Caister Academic Press

The Use of Biofilms to Assess the Effects of Chemicals on Freshwater Ecosystems

Helena Guasch, Joan Artigas, Berta Bonet, Chloe Bonnineau, Oriol Canals, Natàlia Corcoll, Arnaud Foulquier, Julio López-Doval, Sandra Kim-Tiam, Soizic Morin, Enrique Navarro, Stephane Pesce, Lorenzo Proia, Humbert Salvadó and Alexandra Serra
from: Aquatic Biofilms: Ecology, Water Quality and Wastewater Treatment (Edited by: Anna M. Romaní, Helena Guasch and M. Dolors Balaguer). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2016) Pages: 125-144.


Nowadays, biofilms are one of the principal targets of community ecotoxicology in aquatic ecosystems with a high potential for future use in ecotoxicology. A large set of methods derived from biofilm ecology has successfully been applied in ecotoxicology providing a diverse and comprehensive toolbox. Our ability to quantify the effects of pollution on different biofilm components, allows the direct effects of pollutants on the most sensitive community and their indirect effects on the rest of biofilm components to be evaluated. Biofilms are also a site for biotransfomation and/or transfer of chemicals to other aquatic organisms, supporting a more generalized use of biofilms in environmental chemistry. Investigations aiming to describe processes at biofilm scale, like nutrient dynamics and those including simple food chains, have recently been applied, providing the opportunity of upscaling the effects of pollutants on biofilms to food webs and ecosystems. Finally, biofilm ecotoxicology should now focus on providing the theoretical background for understanding the complex set of responses of natural communities to pollution. This knowledge should also be the basis for guiding the selection of the most appropriate tools and the development of new approaches for a better detection of the impact of pollution on aquatic life read more ...
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