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Rivers in warm 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 temperate and cold ecoregions.

Benthic Diatoms

Name of method Climate change related pressure Country
Specific Pollution-sensitivity IndexEutrophicationCyprus
Rivers Biological Quality Assessment Method - DiatomsEutrophication, Flow modificationPortugal

Benthic Invertebrates

Name of method Climate change related pressure Country
STAR Intercalibration Common Metric IndexCatchment land use, Flow modification, Hydromorphological degradationCyprus
Rivers Biological Quality Assessment Method - Benthic InvertebratesEutrophication, Flow modification, Hydromorphological degradationPortugal
Iberian Multimetric index based on Macroinvertebrates (using quantitative data)EutrophicationSpain
Iberian Biomonitoring Working PartyCatchment land use, Flow modification, Impact of alien speciesSpain
STAR Intercalibration Common Metric IndexCatchment land use, Flow modification, Hydromorphological degradationGreece

Fish Fauna

Name of method Climate change related pressure Country
Rivers Biological Quality Assessment Method - Fish Fauna Wadeable StreamsCatchment land use, Flow modification, Impact of alien speciesPortugal
Spanish Fish IndexFlow modification, Hydromorphological degradation, Riparian habitat alterationSpain
Index of Biotic Integrity using fish as indicators of the Ecological Status of Catalonian RiversCatchment land use, Flow modification, Impact of alien speciesSpain



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