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Hydrobiologia

, Volume 704, Issue 1, pp 1–9 | Cite as

Assessment and recovery of European water bodies: key messages from the WISER project

  • Daniel HeringEmail author
  • Angel Borja
  • Laurence Carvalho
  • Christian K. Feld
WATER BODIES IN EUROPE Review Paper

Abstract

The EU-funded research project WISER (“Water bodies in Europe: Integrative Systems to assess Ecological status and Recovery”) developed new assessment methods required by the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) for lakes, coastal and transitional waters. WISER also addressed the recovery of biotic assemblages from degradation. The results are summarised in five key messages, supported by papers in this special issue and by WISER results published elsewhere: (1) Response to stress differs between organism groups, water types and stressors; a conceptual model is proposed summarising how the individual organism groups respond to different types of degradation in rivers, lakes, transitional and coastal waters. (2) The sources of uncertainty differ between BQEs and water types, leading to methodological suggestions on how to design WFD sampling programmes. (3) Results from about 300 current assessment methods indicate geographical variations in metrics but assessments are comparable at an aggregated level (“ecological status”). (4) Scale and time matter; restoration requires action at (sub)-basin levels and recovery may require decades. (5) Long-term trends require consideration; the effects of both degradation and restoration at the water body or river basin scales is increasingly superimposed by multiple stressors acting at large scales, in particular by climate change.

Keywords

Lakes Rivers Transitional waters Coastal waters Uncertainty Water Framework Directive 

Notes

Acknowledgments

WISER (Water bodies in Europe: Integrative Systems to assess Ecological status and Recovery) was funded by the European Union under the 7th Framework Programme, Theme 6 (Environment including Climate Change) (contract No. 226273), www.wiser.eu.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Hering
    • 1
    Email author
  • Angel Borja
    • 2
  • Laurence Carvalho
    • 3
  • Christian K. Feld
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Aquatic EcologyUniversity of Duisburg-EssenEssenGermany
  2. 2.Marine Research DivisionAZTI-TecnaliaPasaiaSpain
  3. 3.Centre for Ecology & HydrologyMidlothianUK

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