Harmonization is more important than experience—results of the first Nordic–Baltic diatom intercalibration exercise 2007 (stream monitoring)
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- Kahlert, M., Albert, RL., Anttila, EL. et al. J Appl Phycol (2009) 21: 471. doi:10.1007/s10811-008-9394-5
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The goal of this study was a harmonization of diatom identification and counting among diatomists from the Scandinavian and Baltic countries to improve the comparison of diatom studies in this geographical area. An analysis of the results of 25 diatomists following the European standard EN 14407 during an intercalibration exercise showed that a high similarity was achieved by harmonization and not because of a long experience with diatoms. Sources of error were wrong calibration scales, overlooking of small taxa, especially small Navicula s.l., misidentifications (Eunotia rhomboidea was mistaken for Eunotia incisa) and unclear separation between certain taxa in the identification literature. The latter was discussed during a workshop with focus on the Achnanthes minutissima group, the separation of Fragilaria capucina var. gracilis from F. capucina var. rumpens, and Nitzschia palea var. palea from N. palea var. debilis. The exercise showed also that the Swedish standard diatom method tested here worked fine with acceptable error for the indices IPS (Indice de Polluo-sensibilité Spécifique) and ACID (ACidity Index for Diatoms) when diatomists with a low similarity (Bray–Curtis <60%) with the auditor in at least one of the samples are excluded.