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The Estuarine EcosystemEcology, Threats and Management$
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Donald S. McLusky and Michael Elliott

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780198525080

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198525080.001.0001

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Methods for studying human-induced changes in estuaries

Methods for studying human-induced changes in estuaries

(p.137) Chapter 7 Methods for studying human-induced changes in estuaries
The Estuarine Ecosystem

Donald S. McLusky

Michael Elliott

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at the assessment of biological change due to man's activities. It asks: what is normal situation and what are the limits of expected variability? Has there been a change from the normal situation and, if so, can that change be quantified and statistically tested? Is the degree of change significant and can it be related to one particular stress, or general environmental perturbations? An estuarine ecosystem health assessment (or monitoring) programme requires an analysis of the main processes of the ecosystem and the identification of known or potential stresses. In order to be scientifically valid, it requires the development of hypotheses about how those stresses may affect the ecosystem, followed by the identification of measures of environmental quality and ecosystem health, needed to test the hypotheses.

Keywords:   stress, toxicity testing, bioassays, bioaccumulation, genetic techniques, population responses, integrated estuarine assessments, ecosystem changes, monitoring

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