Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1897/ieam_2008-030.1
Title (Primary) Diagnosis of ecosystem impairment in a multiple stress context - how to formulate effective river basin management plans
Author de Zwart, D.; Posthuma, L.; Gevrey, M.; von der Ohe, P.C.; de Deckere, E.
Source Titel Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management
Year 2009
Department WANA
Volume 5
Issue 1
Page From 38
Page To 49
Language englisch
Keywords Diagnosis; Toxic pressure; Eco-epidemiology; Scheldt River
Abstract The Water Framework Directive (WFD) of the European Union requires Member States to attain a good ecological status for all water bodies by the year 2015. This implies that the bio-ecological protection endpoint itself is upfront, next to abiotic chemical quality standards as tools to protect those endpoints. Within the requirements of the Directive, ecological status and abiotic conditions will be monitored extensively. Based on the analysis of the monitoring data, authorities are required to derive Programs of Measures (PoMs) for impacted sites. Optimization of these programs requires diagnosis, to provide site- or catchment-specific information on the causes of observed deviations from good ecological status. This paper shows one pilot analysis of monitoring data (Scheldt River, Belgium) compiled in the scope of the EU MODELKEY project. Ecological, ecotoxicological and statistical models are combined to quantify local ecological impact magnitudes and to identify site-specific factors that are associated with those impacts. Results show significant ecological effects in terms of taxa loss at study sites, being highly variable among sites, and variable combinations of environmental factors associated with these effects. The results of the diagnostic approach are discussed and appeared to be complementary to the assessment of chemical status required by the Directive. Both types of assessment are useful to assist the derivation of optimized PoMs. In addition, it could be concluded that the parameter 'acute toxic pressure' relates to reduced taxon abundance for more than half of the studied taxa, and that this parameter relates to the fraction of taxa lost under field conditions. Finally, various lessons for the execution of monitoring programs are derived, since the Scheldt (bio)monitoring data set has its weaknesses, while it can be seen as typical for current monitoring programs.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
de Zwart, D., Posthuma, L., Gevrey, M., von der Ohe, P.C., de Deckere, E. (2009):
Diagnosis of ecosystem impairment in a multiple stress context - how to formulate effective river basin management plans
Integr. Environ. Assess. Manag. 5 (1), 38 - 49 10.1897/ieam_2008-030.1