Application of indicator kriging to the complementary use of bioindicators at three trophic levels. | - CCMAR -

Journal Article

TitleApplication of indicator kriging to the complementary use of bioindicators at three trophic levels.
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsFigueira, R, Tavares, PC, Palma, L, Beja, P, Sérgio, C
Year of Publication2009
JournalEnviron Pollut
Date Published2009 Oct
KeywordsAnimals, Birds, Bryophyta, Ecosystem, Environmental Monitoring, Environmental Pollutants, Feathers, Mercury, Models, Statistical, Portugal

The use of biological indicators is widespread in environmental monitoring, although it has long been recognised that each bioindicator is generally associated with a range of potential limitations and shortcomings. To circumvent this problem, this study adopted the complementary use of bioindicators representing different trophic levels and providing different type of information, in an innovative approach to integrate knowledge and to estimate the overall health state of ecosystems. The approach is illustrated using mercury contamination in primary producers (mosses), primary consumers (domestic pigeons and red-legged partridges) and top predators (Bonelli's eagles) in southern Portugal. Indicator kriging geostatistics was used to identify the areas where mercury concentration was higher than the median for each species, and to produce an index that combines mercury contamination across trophic levels. Spatial patterns of mercury contamination were consistent across species. The combined index provided a new level of information useful in incorporating measures of overall environmental contamination into pollution studies.


Alternate JournalEnviron. Pollut.
PubMed ID19477568
CCMAR Authors