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A phytoplankton trophic index to assess the status of lakes for the Water Framework Directive

Phillips, Geoff; Lyche-Solheim, Anne; Skjelbred, Birger; Mischke, Ute; Drakare, Stina; Free, Gary; Järvinen, Marko; de Hoyos, Caridad; Morabito, Giuseppe; Poikane, Sandra; Carvalho, Laurence. 2013 A phytoplankton trophic index to assess the status of lakes for the Water Framework Directive. Hydrobiologia, 704 (1). 75-95. 10.1007/s10750-012-1390-8

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Abstract/Summary

Despite improvements in wastewater treatment systems, the impact of anthropogenic nutrient sources remains a key issue for the management of European lakes. The Water Framework Directive (WFD) provides a mechanism through which progress can be made on this issue. The Directive requires a classification of the ecological status of phytoplankton, which includes an assessment of taxonomic composition. In this paper, we present a composition metric, the plankton trophic index, that was developed in the WISER EU FP7 project and demonstrate how it has been used to compare national phytoplankton classification systems in Northern and Central Europe. The metric was derived from summer phytoplankton data summarised by genus from 1,795 lakes, covering 20 European countries. We show that it is significantly related to total phosphorus concentrations, but that it is also sensitive to alkalinity, lake size and climatic variables. Through the use of country-specific reference values for the index, we demonstrate that it is significantly related to other national phytoplankton assessment systems and illustrate for a single European (intercalibration) lake type how it was used to intercalibrate WFD boundaries from different countries.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1007/s10750-012-1390-8
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water > WA Topic 3 - Science for Water Management > WA - 3.4 - Develop novel and improved methods to enable the sustainable management of freshwaters and wetlands
CEH Sections: Watt
ISSN: 0018-8158
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: This document is the author’s final manuscript version of the journal article, incorporating any revisions agreed during the peer review process. Some differences between this and the publisher’s version remain. You are advised to consult the publisher’s version if you wish to cite from this article. The final publication is available at link.springer.com
Additional Keywords: phytoplankton, eutrophication, Europe, Water Framework Directive, trophic index, intercalibration, classification, indicator taxa
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 09 Jan 2013 11:43 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/20964

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