Assessment and recovery of European water bodies: key messages from the WISER project

Hering, Daniel; Borja, Angel; Carvalho, Laurence; Feld, Christian K.. 2013 Assessment and recovery of European water bodies: key messages from the WISER project. Hydrobiologia, 704 (1). 1-9.

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The EU-funded research project WISER (“Water bodies in Europe: Integrative Systems to assess Ecological status and Recovery”) developed new assessment methods required by the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) for lakes, coastal and transitional waters. WISER also addressed the recovery of biotic assemblages from degradation. The results are summarised in five key messages, supported by papers in this special issue and by WISER results published elsewhere: (1) Response to stress differs between organism groups, water types and stressors; a conceptual model is proposed summarising how the individual organism groups respond to different types of degradation in rivers, lakes, transitional and coastal waters. (2) The sources of uncertainty differ between BQEs and water types, leading to methodological suggestions on how to design WFD sampling programmes. (3) Results from about 300 current assessment methods indicate geographical variations in metrics but assessments are comparable at an aggregated level (“ecological status”). (4) Scale and time matter; restoration requires action at (sub)-basin levels and recovery may require decades. (5) Long-term trends require consideration; the effects of both degradation and restoration at the water body or river basin scales is increasingly superimposed by multiple stressors acting at large scales, in particular by climate change.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Watt
ISSN: 0018-8158
Additional Keywords: lakes, rivers, transitional waters, coastal waters, uncertainty, Water Framework Directive
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 27 Sep 2013 09:55 +0 (UTC)

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