River monitoring systems based on algae - development and reassessment (for WFD in Europe and related approaches elsewhere)

Research questions

Benthic algae have been used successfully for biomontoring of ecological water quality of lotic environments all over Europe. However in recent year bioindication methods developed from algae and environmental datasets in specific parts of Europe (e.g. the Alps) have been adopted in an uncritical way (without prior critical testing) for fundamentally different ecoregions of Europe This lead to fossilisation of approaches without necessary validations of methods. We hypothesize that validations of indication systems would be necessary to identify more clearly which environmental variables are most determining for algal growth and species selection related to water quality classes for a particular ecological setup (e.g. boreal areas differ largely to alpine areas). Applied river monitoring approaches can adopt some of the routine statistical approaches of paleoecology in respect to extrapolated inference model approaches based on individual species response analysis.

Personel involved
Rott Eugen
Gesierich Doris

Beltrami M.E.(Istituto Agrario San Michele, Italy)