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Rivers in cold 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 rivers in warm and temperate ecoregions.

Benthic Diatoms

Name of method Climate change related pressure Country
Benthic algae in running water - diatom analysisAcidification, EutrophicationSweden
Indice de Polluo-Sensibilité Spécifique (Specific Pollution sensitivity Index SPI)EutrophicationFinland

Benthic Invertebrates

Name of method Climate change related pressure Country
DJ-indexEutrophicationSweden
Multimetric Index for Stream AcidityAcidificationSweden

Fish Fauna

Name of method Climate change related pressure Country
Environmental quality criteria to determine the status of fish in running waters - development and application of VIXAcidification, Eutrophication, Hydromorphological degradationSweden
Finnish River Fish IndexCatchment land use, EutrophicationFinland



Climate Change and Freshwater
Online: http://www.climate-and-freshwater.info/climate_change/rivers/cold/methodologies/
Date: 2017/09/22
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