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Active Biomonitoring (ABM) by Translocation of Bivalve Molluscs

Water Quality Control

  1. Roel Smolders1,
  2. Judith Voets1,
  3. Lieven Bervoets1,
  4. Ronny Blust1,
  5. Victor Wepener2

Published Online: 15 JUL 2005

DOI: 10.1002/047147844X.wq16

Water Encyclopedia

Water Encyclopedia

How to Cite

Smolders, R., Voets, J., Bervoets, L., Blust, R. and Wepener, V. 2005. Active Biomonitoring (ABM) by Translocation of Bivalve Molluscs. Water Encyclopedia. 2:33–37.

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium

  2. 2

    Rand Afrikaans University, Auckland Park, South Africa

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2005


The advantages of ABM for biomonitoring purposes are:

  • Experiments can be performed for a known exposure period.

  • All organisms have a similar life history at the start of the exposure.

  • It is easy to compare different sites, even if the organisms are not normally present at the exposure locations.

  • A comparison between transplanted and indigenous organisms can indicate to what extent the indigenous organisms are adapted to the location or can give information about uptake kinetics of pollutants. Indigenous species can be “genetically protected,” and thus the use of transplanted organisms can circumvent this adaptation processes, making the comparison among different sites more precise and the use of nonadapted species more sensitive.

  • Compared with laboratory-bred organisms, transplanted organisms are better acclimated to changing environmental conditions, and thus the impact of field exposure through, e.g., climatological shock, will be less pronounced.


  • biomonitoring;
  • bivalve molluscs;
  • indigenous organisms;
  • laboratory-bred organisms