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Water quality assessment of rivers using diatom metrics across Mediterranean Europe: A methods intercalibration exercise

Abstract : The EuropeanWater Framework Directive establishes a framework for the protection ofwater resources. However, common water management tools demand common understanding of assessment methods, so quality goals are equallymet. Intercalibration ofmethods ensures the comparability of biological elements across similar geographical areas. Many aspects can influence the outcome of intercalibration: data sampling, treatment methods, taxonomic reliability of databases, choice of metrics for ecological quality status classification, and criteria for selecting reference sites. This study describes the potentials and constraints of the intercalibration of indices using diatoms for assessment of Mediterranean rivers. Harmonisation of diatom taxonomy and nomenclature was based on a previous ring test which took place at the European level. Four diatom indices (Indice de Polluosensibilité Spécifique-IPS, Indice Biologique Diatomées-IBD 2007, Intercalibration Common Metric Italy-CMi and Slovenian Ecological Status assessment system) were intercalibrated using data from six European Mediterranean countries (Cyprus, France, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain). Boundaries between High/Good and Good/Moderate quality classes were harmonised by means of the Intercalibration Common Metric (ICM). Comparability between countries was assured through boundary bias and class agreement. The national boundaries were adjusted when they deviated more than a quarter of a class equivalent (0.25) from the globalmean. All national methods correlated well with the ICM, which was sensitive to water quality (negatively correlated to nutrients). Achnanthidium minutissimum sensu lato was the most discriminative species of Good ecological status class. Planothidium frequentissimum, Gomphonema parvulum and Nitzschia paleawere themost contributive toModerate ecological status class.Some taxa were discriminative for bothGood andModerate ecological status classes due to low indication and ecological discriminative power but also due to differences in taxonomy between countries. This intercalibration exercise allowed establishment of common water quality goals across Mediterranean Europe, which is substantiated with the ICM.
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Submitted on : Saturday, May 16, 2020 - 2:01:33 AM
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Salome Almeida, C. Elias, Joël Ferreira, E. Tornes, C. Puccinelli, et al.. Water quality assessment of rivers using diatom metrics across Mediterranean Europe: A methods intercalibration exercise. Science of the Total Environment, Elsevier, 2014, 476-477, pp.768-776. ⟨10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.11.144⟩. ⟨hal-02599216⟩



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