O.V. Mashukova1, E.N. Skuratovskaya1, 2
1The A.O. Kovalevsky Institute of Marine Biological Research of RAS, RF, Sevastopol, Nakhimov Av., 2
2Sevastopol State University, RF, Sevastopol, Universitetskaya St., 33
The present study gives the assessment of credibility of existing ideas about the use of test-organisms for identifying the level of various toxicants in the aquatic environment and of real limitations to this methodology. The materials used demonstrate a clear advantage of biophysical methods of testing in comparison with morphological (body size and mass, presence of morphometric signs, etc.) and physiological ones (growth, breathing, survivability, reproduction, etc.) in terms of accuracy, objectivity and efficiency of the information obtained. It is shown that the choice of methods and test-objects for biotesting of marine ecosystems is determined by its objectives and the environment under study. Data used in this work evidence the importance of selecting test-organisms for the study of particular pollutants of a certain group and are sure to demonstrate real limitations to the methodology of using these test-organisms in testing different toxicants in the aquatic environment. When studying the reactions of test-organisms to pollutant impact the main requirement is mainly the need to maintain abiotic parameters of the environment within given ranges during the experiments without going beyond the ecological niche of the species. Undoubtedly, for further development of methods of biological testing of water areas, much more efforts are required to study two strategies of adaptation process of organisms: rapid acclimatization and long-term adaptation. The former takes place in response to diurnal and seasonal fluctuations of environmental factors as well as to the short-term effect of an excessive dose of some factor or its minimization. The latter occurs due to moderate chronic impact of adverse changes of environmental factors. The answers to these questions are to be provided by further studies that can significantly advance the development of the biological testing methodology of the marine ecosystem and water areas.
Key words: test-objects, biophysical methods, pollutants, marine biota.
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