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Ecological quality and functioning of shallow lake ecosystems with respect to the needs of the european water framework directive

Objective

Problems to be solved
The many shallow lakes of Europe offer great amenity and conservation value. They are also complex systems compared with deep lakes because of the important role of higher plants in them and so pose particular problems for the implementation of the Water Framework Directive. This project will solve some of those problems. The Water Framework Directive (WFD) requires member states to distinguish ecological status of their waters compared with high quality sites. Guidelines are given in annexes to the Directive but the details of how to distinguish these statuses are not. This proposal concerns shallow lakes among the many potential lake ecotypes covered by the WFD. The WFD presently describes a large range of parameters to be sampled, both biological and chemical. The costs of carrying out such sampling may be very high and many of the measurements demand high taxonomic expertise.
Scientific objectives and approach
Our objectives are: to test the robustness of the proposed sampling frequencies given for lakes in the WFD; to determine, using palaeoecological methods, the degree of change that has taken place in each lake and to relate this change (the Ecological Quality Ratio) to the present ecological status of the lakes so that high , good, moderate or worse status can be recognised; to discover what amalgamations of ecotypes may be possible using data from this project and large, already accumulated databases; to test developments of the WFD parameters which may prove more easily comparable among different ecoregions than the proposed, largely taxonomic measures; to decide, with user groups ('competent authorities' of the Directive),the best criteria for determination of ecological status of shallow lakes within the requirements of the Widower will initially sample over sixty shallow lakes representative of Europe and measure the ecological quality of these lakes with criteria specified in the Water Framework Directive (WFD) in their most direct forms. The details of what is measured among the biological variables will be refined and tested for reproducibility, relevance and comparability among ecoregions and the data, together with already accumulated databases will be used provisionally to define ecological status for shallow lakes. Meanwhile we will develop a simple technique usable cheaply by competent authorities for determining degree of change in a given lake from a high status baseline, using short cores and parsimonious measurements of chemical and diatom indicators in contemporary, compared with deep sediments. These techniques and conclusions will be then retested on a second set of lakes.
Expected impacts
We will develop a usable system and simplified classification of shallow lakes that can be practically implemented through the WFD by competent authorities.

The many shallow lakes of Europe offer great amenity and conservation value. They are also complex systems compared with deep lakes because of the important role of higher plants in them and so pose particular problems for the implementation of the Water Framework Directive. This project will solve some of those problems.

The Water Framework Directive (WFD) requires member states to distinguish ecological status of their waters compared with high quality sites. Guidelines are given in annexes to the Directive but the details of how to distinguish these statuses are not. This proposal concerns shallow lakes among the many potential lake ecotypes covered by the WFD. The WFD presently describes a large range of parameters to be sampled, both biological and chemical. The costs of carrying out such sampling may be very high and many of the measurements demand high taxonomic expertise.

Expected impacts
We will develop a usable system and simplified classification of shallow lakes that can be practically implemented through the WFD by competent authorities.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

THE UNIVERSITY OF LIVERPOOL
Address
Crown Street, Derby Building
L69 3BX Liverpool
United Kingdom

Participants (11)

AGRICULTURAL UNIVERSITY OF LUBLIN
Poland
Address
Akademicka 13
20 950 Lublin
LUND UNIVERSITY
Sweden
Address
Ecology Building
223 62 Lund
NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE - MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY
Denmark
Address
25,Vejlsovej 25
8600 Silkeborg
ROYAL NETHERLANDS ACADEMY OF ARTS AND SCIENCE
Netherlands
Address
6,Rijksstraatweg 6
3631 AC Nieuwersluis
THE PROVOST, FELLOWS AND SCHOLARS OF THE COLLEGE OF THE HOLY AND UNDIVIDED TRINITY OF QUEEN ELIZABETH NEAR DUBLIN HEREINAFTER TRINITY COLLEGE DUBLIN
Ireland
Address
East Theatre, Trinity College , College Green
2 Dublin
UNIVERSIDAD DE LEON
Spain
Address
La Serna , 56
24071 Leon
UNIVERSITAET KONSTANZ
Germany
Address
Mainaustrasse 252
78457 Konstanz
UNIVERSITAT DE VALENCIA
Spain
Address
50,Calle Doctor Moliner 50
46100 Burjasot
UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI
Finland
Address
73,Niemenkatu 73
15140 Lahti
UNIVERSITY OF TARTU
Estonia
Address
46,Vanemuise Street 46
2400 Tartu
WAGENINGEN UNIVERSITY
Netherlands
Address
32 A,ritzema Bosweg 32 A
6700 DD Wageningen