Biological methods used to assess surface water quality          [REVIEW PAPERS]

  • Natalia Szczerbińska
  • Małgorzata Gałczyńska
Keywords: bioanalytics, bioindication, biomonitoring, biotest


In accordance with the guidelines of the Water Framework Directive 2000/60 (WFD), both ecological and chemical statuses determine the assessment of surface waters. The profile of ecological status is based on the analysis of various biological components, and physicochemical and hydromorphological indicators complement this assessment. The aim of this article is to present the biological methods used in the assessment of water status with a special focus on bioassay, as well as to provide a review of methods of monitoring water status. Biological test methods include both biomonitoring and bioanalytics. Water biomonitoring is used to assess and forecast the status of water. These studies aim to collect data on water pollution and forecast its impact. Biomonitoring uses organisms which are characterized by particular vulnerability to contaminants. Bioindicator organisms are algae, fungi, bacteria, larval invertebrates, cyanobacteria, macroinvertebrates, and fish. Bioanalytics is based on the receptors of contaminants that can be biologically active substances. In bioanalytics, biosensors such as viruses, bacteria, antibodies, enzymes, and biotests are used to assess degrees of pollution.


N. Szczerbińska [+], M. Gałczyńska
Department of General and Ecological Chemistry
West Pomeranian University of Technology, Szczecin, Poland
ul. Słowackiego 17, 71-434 Szczecin