Use of Biotic Indices in semi-enclosed coastal ecosystems and transitional waters habitats - Implications for the implementation of the European Water Framework Directive

Abstract : This study deals with the application of macrozoobenthos-based biotic indices (BI) within the frame of the implementation of the European Water Framework Directive. More precisely, this study aimed at assessing the performance of five recently developed methodologies (BI) for the assessment of ecological quality status (EcoQ) in two semi-enclosed, sheltered coastal ecosystems and in one transitional water body situated along the Western French coast, namely Marennes-Oléron Bay, Arcachon Bay, and the Seine Estuary. This study showed that these five indices rarely agreed with each other, describing very different pictures of the overall EcoQ of the three study sites. This work also clearly underlined the limitations of these approaches, notably the dependency of most of these BI and the resulting EcoQ classifications on habitat characteristics, more particularly to natural levels of sediment silt–clay content and the location of stations in the subtidal or the intertidal. The implication of our observations concerning the use of these BI for implementation of the WFD is discussed in terms of definition of habitat-specific reference conditions and necessity to adjust thresholds to the particular habitat occurring in semi-enclosed ecosystems. Meanwhile, the unmodified use of these BI severely impaired accurate assessment of EcoQ and decision-making on the managers’ point of view.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00481039
Contributor : Valerie Plouvin <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, May 5, 2010 - 5:36:30 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, April 20, 2019 - 1:53:39 AM

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  • HAL Id : hal-00481039, version 1

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Hugues Blanchet, Nicolas Lavesque, Thierry Ruellet, Jean-Claude Dauvin, Pierre-Guy Sauriau, et al.. Use of Biotic Indices in semi-enclosed coastal ecosystems and transitional waters habitats - Implications for the implementation of the European Water Framework Directive. Ecological Indicators, Elsevier, 2008, pp.360-372. ⟨hal-00481039⟩

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