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Lakes in temperate ecoregions - methodologies

Owing to the natural variability of surface waters and the effects of many other stressors, no simple dose–response relationships among climate change and biotic effects can be expected. Given the various types of impacts, different sets of indicators may be required.

The Europe-wide monitoring programs mainly focus (and were designed to focus) on ‘traditional stressors’, such as eutrophication, organic pollution, acidification, toxic stressors and to a lesser degree hydromorphological pressure. Other stressors such as those caused by climate change are not directly aimed on and diagnostic metrics are currently only available for these common types of degradation.

However, the overall design of WFD-compliant assessment is well-suited to detect the effects of emerging stressors, as changes in biotic communities irrespective of their causes. Thus, it is possible to include climate change effects in existing WFD metrics and adjust the existing assessment systems accordingly.

In this section a set of WFD “traditional” methodologies are suggested as assessment tools for monitoring potential changes that may be associated with climate change.

The detailed information on each methodology is given, based on the WISER project method database.

Selected methodologies

Methodologies are selected by the different biological quality elements (BQE).

See also the methods for lakes in warm and cold ecoregions.

Benthic Diatoms

Name of method Climate change related pressure Country
Ecological status assessment system for lakes using phytobenthosEutrophicationSlovenia
Lake Trophic Diatom Index MethodEutrophicationUnited Kingdom
Proportions of Impact-Sensitive and Impact-Associated DiatomsAcidification, Eutrophication, Hydromorphological degradationBelgium (Flanders)
Improvement of the Hungarian ecological water qualification system - Phytobenthos in LakesEutrophicationHungary
Assessment system for lakes using diatom phytobenthosCatchment land use, EutrophicationPoland

Benthic Diatoms, Macrophytes, Other Phytobenthos
Name of method Climate change related pressure Country
German Assessment System for Macrophytes and Phytobenthos for the WFDEutrophicationGermany

Benthic Invertebrates

Name of method Climate change related pressure Country
Lake Acidification Macroinvertebrate MetricAcidificationUnited Kingdom
Chironomid pupal exuvial techniqueAcidification, EutrophicationUnited Kingdom
Assessment of littoral macroinvertebrates in lakesAcidification, EutrophicationIreland
WFD-metrics for natural watertypesNetherlands
Multimetric Macroinvertebrate Index FlandersEutrophication, Hydromorphological degradation, Impact of alien speciesBelgium (Flanders)
Macroinvertebrate based assessment system - LakesHydromorphological degradation, Pollution by organic matterHungary
Ecological status assessment system for rivers using benthic invertebratesHydromorphological degradationSlovenia
Assessment method for Ecological Status of the Water Body (natural lakes) based on MacroinvertebratesEutrophicationRomania

Fish Fauna

Name of method Climate change related pressure Country
Assessment of fish fauna in lakesEutrophication, Hydromorphological degradationFrance
WFD-metrics for natural watertypesAcidification, Eutrophication, Hydromorphological degradationNetherlands
Assessment of fish fauna in lakesEutrophication, Hydromorphological degradationAustria
Assessment of fish fauna in lakesEutrophicationGermany
Flemish Index of Biotic IntegrityEutrophication, Impact of alien speciesBelgium (Flanders)
Lake Fish in Estonia. Assessment EQR 3,5EutrophicationEstonia
Lake Fish IndexEutrophicationPoland
Fish in Irish lakes classification tool EutrophicationIreland


Name of method Climate change related pressure Country
Free Macrophyte IndexEutrophicationIreland
Ecological Classification of Lakes using MacrophytesEutrophicationUnited Kingdom
Macrophyte-based indication method for lakes - Ecological Status Macrophyte IndexEutrophication, Riparian habitat alterationPoland
Assessment of lakes using modified German Reference IndexEutrophicationLithuania
Austrian Index Macrophytes - Module 1 for LakesEutrophication, Hydromorphological degradation, Riparian habitat alterationAustria
Assessment of macrophytes in lakesEutrophication, Impact of alien species, Riparian habitat alterationSlovenia
Flemish macrophyte assessment systemAcidification, Eutrophication, Hydromorphological degradationBelgium (Flanders)
WFD-metrics for natural watertypesCatchment land use, Eutrophication, Hydromorphological degradationNetherlands
Assessment of status of lakes on the basis of macrophytesCatchment land use, EutrophicationEstonia
Latvian macrophyte assessment methodEutrophicationLatvia
The Hungarian Macrophyte GuidanceEutrophication, Hydromorphological degradation, Impact of alien speciesHungary


Name of method Climate change related pressure Country
Guidance for the evaluation of the biological quality elements, part B2 ? phytoplanktonEutrophicationAustria
Assessment system for lakes using Chlorophyll-aEutrophicationDenmark
Assessment method of lakes using phytoplankton indicatorsEutrophicationLithuania
Flemish phytoplankton assessment method for lakesEutrophicationBelgium (Flanders)
Lake Phytoplankton ? Chlorophyll-a and Percentage nuisance cyanobacteriaEutrophicationUnited Kingdom
Phytoplankton Assesment Method for the Ecological status of LakesEutrophicationSlovenia
Lake phytoplankton indexEutrophicationFrance
WFD-metrics for natural watertypesEutrophication, Hydromorphological degradationNetherlands
German Phyto-Lake-IndexEutrophicationGermany
Assessment of status of lakes on the basis of phytoplankonCatchment land use, Eutrophication, Hydromorphological degradationEstonia
Hungarian Lake Phytoplankton IndexEutrophicationHungary
Irish Phytoplankton assessment system EutrophicationIreland
Assessment of phytoplankton in reservoirsAcidification, EutrophicationBelgium (Wallonia)
Assessment system for natural lakes status based on Phytoplankton according to the WFDCatchment land use, EutrophicationRomania
Phytoplankton Metric for Polish Lakes (PMPL)EutrophicationPoland
Latvian phytoplankton assessment methodEutrophicationLatvia

Climate Change and Freshwater
Online: http://www.climate-and-freshwater.info/climate_change/lakes/temperate/methodologies/
Date: 2024/04/19
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