By Diana Valiela Ward
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Additional resources for Biological Environmental Impact Studies. Theory and Methods
It cannot disclose the c h a n g e s that will obviously occur naturally with time in the u n d i s t u r b e d system. T h e r e f o r e , it is important to (1) continue the d a t a gathering, in whatever form is decided (see Section V ) , after the field survey period; (2) couple the survey study with information from later experiments, particularly with the control condition o f the side-by-side c o m p a r i s o n s c h e m e (see C h a p t e r 1, Section V I , B ) ; a n d (3) gather d a t a on the structural a n d functional p a r a m e t e r s over the seasons.
I f the litter is labeled with a radioactive tracer, mineral release can also be m e a s u r e d ( O d u m , 1 9 7 1 , p . 3 7 3 ) . A n d , o f course, o r g a n i s m s can be r e m o v e d from the b a g s to determine d e c o m p o s e r o r g a n i s m s present. T h u s litter b a g m e t h o d s can b e u s e d in impact analysis to test for the effects o f a factor on decomposition rate, mineral release rate, a n d kinds a n d n u m b e r s o f d e c o m p o s e r o r g a n i s m s present when c o m p a r e d to a con trol condition.
T o establish that a species or set o f species is an ecological indicator, we need to d o considerable experimental work, including c o m p a r i s o n s o f the species in different localities. T h i s work is to e n s u r e that there is a high correlation between the indicator(s) a n d the a p p r o p r i a t e environmen tal conditions. Wilber (1969), a m o n g others, s u m m a r i z e s s o m e aspects of a n d literature on indicator o r g a n i s m s . T h u s , although a species o r related g r o u p o f species can be u s e d as indicators o f ecological conditions, it is m o r e efficient a n d reliable to use m o r e general characteristics as indicators.
Biological Environmental Impact Studies. Theory and Methods by Diana Valiela Ward