Research output

Article in Journal ()

Towards harmonization of ecological quality classification: Establishing common grounds in European macrophyte assessment for rivers

Citation
Birk S & Willby N (2010) Towards harmonization of ecological quality classification: Establishing common grounds in European macrophyte assessment for rivers, Hydrobiologia, 652 (1), pp. 149-163.

Abstract
Different national assessment concepts impede the harmonization of river quality classifications using macrophytes in Europe. This study describes a procedure to identify similarities between the national methods for ecological quality assessment of Austria, Belgium (Flanders and Wallonia), France, Germany, Great Britain and Poland. Based on an international data set covering three European stream types we identified sites commonly assessed as high status by most methods. A mean index derived from averaging the national assessment results per stream site was then correlated with the abundance of each macrophyte taxon. We defined common macrophyte indicator scores using these correlation coefficients. This enabled the description of type-specific macrophyte communities under near-natural and degraded conditions, and the development of a common metric (mICM) that was correlated with all national methods. The weaker relations of the Flemish and German methods were improved by adjusting national indicator scores of selected macrophyte taxa that deviated from the common indicator scores. The analysis of common high status sites provided mICM reference values. This study offers a general approach to harmonize the national assessment methods for biological elements of any water category.

Keywords
Intercalibration; Common metric; European Water Framework Directive; Common stream type; Reference community

StatusPublished
AuthorsBirk Sebastian, Willby Nigel
Publication date09/2010
PublisherSpringer
ISSN 0018-8158
LanguageEnglish

Journal
Hydrobiologia: Volume 652, Issue 1 (2010)

© University of Stirling FK9 4LA Scotland UK • Telephone +44 1786 473171 • Scottish Charity No SC011159
My Portal