2. Biodiversity/Bioassessment

--Selected Journal Articles
--Mongolian Biodiversity
--General Biodiversity/Bioassessment Resources on the Web
--Societies and Associations


Biological diversity› (biodiversity) of living organisms refers to the richness and variety of the numbers of different species in existence.› It can also refer specifically to genetic diversity, species diversity, and/or ecosystem diversity, all of which contribute in different ways to the survival of living things on Planet Earth.› Greater biodiversity means a greater pool of genetic variation, which enables species to more successfully adapt to environmental changes.

››››››››››› Certain species, such as the crane flies (Family: Tipulidae) are indicator species.› This means that, due to their relative tolerance or intolerance to environmental pollutants, their presence in a habitat, or lack thereof, can indicate something about the general ecological health and water quality of that habitat.› The process of evaluating the relative health of an ecosystem by studying its biological diversity is called biological assessment (bioassessment).› Dr. Jon GelhausŪs research focuses on the study of crane fly species in the watersheds of Mongolia (particularly in the Lake Hovsgol region).

››››››››››› The following list includes resources on Mongolian biodiversity, general resources on biodiversity, and resources specifically on the bioassessment of watersheds.



Selected Journal Articles

Dallas, H. F. (1997). A preliminary evaluation of aspects of SASS (South African Scoring System) for the rapid bioassessment of water quality in rivers, with particular reference to the incorporation of SASS in a national biomonitoring› programme. Southern African Journal of Aquatic Sciences 23 (1), 79-94.

Diamond, J. M., Barbour, M. T. & Stribling, J. B. (1996). Characterizing and comparing bioassessment methods and their results: A Perspective. Journal of the North American Benthological Society, 15 (4), 713-727.

Doledec, S., Statzner, B. & Bournard, M.› (1999). Species traits for future biomonitoring across ecoregions: patterns along a human-impacted river. Freshwater Biology, 42 (4), 737-758.

Gelhaus, J., Podenas, S. & Brodo, F. (2000). New and poorly known species of long-palped crane flies (Diptera: Tipulidae) from Mongolia. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 150 (14), 145-157.

Hannaford, M. J. & Resh, V. H. (1995). Variability in macroinvertebrate rapid-bioassessment surveys and habitat› assessments in a northern California stream. Journal of the North American Benthological Society, 14 (3), 430-439.

Lenat, D. R. & Barbour, M. T. (1994). Using benthic macroinvertebrate community structure for rapid, cost-effective, water quality monitoring: Rapid bioassessment. In S. L. Loeb & A. Spacie (Eds.), Biological monitoring of aquatic systems (pp.187-215). Boca Raton, FL: Lewis Publishers.

Podenas, S. & Gelhaus, J. (2000). A new species of long-palped crane fly in the subgenus Tipula (Odonatisca) (Diptera: Tipulidae) from Mongolia. Transactions of the American Entomological Society (Philadelphia), 126 (1), 109-115.

St J Thorne, R. & Williams, W. P. (1997). The response of benthic macroinvertebrates to pollution in developing countries: a multimetric system of bioassessment. Freshwater Biology, 37 (3), 671-686.

Theischinger, G. & Kitching, R. L. (1996). The biodiversity of arthropods from Australian rainforest canopies: Tipulidae, with a description of the new species Leptotarsus (Macromastix) alfie Theischinger. Entomologist, 115 (3-4), 140-153.

Wong, P. T. S. & Dixon, D. G., (1995). Bioassessment of water quality. Environmental Toxicology And Water Quality, 10 (1), 9-17.

Zhang, W. (1998). Changes in species diversity and canopy cover in steppe vegetation in Inner Mongolia under protection from grazing. Biodiversity and Conservation, 7 (10), 1365-1381.




Becher, A. (1998). Biodiversity : A reference handbook.› Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.

Nierenberg, W.A. (Ed.). (1995). Encyclopedia of Environmental Biology. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.



Mongolian Biodiversity

--Eastern Steppe Biodiversity Project. (2000). Biodiversity conservation and grasslands of Eastern Mongolia. Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia: Mongolia Biodiversity Project. Retrieved February 19, 2001 from the World Wide Web:

Funded by the United Nations Development Programme, the Eastern Steppe Biodiversity Project has as its goal the preservation of biodiversity and the sustainable use of the natural resources of the Eastern Steppes of Mongolia.› This website gives an introduction to the project activities, as well as general information about environmental conservation and biodiversity in Mongolia.

--Biological diversity in Mongolia: First national report: Global environment facility. (2000). United Nations Environment Programme, Convention on Biodiversity. Retrieved February 10, 2001 from the World Wide Web (download as PDF): http://www.biodiv.org/world/map.asp?ctr=mn

žChapters I and II contain subjects dealing with Mongolian socio-economic development trends, environmental status, specific features regarding climate and negative impacts on the environment.› Chapter III contains brief descriptions of the current state of Mongolian flora and fauna, as well as, their protection, use, and restoration.› The decline of biological resources, deterioration of the environment, government action and supervision, institutional strengthening, establishment of legal and economic bases, extension of the protected areas network, improvement of management skills, scientific studies, training, information distribution and monitoring are covered in Chapter IV.›

--Finch, C. (Ed.). (1997). MongoliaŪs wild heritage: Biological diversity, protected areas, and conservation in the land of Chingis Khan. Mongolian Ministry for Nature and the Environment, United Nations Development Programme/Global Environment Facility, and World Wide Fund for Nature. Retrieved February 19, 2001 from the World Wide Web: http://www.un-mongolia.mn/wildher/contents.htm

This is an on-line version of a coffee-table book originally published in 1996.› Discusses six basic natural zones of Mongolia, with characteristic flora and fauna of each region.› Includes beautiful photographs and maps, and a chapter/page on Lake Hovsgol National Park (which includes a description of the lake and its surrounding area, size information, a detailed JPEG map of the lake, visitor rules and entrance fees, and a legend about the formation of the lake).› This is a good starting place to learn about the natural biological diversity of Mongolia.

--United Nations Department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development, Division for Sustainable Development. (1996). Mongolia Country Profile. Implementation of Agenda 21: Review of progress made since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, 1992. Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Retrieved February 19, 2001 from the World Wide Web: http://www.un.org/esa/earthsummit/mong-cp.htm#chap15

This is a status report on the Mongolian governmentŪs efforts at achieving sustainable development in Mongolia, as defined by the objectives of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in žAgenda 21.Ó Includes detailed policy goals and objectives,› and statistics on poverty and the environment.

--Mini-Conference on Mongolian Paleoclimatology and Environmental Research, November 3-4, 2000. Hosted by Tree Ring Laboratory of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Columbia University, Palisades, New York. Retrieved March 11, 2001.



General Biodiversity/Bioassessment Resources on the Web

I. Bioassessment

--Biological indicators of watershed health (2000, September 11). Washington, DC: United States Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved February 12, 2001 from the World Wide Web:› http://www.epa.gov/ceisweb1/ceishome/atlas/bioindicators/biologicalindicators.html

The EPA's main purpose is to protect life. One way in which they achieve this goal is by studying biological health. žAfter much careful study, environmental scientists have determined that the presence, condition, and numbers of the types of fish, insects, algae, and plants can provide accurate information about the health of a specific river, stream, lake, wetland, or estuary. These types of plants and animals are called biological indicators. The process of using the study of such species as a way of evaluating the health of a body of water is called biological assessmentÓ›(EPA, Biological Indicatiors web site). This site includes a nice page showing which benthic macroinvertebrates may be found in clean, somewhat polluted, and very polluted waters.

--Index of watershed indicators. (1999, September 29). Washington, DC: United States Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved February 12, 2001 from the World Wide Web:›

This site is designed to provide information regarding watersheds all over the United States.› Includes a žSurf Your WatershedÓ site (www.epa.gov/surf3/locate/index.html), whcih you can use to find where your drinking water comes from (which watershed is its source), and if that source is relatively clean or not.› This is a great site for information regarding what indicators are used to determine the health of a watershed.

--Lake and reservoir bioassessment and biocriteria: Technical guidance document. (1998). Washington, DC: Office of Water, United States Environmental Protection Agency. EPA 841-B-98-007. Retrieved February 12, 2001 from the World Wide Web:› http://www.epa.gov/owow/monitoring/tech/lakes.html

This document žis intended to provide managers and field biologists with functional methods and approaches that will facilitate the implementation of viable lake bioassessment and biocriteria programs that meet their needs and resources...The methods, or protocols, presented here are organized in a tiered framework, ranging from trophic state surveys to more detailed bioassessment, allowing users flexibility in designing programs appropriate to their needs and resourcesÓ

--Mandaville, S.M. (1999). Bioassessment of freshwaters using benthic macroinvertebrates: A primer. Halifax, Nova Scotia: SWCSMH. Retrieved March 10, 2001 from the World Wide Web: http://www.chebucto.ns.ca/Science/SWCS/xv.html#primer1

A report by a volunteer coordinator of the Soil and Water Conservation Society of Metro Halifax, Nova Scotia (SWCSMH).› Chapter 15 covers the family Tipulidae.› A web version of this chapter is located at : http://www.chebucto.ns.ca/Science/SWCS/ZOOBENTH/tipulida.html.

--Mandaville, S.M. (2001, January 10). Freshwater benthic ecology and aquatic entomology homepage. Halifax, Nova Scotia: SWCSMH. Retrieved March 10, 2001 from the World Wide Web:

This page is includes lots of articles and links on the subject of biodiversity, especially of lake habitats.

II. Biodiversity

--Bryant, P. J. (1999). Biodiversity and conservation: A hyper-text book. Irvine, CA: School of Biological Sciences, University of California, Irvine. Retrieved February 19, 2001 from the World Wide Web:

A web course textbook written by Dr. Peter J. Bryant of the School of Biological Sciences at the University of California, Irvine.› The book discusses žthe origin, nature and value of biological diversity, the threats to its continued existence, and approaches to preserving what is left.Ó› Because it is a hyper-text book, it includes links to numerous resources about biodiversity on the World Wide Web.

--Convention on Biological Diversity Homepage. (2001, January 30). Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).› Retrieved February 12, 20001 from the World Wide Web:

The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, which went into effect in December 29, 1993, is in essence an žinternational legal instrument for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversityÓ.› This site is the hub for historical information regarding the Convention, who signed it and when.› Great source of information on key documents, international efforts to preserve biodiversity, and meetings organized by biodiversity related institutions.› Includes a BIOSEEK search engine for biodiversity web sites.

--Master, L.L. Rivers of life: Critical watersheds for protecting freshwater biodiversity. NatureServe. Retrieved March 10, 2001 from the World Wide Web: http://consci.tnc.org/library/pubs/rivers/index.htm

This report, sponsored by the National Heritage Program and the Nature Conservancy, focuses on freshwater species of fish and mussels that are in danger of extinction.› Out of some 2,100 small watersheds in the U.S., this report identifies 15% of these areas that would help conserve these at-risk populations.› The report is freely available for downloading and/or printing in PDF format.›

--Natural Resources Conservation Service. (2001) Wetlands: Index of maps, facts, and figures. Washington, DC: United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved February 19, 2001 from the World Wide Web: http://www.nhq.nrcs.usda.gov/land/index/wetlands.html

This site contains numerous GIF maps of wetlands of the U.S., showing percentages and numbers of acres in different areas.› The data covers mainly 1997 and 1992, so some comparison of wetland acreages between those two years is possible.› Some maps detail changes in wetland acreage between 1982 and 1992.›

--TreeBASE: A database of phylogenetic knowledge. http://herbaria.harvard.edu/treebase/

A World Wide Web accessible relational database that stores phylogenetic trees from published research papers.› Biologists are encouraged to submit phylogenetic data to the database for inclusion.

--The Tree of Life Homepage

Hosted by the College of Arigculture, University of Arizona, this is a hub site that links to over 1700 web pages that are part of an international collaborative effort to document the diversity of life.› Pages are linked and organized according to the evolutionary tree of organisms.› As of February 3, 2001, the page on žConservation and BiodiversityÓ at http://phylogeny.arizona.edu/tree/home.pages/conservation.html was still under construction.› The site includes a search engine for searching by organismal names. As of this writing, the Tipulidae (Crane Flies) do not have a page of their own, but are included in the discussion of the Diptera.

--U.S. National Biological Information Infrastructure Web Site Biodiversity Page. (2000, November 16). Washington, DC: Center for Biological Informatics, U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved February 12, 2001 from the World Wide Web: › http://www.nbii.gov/issues/biodiversity/

A list of useful links and info on biodiversity.› This site, plus all the rest of the NBII site is worth digging into very deeply!

--United Nations Environment Programme. (2000).› Convention on Biological Diversity.›› Retrieved February 25, 2001 from the World Wide Web:

The Convention has three main goals:› the conservation of biodiversity, sustainable use of the components of biodiversity, and sharing the benefits arising from the commercial and other utilization of genetic resources in a fair and equitable way. This page contains lots of useful information related to biodiversity and the goals of the Convention.› Also contains a thorough listing of upcoming meetings and a listing for each country.



Societies and Associations

--Association for Biodiversity Information Homepage. (2001). Association for Biodiversity Information, presented in partnership with the U.S. National Biological Information Infrastructure. Retrieved from the World Wide Web: http://www.abi.org/index.htm

žThe Association for Biodiversity Information (ABI) is a non-profit organization dedicated to developing and providing knowledge about the world's natural diversity. ABI works in partnership with the Natural Heritage Network-a group of 85 independent programs that collect data on rare species and ecosystems in the United States, Canada, and LatinAmerica. Our goal is to provide the scientific information that is essential for effective conservation actionÓ›(ABI, Homepage). Site includes žNatureServe: an online encyclopedia of life,Ó an online database of ecological information on species and communities of the United States and Canada.› The database search retrievals seem rather skimpy as of this writing, but as more and more researchers submit conservation data, this may change.› Site also includes access to data sets, stored at the National Heritage Central Database, detailing some common species known to occur in the U.S. and Canada.› Alas, data on Tipulidae have not been added to that list yet.

--North American Benthological Society Homepage. (2000).› Retrieved February 19, 2001 from the World Wide Web: http://www.benthos.org/

The North American Benthological Society is an international scientific organization dedicated to the study of freshwater ecosystems.› Dr. Jon Gelhaus is listed in the taxonomic experts list under the Diptera order.› Includes contact information for other experts in the study of the Diptera, information on NABS publications, and information on annual meetings of the Society.