Bioassessment Education Resources
Bioassessment of Florida’s Ecosystems
public information brochure presents information on Florida's
watersheds, water quality monitoring, why we study biological
communities, what a bioassessment involves, how the results of a
bioassessment can be used, as well as some information on
bioassessments in action at the Florida DEP.
Bugs as Indicators of Water Quality
In Florida, we use aquatic macroinvertebrates, or
"bugs", to help us figure out how clean or
dirty water is (to find out more, check out this poster
In order to use bugs as indicators of water quality, we
need to develop a bug "index", or number, which
will tell us about the bugs we've found. Think of
an index as a grade, like you'd get on a test, where the
higher the number is the better you've done or the better
the water is.
- Print out the
id cards and cut them apart.
- Shuffle them and place them face down on a table.
- Pick five cards at random and turn them over.
- Use the
identification poster to identify what bugs
you're looking at. If you have trouble
understanding any of the words, look in a dictionary
or check out this poster on
- Write down the drop number (check out the three
below to see what they look like) for each bug you've
- Add up your bug numbers, this is your bug score.
- Good biologists always double-check their
- Want to know what your score means?
bugs can't tolerate water pollution, we call these
bugs pollution sensitive.
bugs are less sensitive to pollution...
Riffle Beetle Larva
Riffle Beetle Adult
bugs can live in any kind of water. We call
these bugs pollution tolerant.