Functional zooplankton bioassays based on ingestion, reproduction and respiration are described, with methods for a new ingestion bioassay included. All bioassays are compared using three indices, including the variability of controls, the range of experimental responses, and a listing of contaminants causing inhibition/stimulation of response. The ingestion bioassay showed the greatest range of response, and was sensitive to pesticides, PCBs and heavy metals. It was also commonly characterized by a hormesis response. The reproduction bioassay showed the lowest variability, illustrated a reduced range of response, and was sensitive to nutrients and heavy metals. In one study, the respiration bioassay was sensitive only to PCBs.