bioindicator

noun
bio·​in·​di·​ca·​tor | \¦bī-(ˌ)ō-¦in-də-ˌkā-tər \
plural bioindicators

Definition of bioindicator 

: a species or ecological community that is so closely associated with particular environmental conditions that its presence is indicative of these conditions in a particular environment Bats are what naturalists call bioindicators: they indicate the state of the environment. If you see them, it means the air and water around you are healthy.— Michelle Barker, Sherbrooke (Quebec) Record, 31 July 2007 also : a species, ecological community, or biological process that is typically monitored over time for changes (as in abundance or health) which are used to assess the state of a particular environment The team compared two approaches to water-quality testing: measurement of pH and dissolved oxygen levels, and the use of bioindicators (using measures of the abundance and types of stream organisms present). — Jennifer Miner et al., The Science Teacher, April 2007 Oysters, like other bivalves, are sessile organisms that are continually filtering water, and they often bioaccumulate toxins, making them ideal bioindicator species. — David C. Metzger, Journal of Shellfish Research, August 2012

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of bioindicator

1955, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bioindicator

Share bioindicator

Statistics for bioindicator

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bioindicator

The first known use of bioindicator was in 1955

See more words from the same year

Comments on bioindicator

What made you want to look up bioindicator? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a knickknack or trinket

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!