Biomonitoring uses aquatic organisms as biological indicators of water quality. These organisms, called benthic macroinvertebrates, only thrive under certain water quality conditions, so their abundance, distribution, and overall presence can indicate watershed health.
Certain conditions may impact the diversity and population density of these aquatic creatures, including chemical pollutants, temperature extremes, loss of food source, and more.
During the biomonitoring process, the type and number of species found in a sample, as well as each species' tolerance for pollution, are evaluated to make a general assessment of the health of a watershed.
The following infographic will help you gain a greater understanding and appreciation of benthic macroinvertebrates and the important role they play in biomonitoring.