Ecological Status

Part of the International and European Environmental Policy Series book series (ENVIRONMENTAL)


As shown in the identification and designation process for HMWB and AWB (Step 5 of Fig. 2.1, p. 12), the likelihood of failing to achieve Good Ecological Status (GES) (or an estimate of what GES may be, based on current knowledge) should be assessed (WFD Annex II 1.5). Such an assessment is based on the information gathered on significant changes on hydromorphology and an assessment of the ecological status. The final guidance document on HMWB and AWB also noted that it should be considered whether the risk of failing GES is due to hydromorphological changes and not other pressures such as toxic substances or other quality problems. Step 5 is part of the “risk assessment” process1 to be completed by 22 December 2004 (WFD CIS Guidance Document No. 4 2003).


Ecological Status Quality Element Good Ecological Status Transitional Water Biological Element 
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  1. 1.
    The “risk assessment” is undertaken as part of the WFD Article 5 characterisation process and identifies the likelihood of water bodies to fail the environmental quality objectives set under WFD Article 4.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    A guild consists of species which take over the same function within the ecosystem, have similar life-forms with respect to habitat use, feeding habits, temperature preference etc.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Natural accessibility involves the use of individual tributaries by migratory species and is governed by their ability to negotiate steep sections of the channel (tributary specific).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    With regard to the proposed criteria where riparian vegetation played the most important role, it was noted that riparian plants may be good indicators for hydropower but may poorly predict ecological status of other elements such as fish and benthic invertebrate fauna. The risk therein is that future efforts to increase ecological status may focus on the chosen criteria alone. However, if process-related criteria are used, this risk maybe minimised.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ecologic Institute for International and EuropeanEnvironmental PolicyBerlinGermany

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