Hydrobiologia

, Volume 695, Issue 1, pp 7–16 | Cite as

Changing approaches to monitoring during the period of the ‘Use of Algae for Monitoring Rivers’ symposia

ALGAE FOR MONITORING RIVERS

Abstract

The literature on monitoring rivers using benthic algal communities is reviewed, especially that for Europe during the past 20 years. In particular, papers in a series of symposia at approximately 3-year intervals are considered to assess the extent to which aims and methods have shifted. A variety of methods were being tested in the early 1990s, and some put to practical use. However, the requirements of the EU Urban Waste Water Directive in 1991 have gradually narrowed procedures in most countries outside Scandinavia to the use of indices based on benthic diatoms to monitoring nutrients, especially phosphate. Most countries in Europe now adopt one of a few indices. The same indices are being used to deal with the requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive introduced in 2000 to achieve good ecological status by 2015. It is argued, however, that features of upland river sites require the development of revised indices for this purpose. Features of many sites include highly variable nutrient concentrations and ratios, and the greater importance of organic phosphate. Two possible approaches are suggested to developing a revised index. One is a diatom index which incorporates information about the environmental features important here. The other is to use an index which incorporates data on genera from all algal phyla, with emphasis on those which are long-lived.

Keywords

Benthic algae Nutrients Variability Organic phosphate Water Framework Directive Didymosphenia 

Abbreviations

CEC

‘European Community Index’

FHP

Filterable hydrolyzable phosphate-P

FRP

Filterable reactive phosphate-P

GDI

Generic Diatom Index

IBD

Biological Diatom Index (Indice Biologique Diatomées)

IPS

Specific Pollution Sensitivity Index (Indice de Polluosensibilité Spécifique)

RIVPACS

River Invertebrate Prediction and Classification System

TDI

Trophic Diatom Index

TFP

Total filterable phosphate-P

UWWTD

Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive

WFD

Water Framework Directive

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Biological and Biomedical SciencesUniversity of DurhamDurhamUK

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