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Environmental health indicators
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Experimental medicine with oceanic creatures
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Environmental health indicators
Water quality is vital for our well-being. In the past, chemical analyses were the only way to determine if water was any good. But now scientists are beginning to use fish and other marine creatures as indicators of water quality. Animals react in different ways to different pollutants. Some marine organisms can even remove pollutants from the environment. For example, dissolved nutrients are crucial for life in the ocean but too much can cause areas called dead zones. Not many creatures can survive in these areas of low oxygen. Sea grasses and seaweeds can remove these nutrients and other chemicals dissolved in water. These organisms rely on one another, and studies show that the more biodiversity an area has, the more ecosystems services, like pollution detection and water purification, can be performed. And they work for free!

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Sources:

Tagging Of Pacific Pelagics. (2007), About TOPP. TOPP. Retrieved March 9, 2008, from
http://topp.org/
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Davis, L. (2005). Study uses stream fish as indicators of water quality. Medical News Today. Retrieved March 9, 2008, from
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/32890.php
Off-site Link

 

Worm, B. et al. (2006). Impacts of biodiversity loss on ocean ecosystem services. Science. Retrieved March 9, 2008 from
http://myweb.dal.ca/bworm/
Off-site Link

 

Jackson, J. et al. (2001). Historical Overfishing and the Recent Collapse of Coastal Ecosystems. Ecology through Time. Retrieved March 9, 2008 from
iod.ucsd.edu/courses/sio278/literature/jackson_et_al_01.pdf
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