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Method: Pollution Sensitivity Index [Indice de polluosensibilité]

1. General information

1.01 GIG: Central-Baltic
Relevant intercalibration types: RC1, RC4, RC5, RC6, RC3
1.02 Category: Rivers
1.03 BQE: Benthic Diatoms
1.04 Country: Belgium (Wallonia)
1.05 Specification: none
1.06 Method name: Pollution Sensitivity Index
1.07 Original name: Indice de polluosensibilité
1.08 Status: Method is/will be used in First RBMP (2009)
1.09 Detected pressure(s):
Eutrophication, Pollution by organic compounds (e.g. DDT, PCB) Specification of pressure-impact-relationship:
This relationship is showed in "Pirene-project" Fauville et al. 2004 - SPW- Belgium
Yes, with qualitative data (e.g. response at reference against impacted sites).
1.10 Internet reference: n.a.
1.11 Pertinent literature of mandatory character: n.a.
1.12 Scientific literature:
CEMAGREF, 1982. Etude des méthodes biologiques d'appréciation quantitavive de la qualité des eaux. Rapport QE Lyon Bassin Rhône-Méditerranée-Corse.
AFNOR norm NF T 90-354, 2000.
1.13 Method developed by:
Descy Jean-Pierre (1979) based on Zelinka & Marvan (1961) and Coste ( in Cemagref 1982)
Email of developer:
Institute of developer:
"Facultés Universitaires Notre Dame de la Paix à Namur- Belgique" in application of CEMAGREF 1982
1.14 Method reported by: Christine Keulen
Email of person reporting the method:
Email of institute reporting the method: Service Public de Wallonie - DEMNA - 5030 Gembloux - Belgium
1.15 Comments: none

2. Data acquisition

Field sampling/surveying

2.01 Sampling/Survey guidelines: AFNOR norm NF T 90-354 (2000).
2.02 Short description:
A sample = a lot of stones etc. selected in lotic (oxygenous) parts of the stream (height of water < 20 cm) to reach the minimum size of 100 cm2.
2.03 Method to select the sampling/survey site or area: Expert knowledge Other method to select the sampling/survey site or area: On monitoring sites selected for WFD (one site /WB)
2.04 Sampling/survey device: Brush
2.05 Specification: tooth brush
2.06 Sampled/surveyed habitat:
Specification of sampled habitat: Hard bottom
Sampled habitat: Single habitat(s)
2.07 Sampled/surveyed zones in areas with tidal influence: not relevant
2.08 Sampling/survey month(s): First: April to June, second: September to October
2.09 Number of sampling/survey occasions (in time) to classify site or area: Two occasions per sampling season
2.10 Number of spatial replicates per sampling/survey occasion to classify site or area: More than 1 to reach the minimum area size
2.11 Total sampled/surveyed area or volume or total sampling duration to classify site or area:
Minimum size of survey = 100 cm2

Sample processing

2.12 Minimum size of organisms sampled and processed: 5 µm
2.13 Sample treatment:

sub-sampling is selected to be relevant of the complete sample and to reach a minimum of 400 organisms
Sample is divided (sub-sampling) and organisms of a sub-sample are identified.
2.14 Level of taxonomical identification:
Level: Species/species groups
Specification of level of determination: n.a.
2.15 Record of abundance:
Determination of abundance: Relative abundance
Abundance is related to: Area, Volume
Unit of the record of abundance: number of organisms /total observed
Other record of abundance: organisms density
2.16 Quantification of biomass: n.a.
2.17 Other biological data: none
2.18 Special cases, exceptions, additions: none
2.19 Comments: none

3. Data evaluation


3.01 List of biological metrics:
Relative abundance of taxa with oligosaprobic valences (5 levels). Formula of Zelinka & Marvan (1961) modified by Descy (1979)
3.02 Does the metric selection differ between types of water bodies: No
3.03 Combination rule for multi-metrics: Average metric scores
3.04 From which biological data are the metrics calculated:
List of biological metrics: Aggregated data from multiple sampling/survey occasions in time

Reference conditions

3.05 Scope of reference conditions: Surface water type-specific
3.06 Key source(s) to derive reference conditions:
Scope of reference conditions: Existing near-natural reference sites, Least Disturbed Conditions
3.07 Reference site characterisation:
Number of sites: 15 sites of high status
Geographical coverage: all wallonia
Location of sites: especially in the river basins : Meuse, Rhin and Seine
Data time period: 1999(05/06/09/10) & 2000(05/06/09/10)
The reference sites were selected on basis of lower anthropic pressures; the physico-chemical quality of water is also taken in account. The sites must be in high biological status for the specific indicator.
3.08 Reference community description:
The reference communities were described following national typology for diatoms. The reference communities include very sensitive organisms.
3.09 Results expressed as EQR: Yes

Boundary setting

3.10 Setting of ecological status boundaries:
Equidistant division of the EQR gradient
High-good boundary derived from metric variability at near-natural reference sites
3.11 Boundary setting procedure:
A typology of the Wallonian streams based on diatoms composition has been settled. The presence of very sensitive organisms has been taken into account to define high status.
3.12 "Good status" community:
A good community is depending on the local typology, and the presence of sensitive organisms or families is taken into account.


3.13 Consideration of uncertainty: No (to be done)
3.14 Comments: none

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