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Rivers 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 rivers in warm and cold ecoregions.

Benthic Diatoms

Name of method Climate change related pressure Country
Pollution Sensitivity IndexEutrophicationBelgium (Wallonia)
Ecological status assessment system for rivers using phytobenthosEutrophicationSlovenia
WFD River Diatom method or Trophic Diatom Index version 3 MethodEutrophicationUnited Kingdom
Assessment system for rivers using phytobenthos in EstoniaEutrophicationEstonia
Proportions of Impact-Sensitive and Impact-Associated DiatomsEutrophicationBelgium (Flanders)
Biological Diatom Index 2006EutrophicationFrance
Croatian Diatom Trophic IndexCatchment land use, Flow modification, Riparian habitat alterationCroatia
WFD-metrics for natural watertypesEutrophicationNetherlands
Slovak assessment of benthic diatoms in riversCatchment land use, EutrophicationSlovakia
Improvement of the Hungarian ecological water qualification system - Phytobenthos in RiversEutrophicationHungary
Assessment system for rivers using diatom phytobenthosCatchment land use, EutrophicationPoland
Revised form of Trophic Diatom IndexEutrophicationIreland
Assessement Method for Ecological Status of the Water Body (rivers) based on PhytobenthosEutrophication, Riparian habitat alterationRomania
Biological Diatom IndexEutrophicationLuxembourg
Sampling, preservation and pretreatment of benthic diatomsEutrophication, Hydromorphological degradationBulgaria

Benthic Diatoms, Macrophytes, Other Phytobenthos
Benthic Invertebrates

Name of method Climate change related pressure Country
WFD Acid Water Indicator Community speciesAcidificationUnited Kingdom
River Invertebrate Classification ToolAcidification, Hydromorphological degradationUnited Kingdom
Ecological status assessment system for rivers using benthic invertebratesHydromorphological degradationSlovenia
Assessment of the biological quality elements - part benthic invertebratesCatchment land use, Flow modification, Riparian habitat alterationAustria
Assessment method for ecological status of water bodies based on macroinvertebratesRiparian habitat alterationRomania
Multimetric Macroinvertebrate Index FlandersHydromorphological degradation, Riparian habitat alteration, Impact of alien speciesBelgium (Flanders)
Global biological normalized indexCatchment land useFrance
Assessment system for rivers using macrozoobenthosHydromorphological degradationCroatia
WFD-metrics for natural watertypesEutrophication, Hydromorphological degradationNetherlands
Macroinvertebrate-based assessment method for riversFlow modification, Hydromorphological degradation, Riparian habitat alterationHungary
Slovak assessment of benthic invertebrates in riversFlow modification, Hydromorphological degradation, Riparian habitat alterationSlovakia
Czech system for ecological status assessment of rivers using benthic macroinvertebratesHydromorphological degradationCzech Republic
Danish Streamfauna IndexHydromorphological degradationDenmark
Assessment method for rivers using benthic invertebratesHydromorphological degradationGermany
Latvian Macrozoobenthos Common MetricCatchment land use, EutrophicationLatvia
WFD-metrics for natural watertypesEutrophication, Hydromorphological degradationNetherlands
Global Biological Index adapted for channelsBelgium (Wallonia)
Quality Rating SystemIreland
Global biological index normalizedLuxembourg
Polish BMWP verified by modified Margalef diversity indexPoland

Fish Fauna

Name of method Climate change related pressure Country
Fish Index AustriaFlow modification, Riparian habitat alteration, Impact of alien speciesAustria
Flemish Index of Biotic IntegrityFlow modification, Hydromorphological degradation, Impact of alien speciesBelgium (Flanders)
Fish Biotic IndexCatchment land use, Eutrophication, Hydromorphological degradationFrance
Ecological Quality Index of Hungarian Riverine FishesHungary
Netherlands References and Metrics for Fish in Small RiversEutrophication, Hydromorphological degradation, Riparian habitat alterationNetherlands
Netherlands References and Metrics for Fish in Large RiversEutrophication, Hydromorphological degradation, Riparian habitat alterationNetherlands
Fish Index of SlovakiaFlow modification, Impact of alien speciesSlovakia
New European Fish IndexHydromorphological degradation, Riparian habitat alterationRomania
Czech national method of the river ecological status classification according to the fish biocoenosisHydromorphological degradationCzech Republic
Fish-based Assessment SystemEutrophication, Flow modification, Impact of alien speciesGermany
Netherlands References and Metrics for Fish in Large RiversEutrophication, Hydromorphological degradation, Riparian habitat alterationNetherlands
Biological Index for Fish integrityBelgium (Wallonia)
The Estonian fish-based assessment method for the ecological classification of riversCatchment land use, Eutrophication, Flow modificationEstonia
Fisheries Classification Scheme 2 United Kingdom
Fish Biotic IndexCatchment land use, Eutrophication, Hydromorphological degradationLuxembourg

Macrophytes

Name of method Climate change related pressure Country
Macrophyte Biological Index for RiversEutrophication, Hydromorphological degradationBelgium (Wallonia)
Ecological Classification of Rivers using MacrophytesEutrophication, Hydromorphological degradationUnited Kingdom
Austrian Index Macrophytes for RiversFlow modification, Riparian habitat alteration, Impact of alien speciesAustria
River Macrophyte IndexCatchment land use, EutrophicationSlovenia
Flemish macrophyte assessment systemFlow modification, Riparian habitat alteration, Impact of alien speciesBelgium (Flanders)
Biological Macrophytes Index for RiversEutrophication, Hydromorphological degradationFrance
Croatian macrophyte assessment methodEutrophication, Flow modification, Hydromorphological degradationCroatia
WFD-metrics for natural watertypesEutrophication, Flow modification, Riparian habitat alterationNetherlands
Slovak assessment of macrophytes in riversCatchment land use, Hydromorphological degradation, Riparian habitat alterationSlovakia
Macrophyte Biological Index for RiversEutrophicationLuxembourg
Macrophyte Index for RiversEutrophicationPoland
Combined sampling area and sampling quadrate method, assessment method is under developmentEutrophicationEstonia
n.a.EutrophicationLithuania
WFD-metrics for natural watertypesEutrophication, Flow modification, Riparian habitat alterationNetherlands
The Hungarian Macrophyte GuidanceEutrophication, Riparian habitat alteration, Impact of alien speciesHungary

Phytoplankton

Name of method Climate change related pressure Country
German phytoplankton assessment method for riversEutrophicationBelgium (Flanders)
Assessment method for the ecological status of water bodies based on phytoplanktonEutrophicationRomania
Hungarian River Phytoplankton IndexEutrophication, Flow modification, Impact of alien speciesHungary
Slovak assessment of phytoplankton in riversEutrophication, Flow modificationSlovakia
Index Phytoplankton PhytoFlussEutrophication, Hydromorphological degradationGermany
Assessment method of rivers using phytoplankton (biomass)EutrophicationLithuania



Climate Change and Freshwater
Online: http://www.climate-and-freshwater.info/climate_change/rivers/temperate/methodologies/
Date: 2017/03/29
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