Biological Indexing

Definition - What does Biological Indexing mean?

Biological indexing was once a method used to detect certain pathogens before laboratory tests could be performed for grapevine viruses. The process is performed in a greenhouse setting in the springtime. Extracts are rubbed from the vine and transferred on to the leaves of sensitive indicator plants. If a specific virus was present, then the indicator plant would show symptoms within several weeks. Other biological indexing practices utilize grafts, however, the study is much more intensive and longer.

WineFrog explains Biological Indexing

Overall, Biological Indexing is the informative and basic representation of the biological community's condition. The system summarizes results pertaining to the numbers, condition and types of organisms which are in a particular studied environment. The outcomes of such results are then compared to a "threshold" and then utilized to determine the health of the overall biological community.

The anatomy of Biological Indexing includes:

  1. Reference locations - the baseline for building the index's foundation
  2. Classification system - this reduces the natural variability composition which attributes to environmental differences
  3. Identifying and measuring environmental response and/or disturbances
  4. Constructing a scoring system
  5. Selecting a threshold pertaining to studied environment
  6. Validation
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