You are here:Home//Results//Methods database (results)//Hungarian River Phytoplankton Index

back to overview methods

HRPI [id:]

Method: Hungarian River Phytoplankton Index [Fitoplankton alapú folyóvízi minosíto rendszer]

1. General information

1.01 GIG: Eastern Continental
Relevant intercalibration types: n.a.
1.02 Category: Rivers
1.03 BQE: Phytoplankton
1.04 Country: Hungary
1.05 Specification: none
1.06 Method name: Hungarian River Phytoplankton Index
1.07 Original name:
Fitoplankton alapú folyóvízi minosíto rendszer
1.08 Status: Method is/will be used in First RBMP (2009)
1.09 Detected pressure(s):
Eutrophication, Flow modification, Impact of alien species, Pollution by organic matter Specification of pressure-impact-relationship:
Phytoplankton data (394) from 104 HU rivers (including all HU river types) were examined to establish pressure-impact relationship between the HRPI and the stressors indicating nutrient and organic load. The relationship showed significant correlation with the measures of organic pollution (BOD, COD, Oxygen saturation). R2 values ranging from 0.20 to 0.37 depending on river type. Significant relationship was not observed with the inorganic nutrients.
Yes, with quantitative data (e.g. against range of sites reflecting continuous gradient of pressure).
1.10 Internet reference: n.a.
1.11 Pertinent literature of mandatory character:
A felszini vizek biologiai minositesenek tovabbfejlesztese, VGT Hatteranyag. Development of ecological state assessment of waters, WBMP ("grey literature").
1.12 Scientific literature:
Acs, E. & K.T. Kiss, 2009. Improvement of the ecological water qualification system of rivers based on first results of the Hungarian phytobenthos and phytoplankton surveillance monitoring ISUAMR 2009: 7th Symposium "Use of Algae For monitoring Rivers".
Borics, G., G. Varbiro, I. Grigorszky, E. Krasznai, S. Szabo & K.T. Kiss, 2007. A new evaluation technique of potamo-plankton for the assessment of the ecological status of rivers. Large Rivers Vol. 17, No. 3-4 Arch. Hydrobiol. Suppl. 161 (3-4): 465-486.
1.13 Method developed by: Gábor Borics
Email of developer:
Institute of developer:
Environmental Protection Nature Consevation and Water Inspectorate, Trans Tisanian Region
1.14 Method reported by: Gabor Borics
Email of person reporting the method:
Email of institute reporting the method:
Environmental Protection Nature Consevation and Water Inspectorate, Trans Tisanian Region
The first article deals with the composition metric, the second (oral presentation ) with the biomass metric and the way of combination. These (hopefully) will be published in the Hydrobiologia. (Dead line of submission is 31th December 2009).

2. Data acquisition

Field sampling/surveying

2.01 Sampling/Survey guidelines:
MSZ EN 15204, 2006. Vizminoseg. Utmutato szabvany a fitoplanktonok inverz mikroszkopias szamlalasara (Utermoehl-technika).
2.02 Short description:
10 litres of water is taken from the thalweg. After mixing 0.33l sample is taken, and fixed on the spot by Lugol's solution.
2.03 Method to select the sampling/survey site or area: n.a.
2.04 Sampling/survey device: Water sampler
2.05 Specification: none
2.06 Sampled/surveyed habitat:
Specification of sampled habitat: From the thalweg of the river
Sampled habitat: n.a.
2.07 Sampled/surveyed zones in areas with tidal influence: not relevant
2.08 Sampling/survey month(s): April to October
2.09 Number of sampling/survey occasions (in time) to classify site or area: 6
2.10 Number of spatial replicates per sampling/survey occasion to classify site or area: n.a.
2.11 Total sampled/surveyed area or volume or total sampling duration to classify site or area:
10 l

Sample processing

2.12 Minimum size of organisms sampled and processed: n.a.
2.13 Sample treatment:
Organisms of the complete 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: Individual counts
Abundance is related to: Volume
Unit of the record of abundance: mg/l
2.16 Quantification of biomass: Chlorophyll-a concentration, Utermöhl technique
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:
The proposed formula for calculating the Hungarian River Phytoplankton Index is:


HRPI: Hungarian River Phytoplankton Index
NChla: Normalised chl-a metric
NQr: Normalised composition metric
3.02 Does the metric selection differ between types of water bodies: No
3.03 Combination rule for multi-metrics: Weighted 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: Site-specific
3.06 Key source(s) to derive reference conditions:
Scope of reference conditions:
Existing near-natural reference sites, Least Disturbed Conditions, Modelling (extrapolating model results)
3.07 Reference site characterisation:
Number of sites: 93
Geographical coverage: The whole area of Hungary
Location of sites: The whole area of Hungar
Data time period: 1993-2006
No off-river and in-channel reservoirs on the watershed. The species composition is close to those proposed by the model (Borics et al. 2007). Minimal organic pollution.
3.08 Reference community description:
Dominance of A, B, C, D, TIB (Borics et al. 2007), functional groups in different ratio, depending on river type.
3.09 Results expressed as EQR: Yes

Boundary setting

3.10 Setting of ecological status boundaries:
High-good boundary derived from metric variability at near-natural reference sites
3.11 Boundary setting procedure:
The functional groups of algae were evaluated on basis of their ecological characteristics. Nutrient status, tolerance of turbulent conditions, time sufficient for development of the given assemblage and general risk. All the groups were given a factor number (1-5). All the boundaries were set by the relative abundance of the reference (F=5) and good (F=4) taxa. These ratios were different in every river type.
3.12 "Good status" community:
Dominance of A, B, C, D, TIB (Borics et al. 2007) functional groups, in different ratio, depending on river type. Other groups can also be abundant.


3.13 Consideration of uncertainty: Yes
Specification of uncertainty consideration:
The uncertainty was characterised with a number between (low 3; medium 2; high 1). The HU index is composed of two metrics. Using the proposed standards the analytical uncertainty (chl-a measurements, species identification and counting) is minimal. The main source of uncertainty is the lack of one of the metrics and the low number of samples per year. There were three categories for sample numbers and two for the metrics. In the first step the uncertainty was estimated by the sample number depending on the sample number the site was given into one of the category. In the second step the number of metrics were considered. If all the metrics were measured in every cases, the site remained in the category proposed by the sample number. If one of the metric was missing, the uncertainty increased by 1.
If the uncertainty was high the managers proposed additional monitoring for the site in the RBMP.

back to overview methods

WISER: "Water bodies in Europe: Integrative Systems to assess Ecological status and Recovery"
Online: [date: 2019/05/24]
© 2019 WISER (Contract No. 226273). All rights reserved.