Title: Scientific Validation of European Common Boundaries Set During the WFD Intercalibration Exercise by Means of an International Dataset on Benthic Invertebrate Communities
Citation: HYDROBIOLOGIA vol. 633 p. 17-31
Publisher: SPRINGER
Publication Year: 2009
JRC N°: JRC51087
ISSN: 0018-8158
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC51087
DOI: 10.1007/s10750-009-9873-y
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The Water Framework Directive requests that all water bodies be protected and enhanced in order to achieve Good Ecological Status by 2015. The intercalibration of the biological monitoring results of Member States has to be carried out in relation to classification tasks, in order to guarantee a common understanding of ¿Good Status¿ at a European level. An intercalibration exercise was carried out within the framework of different Geographical Intercalibration Groups (GIGs), grouping countries together that share the same river types and geographical contexts. By means of the intercalibration exercise common European boundaries are proposed for river invertebrate assessment methods, within each GIG. The purpose of this study is to validate the boundaries proposed for the formal intercalibration exercise using a benchmark dataset comprising data collected in different European countries that satisfy WFD requirements. Such data provide evidence of a high degree of comparability among countries and includes a set of reference sites. The STAR Intercalibration Common metric index (STAR_ICMi) was calculated for benchmark samples selected as the index in which national assessment boundaries are expressed for the intercalibration exercise in two GIGs. For the STAR_ICMi the coefficient of variation was also calculated, demonstrating a comparable variability with indices that are based on a species level identification. A fixed percentile of reference samples STAR_ICMi values were selected as the boundary between High and Good status. The range from this fixed percentile to the lowest possible value was divided into four equal parts in order to obtain the remaining class boundaries. The resulting High/Good and Good/Moderate boundaries were compared to the boundaries proposed by GIGs and proved to be in line with those defined in the intercalibration exercise. The process of validation explained in the present paper, or similar ones, can be an important step forward. Infact, even if for the intercalibration exercise some procedures to check the MS datasets where put into practice, at the end it was fully up to Member States to guarantee for the WFD compliancy of their reference conditions and methods.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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