Monitoring Methodologies for the Ecological Assessment of Lakes

Monitoring Methodologies for the Ecological Assessment of Lakes

The overall objective of the project is to gather information which will assist in selecting suitable lakes for drawing up biological reference conditions and to develop an ecological assessment protocol for lakes which can be maintained on a long-term basis as a routine part of the national lake monitoring effort. Specific objectives of the project are: The EU Water Framework Directive requires that reference conditions be established for each of the stated surface water categories. For each surface water category the waterbodies will be typed and reference conditions will be required for each type. In order to assist in establishing reference conditions for lakes a detailed sampling of the phytoplankton macrophyte and phytobenthos and macroinvertebrate populations in selected lakes is being carried out. Reference will be made to historical data on these lakes where it exists and information on catchment land use will be assembled. A monitoring protocol is being developed to be used in Ireland for the ecological assessment of lakes which will satisfy the requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive. The project will provide an estimate of the costs of establishing a long-term ecological assessment unit for Ireland. The provision of a detailed assessment of the logistics of the field and laboratory work involved in the ecological assessment of lakes will result in the presentation of an estimate of the costs of establishing an ecological assessment capability. At the end of the project it should be possible to define a fully operational ecological assessment programme for Irish lakes under the EU Water Framework Directive. The assessment teams have the capability to produce regular comprehensive reports on lake ecological status. Reporting systems will be database driven and which make extensive use of desktop GIS systems. Provision of online World Wide Web [www] reports will be an important part of the reporting.

If you want to read more about this project, you can do so at erc.epa.ie.

Environmental Protection Agency 2000-FS-1d-M1
Karol Donnelly

Keywords: Ecological Assessment; Lakes; Reference condition; Monitoring

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