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Method: German Assessment System for Macrophytes and Phytobenthos for the WFD [Deutsches Bewertungsverfahren für Makrophyten & Phytobenthos nach EG-WRRL]

1. General information

1.01 GIG: Alpine, Central-Baltic
Relevant intercalibration types: L-AL3, L-AL4
1.02 Category: Lakes
1.03 BQE: Benthic Diatoms, Macrophytes, Other Phytobenthos
1.04 Country: Germany
1.05 Specification: n.a.
1.06 Method name: German Assessment System for Macrophytes and Phytobenthos for the WFD
1.07 Original name:
Deutsches Bewertungsverfahren für Makrophyten & Phytobenthos nach EG-WRRL
1.08 Status: Method is/will be used in First RBMP (2009), Second RBMP (2015)
1.09 Detected pressure(s):
Eutrophication, General degradation, Habitat destruction Specification of pressure-impact-relationship:
The diatom assessment is calibrated against TP-data. The Macrophyte index relates to the TP concentration by R2=0.83 (Melzer et al. 1986).
Yes, with quantitative data (e.g. against range of sites reflecting continuous gradient of pressure).
1.10 Internet reference:
1.11 Pertinent literature of mandatory character:
LAWA-AO, 2006. RaKon Monitoring Teil B. Arbeitspapier III: Untersuchungsverfahren für biologische Qualitätskomponenten. Ständiger Ausschuss "Oberflächengewässer und Küstengewässer" der Bund/ Länder-Arbeitsgemeinschaft Wasser (LAWA-AO).
1.12 Scientific literature:
Schaumburg, J., U. Schmedtje, C. Schranz, B. Köpf, S. Schneider, P. Meilinger, D. Stelzer, G. Hofmann, A. Gutowski & J. Foerster, 2004. Erarbeitung eines ökologischen Bewertungsverfahrens für Flieszgewässer und Seen im Teilbereich Makrophyten und Phytobenthos zur Umsetzung der EU-Wasserrahmenrichtlinie. ? Bayerisches Landesamt für Wasserwirtschaft, Abschlussbericht an das Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (FKZ 0330033) und die Länderarbeitsgemeinschaft Wasser (Projekt Nr. O 11.03), 635. p., Muenchen.
Schaumburg, J., C. Schranz, G. Hofmann, D. Stelzer, S. Schneider & U. Schmedtje, 2004. Macrophytes and phytobenthos as indicators of ecological status in German lakes ? a contribution to the implementation of the Water Framework Directive. Limnologica 34: 302?31.
Schaumburg, J., U. Schmedtje, C. Schranz, B. Köpf, S. Schneider, P. Meilinger, D. Stelzer, G. Hofmann, A. Gutowski & J. Foerster, 2005. Bewertungsverfahren Makrophyten & Phytobenthos, Flieszgewässer- und Seenbewertung in Deutschland nach EGWRRL. Informationsberichte des Bayerischen Landesamtes für Wasserwirtschaft, Heft 1/05: 24 p., Muenchen.
Schaumburg, J., U. Schmedtje, C. Schranz, B. Köpf, S. Schneider, P. Meilinger, D. Stelzer, G. Hofmann, A. Gutowski & J. Foerster, 2005.
Makrophyten und Phytobenthos in Flüssen und Seen ? Das deutsche Bewertungsverfahren: Entwicklung, Praxistest und Ausblick. In Feld, R. & F. Sommerhäuser (eds), Typologie, Bewertung, Management von Oberflächengewässern, Stand der Forschung zur Umsetzung der EG-Wasserrahmenrichtlinie. Limnologie aktuell: Band 11: 63-75, Stuttgart.
Stelzer, D., S. Schneider & A.Melzer, 2005.
Macrophyte based assessment of lakes - a contribution to the implementation of the European Water Framework Directive in Germany. In Rev. Hydrobiol. 90 (2): 223-237.
1.13 Method developed by: Jochen Schaumburg, Christine Schranz, Doris Stelzer, Gabriele Hofmann
Email of developer:
Institute of developer: Bavarian Environment Agency LfU
1.14 Method reported by: Christine Schranz
Email of person reporting the method:
Email of institute reporting the method: Bavarian Environment Agency LfU
1.15 Comments: none

2. Data acquisition

Field sampling/surveying

2.01 Sampling/Survey guidelines:
Schaumburg, J., C. Schranz, D. Stelzer & G. Hofmann, 2007. Action Instructions for the ecological Evaluation of Lakes for Implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive: Makrophytes and Phytobenthos.
2.02 Short description:
All macrophytes of one transect are registered, determined at species-level and calculated the abundance of each taxon.
A minimum of five cobbles are taken all over the transect, depth about 50 to 100 cm. The biofilm is taken from those cobbles with a spoon.
2.03 Method to select the sampling/survey site or area: n.a. Other method to select the sampling/survey site or area:
Expert knowledge, including the knowledge of plane survey sheets, surveys of the waterbody in the years before
2.04 Sampling/survey device: Brush, Spoon
Other macrophyte sampling device: diving or rake and aquascope
Any other sampling device: diving or rake and aquascope
2.05 Specification:
Macrophytes: a rake with tines on two sides of the stick, weighted, fastened on a rope with marks each meter.
Phytobenthos: spoon, sharpened on one side or toothbrush, cleaned solid after each sample.
2.06 Sampled/surveyed habitat:
Specification of sampled habitat:
The complete surveying site from shore to the end of macrophyte expansion in the depth
Sampled habitat: Single habitat(s)
2.07 Sampled/surveyed zones in areas with tidal influence: not relevant
2.08 Sampling/survey month(s): Summer, July until middle of August
2.09 Number of sampling/survey occasions (in time) to classify site or area: One occasion per sampling season
2.10 Number of spatial replicates per sampling/survey occasion to classify site or area: 1
2.11 Total sampled/surveyed area or volume or total sampling duration to classify site or area:
Specified above

Sample processing

2.12 Minimum size of organisms sampled and processed: ca. 2 µm length
2.13 Sample treatment:

Diatoms: after chemical oxidation of the material 500 objects of diatoms are determined and enumerated
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: Abundance classes, Individual counts
Abundance is related to: Area
Unit of the record of abundance: abundance-class after Kohler 1987 and number of individuals
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:
RI = [(∑QAi-∑QCi)/(∑QGi)] * 100
RI = Reference-Index
QAi = Quantity of reference indicator taxa
QCi = Quantity of disturbance indicator taxa
QGi = Total quantity of all indicative taxa

Total quantity of selected taxa
Depth limit of macrophyte expansion
Total quantity of macrophytes

Total abundance of aerophilous benthic diatom taxa
Trophic-Index (Hofmann 1999)
Trophic Index (Schönfelder 2005)
Ratio of reference taxa
3.02 Does the metric selection differ between types of water bodies: Yes
3.03 Combination rule for multi-metrics: Average metric scores, Mean quality class
Other rules:
average for assess one site, mean quality class for assessing the waterbody
3.04 From which biological data are the metrics calculated:
List of biological metrics: Data from single sampling/survey occasion 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, Expert knowledge, Historical data, Modelling (extrapolating model results)
Other reference source: sediment-cores
3.07 Reference site characterisation:
Number of sites: typespecific all undisturbed sites in which were available
Geographical coverage: typespecific all undisturbed sites in which were available
Location of sites: typespecific all undisturbed sites in which were available
Data time period: summer and autumn, all data from reference; sites since 1990
The appropriate experts had to deliver reference conditions for the sites, in addition the chemical, physical and structural parameters had to show an undisturbed situation, also the environs of the sites.
3.08 Reference community description:
The reference community should be dominated by the type specific defined species group "reference-species" A (macrophytes and phytobenthos-diatoms). E.g. macrophytes in alpine lakes with cobbles and rocks as a dominating sediment: mostly oligotrophic mosses, some characeae, only a few potamogeton-species and some others are in species group A.
3.09 Results expressed as EQR: Yes

Boundary setting

3.10 Setting of ecological status boundaries:
Calibrated against pre-classified sampling sites
High-good boundary derived from metric variability at near-natural reference sites
3.11 Boundary setting procedure:
The boundaries were set at the zones of distinct changings of the biocoenosis (macrophytes and diatoms), and depend on indicator species lists derived from nutrient dependent TI (diatoms).
3.12 "Good status" community:
Type-specific reference species and tolerant species are still dominant, pressure indicators are rare = slightly deviation from high status (WFD normative definitions)


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

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