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Development of a Metric of Aquatic Invertebrates for Volunteers (MAIV): A Simple and Friendly Biotic Metric to Assess Ecological Quality of Streams

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Instituto de Ciências da Terra (ICT), Universidade de Évora, Largo dos Colegiais, 7000 Évora, Portugal
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Instituto de Ciências e Tecnologia das Águas (ICTA), Universidade Federal do Oeste do Pará (UFOPA), Rua Vera Paz, s/n (Unidade Tapajós) Bairro Salé, Santarém, 68040-255 Pará, Brazil
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Centro de Ciências do Mar (CCMAR), Universidade do Algarve (UAlg), Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
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Centro de Investigação Marinha e Ambiental (CIMA), Universidade do Algarve (UAlg), Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
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Agência Portuguesa do Ambiente (APA)-ARH Algarve, Rua do Alportel, no. 10, 2º, 8000-293 Faro, Portugal
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Independent environmental consultant, Rua Dr. Eduardo, no. 117, 2205-644 Tramagal, Portugal
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Natural History Museum of Crete, University of Crete. B.O. Box 2208, 71409 Iraklion, Greece
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(3), 654; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12030654
Received: 20 December 2019 / Revised: 12 February 2020 / Accepted: 24 February 2020 / Published: 28 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Water Quality and Contamination)
Citizen science activities, involving local people in volunteer-supported and sustainable monitoring programs, are common. In this context, the objective of the present work was to develop a simple Metric of Aquatic Invertebrates for Volunteers (MAIV), including a user-friendly tool that can be easily accessed by volunteers, and to evaluate the efficiency of a volunteer monitoring program following an audit procedure. To obtain MAIV values, macroinvertebrate communities were reduced to 18 surrogate taxa, which represented an acceptable compromise between simplicity, efficiency, and reproducibility of the data, compared to the regular Water Framework Directive monitoring. When compared to results obtained with the National Classification System of Portugal, MAIV accurately detected moderate, poor, and bad ecological status. Thus, MAIV can be used by volunteers as a complement to the official monitoring program, as well as a prospective early warning tool for local problems related to ecological quality. Volunteers were students supervised by their teachers. Results obtained by volunteers were compared to results obtained by experts on macroinvertebrate identification to measure the efficiency of the procedure, by counting gains and losses on sorting, and identification. Characteristics of groups of volunteers (age and school level) did not influence significantly the efficiency of the procedure, and generally results of volunteers and experts matched. View Full-Text
Keywords: bioassessment; citizen science; macroinvertebrate; STEM literacy; volunteer monitoring of streams; Water Framework Directive bioassessment; citizen science; macroinvertebrate; STEM literacy; volunteer monitoring of streams; Water Framework Directive
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pinto, P.; Oliveira-Junior, J.M.B.; Leitão, F.; Morais, M.M.; Chícharo, L.; Vaz, P.; Delgado, S.M.A.; Voreadou, C.; Morales, E.A.; Teodósio, M.A. Development of a Metric of Aquatic Invertebrates for Volunteers (MAIV): A Simple and Friendly Biotic Metric to Assess Ecological Quality of Streams. Water 2020, 12, 654. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12030654

AMA Style

Pinto P, Oliveira-Junior JMB, Leitão F, Morais MM, Chícharo L, Vaz P, Delgado SMA, Voreadou C, Morales EA, Teodósio MA. Development of a Metric of Aquatic Invertebrates for Volunteers (MAIV): A Simple and Friendly Biotic Metric to Assess Ecological Quality of Streams. Water. 2020; 12(3):654. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12030654

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pinto, Paulo, José M.B. Oliveira-Junior, Francisco Leitão, Maria M. Morais, Luis Chícharo, Paula Vaz, Sofia M.A. Delgado, Catherina Voreadou, Eduardo A. Morales, and Maria A. Teodósio. 2020. "Development of a Metric of Aquatic Invertebrates for Volunteers (MAIV): A Simple and Friendly Biotic Metric to Assess Ecological Quality of Streams" Water 12, no. 3: 654. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12030654

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