Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 193–201 | Cite as

Use of benthic diatom communities to evaluate water quality in rivers of southern Poland

  • Janina Kwandrans
  • Pertti Eloranta
  • Barbara Kawecka
  • Krzysztof Wojtan


Biological and chemical data were processed to estimate trophic stage and degree of pollution in several streams and rivers in southern Poland. The majority were eutrophic and some of them heavily polluted; only a few were oligo-mesotrophic. The differences in the water quality of the rivers were reflected by different types of diatom community and also by the values for some diatom indices, which were calculated using the latest version of the 'Omnidia' database software. Except for the Sládeček's index, all diatom indices correlated significantly with organic load (COD), oxygen concentration, conductivity and most of the measured ions. Some indices showed a significant negative correlation with trophic level (expressed by NH4-N and PO4-P). In general, IPS (Specific Pollution Sensitivity Index) and GDI (Generic Diatom Index) indices gave the best results. Among the investigated diatom communities, only a few taxa indicated oligo-mesotrophy and oligo-β-mesosaprobity. Most of the sites were characterised by a greater relative contribution of eutraphent and tolerant ones as well as α-mesosaprobic and polysaprobic diatoms. This study suggests that the structure of benthic diatom communities and diatom indices, especially GDI, can be applied for monitoring rivers in Poland.

Diatom communities indices indicators rivers water quality monitoring Poland 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janina Kwandrans
    • 1
  • Pertti Eloranta
    • 2
  • Barbara Kawecka
    • 1
  • Krzysztof Wojtan
    • 1
  1. 1.Karol Starmach Institute of Freshwater BiologyPolish Academy of SciencesKrakówPoland
  2. 2.Department of Limnology and Environmental Protection/LimnologyUniversity of HelsinkiFinland

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