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Biological Services

The Australian Water Quality Centre provides a comprehensive range of services in aquatic biology that are based principally upon the accurate identification of aquatic biota to a defined taxonomic level and the accurate and precise estimates of their diversity and abundance from representative samples. NATA accreditation is held for the sampling and analysis of algae and macroinvertebrates and the structure and function of the Biology Unit is based primarily on these two main disciplines.

The Algal team provide phycological assessment of freshwater, estuarine and marine coastal waters and wastewaters, with an emphasis on "problem" species such as noxious cyanobacteria that impair the quality of water used for drinking, agriculture and recreation. Results of these analyses assist in the monitoring of water in compliance with national water quality guidelines. The Centre has considerable expertise on cyanobacteria of concern in Australia's freshwaters and the specific toxins that they produce. An identification and advisory service is provided on a range of aquatic biota that foul water supply and wastewater systems such as algae, aquatic macrophytes, tree roots, molluscs, zooplankton and bryozoa.

The Biomonitoring & Aquatic Ecology team provide environmental assessment of rivers, streams, lakes & wetlands by monitoring the diversity and abundance of macroinvertebrates and other aquatic biota as indicators of aquatic ecosystem health. Biomonitoring services may be applied to biodiversity assessments and environmental flow studies, or may be combined with chemical and physical characteristics to provide an overall assessment of water quality and environmental impacts.