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Biological water quality assessment of running waters based on macroinvertebrate communities: history and present status in Europe

You are viewing information about the paper Biological water quality assessment of running waters based on macroinvertebrate communities: history and present status in Europe.

Journal: Environ Pollut 1989/01/01
Published: 1989
Authors: Metcalfe, J. L.
Address: Rivers Research Branch, National Water Research Institute, PO Box 5050, 867 Lakeshore Road, Burlington, Ontario, Canada L7R 4A6.

This paper reviews the history and development of biological water quality assessment using macroinvertebrates in Europe, and critically evaluates each of the principal approaches used. As the biotic approach incorporates the most highly regarded features of the saprobic and diversity approaches, it has received the most attention in recent years. Most modern biotic index and score systems have evolved from the Trent Biotic Index, through a series of refinements and adaptations (i.e. the Extended Biotic Index, Chandler's Score, Indice Biotique) into the two modern systems. These methods are the Biological Monitoring Working Party System, used mainly in Great Britain, and the Belgian Biotic Index Method. The results of these techniques are now influencing policy decisions concerning surface water management in Europe, where macroinvertebrate community assessment are being used as a planning tool for managing water uses, for ambient monitoring, and for evaluating the effectiveness of pollution control measures. New research directions aimed at improving the performance of bioassessment techniques are being explored. These include defining reference communities based on stream typology which can then be used to set water quality objectives, and applying these methods to the assessment of toxic pollution.

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