis of spatial and temporal trends. Re late changes to those of the macrobenthos and fish, to address potential resource implications. 4. Assess cost/benefits. Phase 2 (Subject to the successful outcome of phase 1). 5. Development of taxonomic keys which will enable the identification of the meiobenthos to the appropriate level by non-specialists, thus widening the utility of the techniques.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1991

To: 1995

Cost: £249,400
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Natural Environment Research Council
Environmental monitoring              
Environmental Protection              
Water quality monitoring              
Fields of Study
Environmental Protection - Marine