The Danube River Basin Management Plan emphasized that the assessment of the ecological status according to the requirement of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) was a challenge for all Danube countries. WFD compliant methods for the analysis of biological quality elements (BQEs) and their assessment were applied for the first time and a lot of effort was needed to apply the new sampling methods for all BQEs, to establish appropriate classification systems and to put these new methods into practice at the national level. So far, most of the countries did not manage to use all BQEs for the ecological status assessment as required by the WFD. The key data absent were those for macrophytes as well as for phytobenthos.
The improvement of the level of the ecological status assessment in the 2nd RBM Plan can only be achieved if appropriate tools and knowledge necessary for monitoring and evaluation of BQEs will be in place. To ensure this a number of activities have to be accomplished covering upgrade of monitoring in particular the sampling techniques, improving taxonomic knowledge and further development of ecological assessment methods. As the situation concerning the ecological status assessment is critical mostly in the non-EU Member States it is apparent that the improvement of data collection and methods for evaluation of biological quality elements necessary for the assessment of the ecological status/potential shall focus on the non-EU Member States.
The training Workshop on the use of phytobenthos and macrophytes for WFD ecological status assessment has been held based on the following programme:
- general information on phytobenthos (sampling, preparation of samples, basic taxonomy, data evaluation),
- method for assessment of different types of rivers based on phytobenthos (Austria, Slovenia, Slovakia),
- general information on macrophytes (surveying, estimation of biomass, preparation of samples, basic taxonomy, data evaluation),
- method for assessment of different types of rivers based on macrophytes (Austria, Slovenia, Slovakia.
- presentation of sampling method on phytobenthos
- presentation of sampling method on macrophytes
- sampling of phytobenthos and macrophytes by participantsAssessment of the data
- Calculation of indices and evaluation of samples of macrophytes according to the Austrian, Slovenian and Slovak assessment method,
- Calculation of indices and evaluation of samples of phytobenthos according to the Austrian, Slovenian and Slovak assessment method.
The workshop was a valuable opportunity for the non-EU Member States to improve the data collection process as well as the evaluation methods of biological quality elements for the assessment of the ecological status/potential.
This workshop is supported by the EU Grant DRBMP-2012.