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Wetlands in temperate ecoregions - indicators for climate change

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.

In contrast to water quality metrics that use riparian plants as indicators, the direct assessment of the vegetated riparian zone’s ecological integrity is a young field with little agreement as to appropriate approaches.

Suggested indicators for monitoring climate change effects will be presented shortly.