Citation Kelly MG, Birk S, Willby N, Denys L, Drakare S, Kahlert M, Karjalainen SM, Marchetto A, Pitt J, Urbanic G & Poikane S (2016) Redundancy in the ecological assessment of lakes: Are phytoplankton, macrophytes and phytobenthos all necessary?. Science of the Total Environment, 568, pp. 594-602. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.02.024
Abstract Although the Water Framework Directive specifies that macrophytes and phytobenthos should be used for the ecological assessment of lakes and rivers, practice varies widely throughout the EU. Most countries have separate methods for macrophytes and phytobenthos in rivers; however, the situation is very different for lakes. Here, 16 countries do not have dedicated phytobenthos methods, some include filamentous algae within macrophyte survey methods whilst others use diatoms as proxies for phytobenthos. The most widely-cited justification for not having a dedicated phytobenthos method is redundancy, i.e. that macrophyte and phytoplankton assessments alone are sufficient to detect nutrient impacts. Evidence from those European Union Member States that have dedicated phytobenthos methods supports this for high level overviews of lake condition and classification; however, there are a number of situations where phytobenthos may contribute valuable information for the management of lakes.
Keywords Ecological assessment; Europe; Lakes; Phytobenthos; Water Framework Directive
Journal Science of the Total Environment: Volume 568