Ambio

, Volume 45, Issue 6, pp 681–691 | Cite as

Approaches for integrated assessment of ecological and eutrophication status of surface waters in Nordic Countries

  • Jesper H. Andersen
  • Jukka Aroviita
  • Jacob Carstensen
  • Nikolai Friberg
  • Richard K. Johnson
  • Pirkko Kauppila
  • Mats Lindegarth
  • Ciarán Murray
  • Karl Norling
Review

Abstract

We review approaches and tools currently used in Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden) for integrated assessment of ‘ecological status’ sensu the EU Water Framework Directive as well as assessment of ‘eutrophication status’ in coastal and marine waters. Integration principles for combining indicators within biological quality elements (BQEs) and combining BQEs into a final-integrated assessment are discussed. Specific focus has been put on combining different types of information into indices, since several methods are currently employed. As a consequence of the variety of methods used, comparisons across both BQEs and water categories (river, lakes and coastal waters) can be difficult. Based on our analyses, we conclude that some principles and methods for integration can be critical and that a harmonised approach should be developed. Further, we conclude that the integration principles applied within BQEs are critical and in need of harmonisation if we want a better understanding of potential transition in ecological status between surface water types, e.g. when riverine water enters a downstream lake or coastal water body.

Keywords

Ecological status Water Framework Directive Biological quality elements Coastal eutrophication Integration Assessment 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study was initiated by WATERS, a Swedish strategic research programme supporting science-based implementation of the Water Framework Directive (http://www.waters.gu.se). JHA, JC, CM, ML and RJ were funded through WATERS. The authors would like to thank Stina Drakare, Anna-Stiina Heiskanen, Samuli Korpinen and Anne Lyche Solheim for providing information or comments to an earlier version of the manuscript.

Supplementary material

13280_2016_767_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (462 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 463 kb)

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Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jesper H. Andersen
    • 1
  • Jukka Aroviita
    • 2
  • Jacob Carstensen
    • 3
  • Nikolai Friberg
    • 4
  • Richard K. Johnson
    • 5
  • Pirkko Kauppila
    • 6
  • Mats Lindegarth
    • 7
  • Ciarán Murray
    • 3
  • Karl Norling
    • 8
  1. 1.NIVA Denmark Water ResearchCopenhagen SDenmark
  2. 2.Freshwater Centre, Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)OuluFinland
  3. 3.Department of BioscienceAarhus UniversityRoskildeDenmark
  4. 4.Norwegian Institute for Water ResearchOsloNorway
  5. 5.Department of Aquatic Sciences and AssessmentSwedish University of Agricultural SciencesUppsalaSweden
  6. 6.Marine Research Center, Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)HelsinkiFinland
  7. 7.Department of Biological and Environmental Science - TjärnöUniversity of GothenburgStrömstadSweden
  8. 8.Department of Biological and Environmental SciencesUniversity of GothenburgGöteborgSweden

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