Title: REBECCA WP4 Rivers. Deliverable D6: Report on existing methods and relationships linking pressures, chemistry and biology in rivers 
Resource Type: document --> technical publication --> report 
Country: EU Projects 
Year: 2005 
Availability: Rebecca Consortium (2005) REBECCA WP4 Rivers. Deliverable D6: Report on existing methods and relationships linking pressures, chemistry and biology in rivers. 
Author 1/Producer: Rebecca Consortium 
Author / Producer Type: EC Project 
Report / download web link (=direct link): http://www.rbm-toolbox.net/docstore/docs/3.0.D6%20report%20D ...  
EUGRIS Keyword(s): Water resources and their management -->River basins
Water resources and their management -->Water resources and their management Overview
Short description: The review of literature on relationships between physical/chemical quality elements in rivers and biological quality elements has identified thousands of publications on these issues. Therefore the first main conclusion is that there is a general and very substantial knowledge on the different types of pressures (types of pollution), on the physical and chemical characteristics and on the impacts on river plant and animal life. For all the important types of pressures studies have been made and described in the literature based on either scientific experiments or environmental monitoring. This has generated a general and widespread understanding of the general ecological impacts of the different types of pressures among both scientists and managers with the authorities. However, most studies did not cover the entire causal chain including pressures, physical/ chemical quality and biological quality. Most studies have been empirical in nature and all three elements (pressure, physical/chemical quality and biology) have almost never been treated in a quantitative manner. In the vast majority of studies one element has been assessed quantitatively while the other two elements have only been qualitatively assessed. Such studies have given us a useful understanding of general relationships, but will not enable us to establish doseresponse relationships that could be used as a tool in the implementation of the WFD. Another difficulty in establishing causal relationships from pressures to the river flora and fauna is that multiple pressures dominate in rivers in populated catchments where most pollution studies have been undertaken. Further, only limited conclusion can be made from laboratory experiments, because they can not easily be up-scaled to entire river ecosystems and catchments, and targeted, large scale scientific pollution experiments have not been made. For these reasons the quantitative relationships found in literature between the biota/biological quality indicators and physical/chemical parameters are rather few compared to the needs for the authorities implementing the Water Framework Directive. Furthermore, there is an apparent lack of studies investigating recovery processes after a stressor has been reduced or removed. This limits our ability to predict how river quality will be improved after reducing a pressure on the ecosystem. The next task of the REBECCA WP4 work on rivers is to analyse and describe these relationships based on information found in literature and especially from available monitoring results from rivers covering both biological and chemical/physical quality elements. With the very large number of possible biological quality metrics, the large number of different river types in EU and the different types of pressures this is still a very ambitious task. With the focus of producing indicators, relationships and classification tools of practical use for the authorities in their implementation of WFD two important aspects of the strategy for this work are to focus on • pressure-impact relationships with a direct linkage between the physical/chemical quality and the biota and • indicators and metrics describing the biological quality that can be rather generally applied and not limited to be useful for one or a few types of rivers. 
Link to Project(s): REBECCA Relationships between ecological and chemical status of surface waters
Submitted By: Dr Stefan Gödeke WhoDoesWhat?      Last update: 28/09/2006

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