Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Assemblage grouping of European benthic diatoms as indicators of trophic status of rivers

Abstract : River benthic diatoms are routinely used to monitor water quality in rivers throughout Europe. Many diatom indices have been developed to monitor a single water quality variable such as phosphorus concentration, or organic pollution, and there is a need to develop diatom monitoring methods for the Water Framework Directive (WFD) which can monitor and quantify a range of environmental variables. The identifi cation of benthic diatom assemblages, or biotypes, is an alternative method that may allow monitoring of ecological status throughout European rivers. Multivariate analysis showed that diatom species composition corresponded most strongly to altitude, temperature, pH and conductivity, while nutrient variables were of secondary importance. To assess the use of biotypes as indicators of eutrophic status benthic diatom samples collected from fi ve European countries were grouped on the basis of their species composition using TWINSPAN. Eight diatom biotypes, some with two subgroups, were identifi ed. Canonical Correspondence Analysis was used to investigate the relationship between these diatom groupings and nutrient concentrations, with and without the effects related to altitude and pH. A number of communities which may act as indicators of eutrophication were identifi ed, though issues arose concerning the identifi cation of these communities and the lack of sample sites from a range of altitudes, pH and conductivities. Finally the use of such diatom based methods to set river quality boundaries and monitor trophic status for the WFD is considered in light of their predictive strength, practicability in application and international differences in river monitoring standards.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : Migration Irstea Publications <>
Submitted on : Friday, May 15, 2020 - 6:31:42 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, June 3, 2021 - 5:34:03 PM


  • HAL Id : hal-02594395, version 1
  • IRSTEA : PUB00030848



J. Fisher, A. Deflandre Vlandas, Michel Coste, François Delmas, H.P. Jarvie. Assemblage grouping of European benthic diatoms as indicators of trophic status of rivers. Fundamental and Applied Limnology, E Schweizerbart Science Publishers, 2010, 176 (2), pp.89-100. ⟨hal-02594395⟩



Record views