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How to Assess the Ecological Status of Highly Humic Lakes? Development of a New Method Based on Benthic Invertebrates
Review

Assessing the Ecological Status of European Rivers and Lakes Using Benthic Invertebrate Communities: A Practical Catalogue of Metrics and Methods

1
Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, 1180 Vienna, Austria
2
Wasser Cluster Lunz—Biologische Station GmbH, 3293 Lunz am See, Austria
3
Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, 75007 Uppsala, Sweden
4
European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), I-21027 Ispra, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Michele Mistri and Angela Boggero
Water 2021, 13(3), 346; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13030346
Received: 5 December 2020 / Revised: 20 January 2021 / Accepted: 26 January 2021 / Published: 30 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Freshwater Macroinvertebrates: Main Gaps and Future Trends)
The Water Framework Directive requires that the ecological status of surface waters be monitored and managed if necessary. A central function in ecological status assessment has the Biological Quality Elements—organisms inhabiting surface waters—by indicating human impact on their habitat. For benthic invertebrates, a wide array of national methods are used, but to date no comprehensive summary of metrics and methods is available. In this study, we summarize the benthic invertebrate community metrics used in national systems to assess the ecological status of rivers, (very) large rivers, and lakes. Currently, benthic invertebrate assemblages are used in 26 national assessment systems for rivers, 13 assessment systems for very large rivers, and 21 assessment systems for lakes in the EU. In the majority of systems, the same metrics and modules are used. In the Red Queen’s race of ecosystem management this may be a disadvantage as these same metrics and module likely depict the same stressors but there is growing evidence that aquatic ecosystems are subject to highly differentiated, complex multiple stressor impacts. Method development should be fostered to identify and rank impacts in multi-stressor environments. DNA-based biomonitoring 2.0 offers to detect stressors with greater accuracy—if new tools are calibrated. View Full-Text
Keywords: saprobic index; general degradation index; bioassessment saprobic index; general degradation index; bioassessment
MDPI and ACS Style

Vitecek, S.; Johnson, R.K.; Poikane, S. Assessing the Ecological Status of European Rivers and Lakes Using Benthic Invertebrate Communities: A Practical Catalogue of Metrics and Methods. Water 2021, 13, 346. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13030346

AMA Style

Vitecek S, Johnson RK, Poikane S. Assessing the Ecological Status of European Rivers and Lakes Using Benthic Invertebrate Communities: A Practical Catalogue of Metrics and Methods. Water. 2021; 13(3):346. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13030346

Chicago/Turabian Style

Vitecek, Simon, Richard K. Johnson, and Sandra Poikane. 2021. "Assessing the Ecological Status of European Rivers and Lakes Using Benthic Invertebrate Communities: A Practical Catalogue of Metrics and Methods" Water 13, no. 3: 346. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13030346

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