Diatoms are regularly used for bioassessment and ecotoxicological studies in relation to environmental and anthropogenic disturbances. Traditional taxonomical diatom parameters (cell counts, biovolume estimates, species richness, diversity indices and metrics using sensitive and tolerant diatom species) are regularly used for these studies. In the same context, very less focus was given on new endpoints of diatoms (life-forms, nuclear anomalies, alteration in photosynthetic apparatus shape, motility, lipid bodies, size reduction and deformities), in spite of their numerous merits, such as, their easiness, quickness, cheapness, global acceptation and no especial training in diatom taxonomy. In this review we analyzed 202 articles (from lab and field studies), with the aim to investigate the bioassessment and ecotoxicological advancement taken place in diatom research especially in terms of exploring new endpoints along with the traditional taxonomical parameters in a perspective which can greatly enhance the evaluation of fluvial ecosystem quality for biomonitoring practices.
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