We describe the historic sequence of the application of aquatic bioindicators in Argentina and the feasibility for being disseminated and incorporated as biomonitoring tools in environmental management. In parallel, we present the development and stages followed in Ecuador and Spain. Indices from other countries were first applied, and these were later adapted to the local flora and fauna or reformulated different ecoregions. The indices applied depended on each ecoregion and on the impact to evaluate. The transfer to management was carried out in all cases in a slow and not regular or planned way, except when there were some regulations that forced its application. We conclude that, currently, there are numerous groups in Argentina with expertise in the use of bioindicators in riverine environments. Still, there is a weakness at the regulatory level that makes their incorporation to monitoring studies slow, optional, and not comparative between basins. From the experience of other countries, it appears that the application of specific standards would be necessary. As it is not possible to develop a single index, it becomes essential to establish inter-calibration and inter-comparison procedures among different indices applied to standardize the evaluation at the whole country level. In this sense, the REM AQUA network may contribute to design, apply and disseminate this type of comparison.
- Application to management
- Fluvial environments