Development and evaluation of new behavioral indexes for a biological early warning system using Daphnia magna
New behavioral indexes including combined index (CI), distribution index (DI), toxic index (TI), and altitude index (AI) for a biological early warning system (BEWS) were developed and evaluated using Daphnia magna in this study. The sensitivity and stability of each index were compared to evaluate the performance of the indexes through a real-time exposure test with a synthetic copper solution. The applicability of the CI to the field sample was evaluated through an effluent exposure test. The proportional relationship between toxicity level and magnitude of response was much lower in the effluent due to the complexity of water than in the copper solution. The results showed that the CI was most sensitive among the three indexes, while the DI was confirmed as the most useful index among the individual indexes. The combined index (CI) shows not only sensitivity but also stability in normal conditions below the statistically significant threshold ( p < 0.01), whereas the individual indexes displayed unstable index values in normal conditions ( p > 0.01). The CI improved performance of the BEWS in terms of sensitivity and stability, and it was confirmed as the higher correlation coefficient between the magnitude of the index and the toxicity level of the water sample.