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Benthic Diatoms in River Biomonitoring—Present and Future Perspectives within the Water Framework Directive

1
Institute of Marine Biological Resources and Inland Waters, Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, 46.7 km Athens-Sounio Ave., 19013 Anavyssos, Greece
2
Department of Marine Sciences, University of the Aegean, University Hill, 81100 Mytilene, Greece
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jesús R. Aboal
Water 2021, 13(4), 478; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040478
Received: 8 January 2021 / Revised: 4 February 2021 / Accepted: 9 February 2021 / Published: 12 February 2021
The European Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC (WFD) has been implemented over the past 20 years, using physicochemical, biological and hydromorphological elements to assess the ecological status of surface waters. Benthic diatoms (i.e., phytobenthos) are one of the most common biological quality elements (BQEs) used in surface water monitoring and are particularly successful in detecting eutrophication, organic pollution and acidification. Herein, we reviewed their implementation in river biomonitoring for the purposes of the WFD, highlighting their advantages and disadvantages over other BQEs, and we discuss recent advances that could be applied in future biomonitoring. Until now, phytobenthos have been intercalibrated by the vast majority (26 out of 28) of EU Member States (MS) in 54% of the total water bodies assessed and was the most commonly used BQE after benthic invertebrates (85% of water bodies), followed by fish (53%), macrophytes (27%) and phytoplankton (4%). To meet the WFD demands, numerous taxonomy-based quality indices have been developed among MS, presenting, however, uncertainties possibly related to species biogeography. Recent development of different types of quality indices (trait-based, DNA sequencing and predictive modeling) could provide more accurate results in biomonitoring, but should be validated and intercalibrated among MS before their wide application in water quality assessments. View Full-Text
Keywords: phytobenthos; biological quality indices; ecological status; surface waters; water quality phytobenthos; biological quality indices; ecological status; surface waters; water quality
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MDPI and ACS Style

Masouras, A.; Karaouzas, I.; Dimitriou, E.; Tsirtsis, G.; Smeti, E. Benthic Diatoms in River Biomonitoring—Present and Future Perspectives within the Water Framework Directive. Water 2021, 13, 478. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040478

AMA Style

Masouras A, Karaouzas I, Dimitriou E, Tsirtsis G, Smeti E. Benthic Diatoms in River Biomonitoring—Present and Future Perspectives within the Water Framework Directive. Water. 2021; 13(4):478. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040478

Chicago/Turabian Style

Masouras, Andreas; Karaouzas, Ioannis; Dimitriou, Elias; Tsirtsis, George; Smeti, Evangelia. 2021. "Benthic Diatoms in River Biomonitoring—Present and Future Perspectives within the Water Framework Directive" Water 13, no. 4: 478. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040478

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