Indicators And Methods For The Ecological Status Assessment Under The Water Framework Directive


Courtesy of

The Water Framework Directive (WFD; 2000/60/EC) creates a new legislative framework to manage, use, protect, and restore surface water and groundwater resources within river basins and transitional (Iagoons and estuaries) and coastal waters in the European Union. The WFD aims to achieve sustainable management ofwater resources, to reach good ecological qualityand preventfurtherdeterioration of surface waters and groundwater, and to ensure sustainable functioning of aquatic ecosystems by 2015. In the WFD the ecological status of surface water is d efi ned as “ expression of the quality of the structure and functioning ofaquatic ecosystems associated with surface waters, classified in accordance with Annex V’ (Article 2:21). This implies that the classification systems of the ecological status ofwater bodiesshould reflectchanges in the structure ofthe biological communities and in the overali ecosystem functioning as a response to anthropogenic pressures. Such requirements are a novel development in European water policy, which has been mostly based on the regulation of emissions at the source through the establishment of emission limit values.

The WFD necessitates that the ecological quality status of surface water bodies is assessed using biological quality elements such as phytoplankton, fish, and benthic flora and fauna. Therefore, there is a need to identify biological indicators that respond in a predictable manner to human disturbances, and allow classification of ecological quality based on functional relationships between pressures and indicators. Currently, intensive research is being carried out in Europe to develop biological indicators and classification metrics that can be used in assessment, comparison and harmonization of ecological water quality targets across Europe. This work is naturally based on the strong research tradition and knowledge on the ecological functioning of surface waters in Europe. Still the WFD has imposed challenges for aquatic ecologists to develop scientifically sound, high-precision, and practical biological assessment tools for managers.

This book provides an overview on current knowledge and methods on the relationship between chemical and biological indicators for the major pressures for rivers, lakes and coastal waters. It is aimed at scientists working in environmental agencies, managers working on WFD implementation, university lecturers, students of applied ecology, water management and those interested in limnology and coastal management. 

Customer comments

No comments were found for Indicators And Methods For The Ecological Status Assessment Under The Water Framework Directive. Be the first to comment!