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Method: Improvement of the Hungarian ecological water qualification system - Phytobenthos in Lakes [A magyarországi ökológiai minosítési rendszer továbbfejlesztése, fitobentosz]

1. General information

1.01 GIG: Eastern Continental
1.02 Category: Lakes
1.03 BQE: Benthic Diatoms
1.04 Country: Hungary
1.05 Specification:
1.06 Method name:
Improvement of the Hungarian ecological water qualification system - Phytobenthos in Lakes
1.07 Original name:
A magyarországi ökológiai minosítési rendszer továbbfejlesztése, fitobentosz
1.08 Status: Method is/will be used in First RBMP (2009)
1.09 Detected pressure(s):
Eutrophication, General degradation, Pollution by organic compounds (e.g. DDT, PCB), Pollution by organic matter Pressure-impact-relationship: No, pressure-impact relationship has not been tested.
1.10 Internet reference: n.a.
1.11 Pertinent literature of mandatory character:
Acs, E., 2007. A Velencei-to bevonatlako algainak ter- es idobeli valtozasa, kapcsolata a to okologiai allapotaval. (Spatial and temporal change of epiphytic algae and their connection with the ecological condition of shallow lake Velencei-to (Hungary). Acta Biologica Debrecina Oecologica Hungarica 17, Hydrobiological Monographs 1: 9-111.
Acs, E., G. Borics, G. Feher, K.T. Kiss, M.N. Reskone, M. Nagy, C. Stenger-Kovacs, A. Toth & G. Varbiro, 2009. A fitobentosz elolenycsoport zarojelentese az okologiai minositesi rendszer tovabbfejleszteserol 10.
1.12 Scientific literature:
Acs, E., B. Bolla, G. Borics, K.T. Kiss, M.N. Reskone, M. Nagy, C. Stenger-Kovacs & G. Varbro, NN. Recommendations for ecological status assessment of lake balaton (largest shallow lake of central europe), based on benthic diatom communities. ? submitted paper (Vie Milieau).
1.13 Method developed by: Eva Acs and Gabor Borics
Email of developer:,
Institute of developer:
Hungarian Danube Research Station, Environmental Protection, Nature Conservation and Water Authority of Transtiszanian Region
1.14 Method reported by: Dr. Eva Acs
Email of person reporting the method:
Email of institute reporting the method: Hungarian Danube Research Station of Hung. Acad. Sci., Göd
1.15 Comments: none

2. Data acquisition

Field sampling/surveying

2.01 Sampling/Survey guidelines:
Acs, E. & K. Szabo, 2004. Bentikus algak gyujtese es feldolgozasa (Collection and investigation methods for benthic algae). In Acs, E. & K.T. Kiss (eds), Algologiai praktikum. (Algological practice). ELTE Eötvös Kiado, Budapest: 35-46.
2.02 Short description:
Cut across the reed-stem with a strong clipper at the water surface, then cutting across the underwater-section as well, remove the substrate, and cut a 10-20 cm long underwater section of the stem into a labelled bottle. After collecting 5 stems, put a little bit of tap water into the bottle, so that the biofilm could rest in a moist place, and close the bottle. Samples should be kept in a cool, dry place until transporting to laboratory. It is suggested to wash out the biofilm in the laboratory. To wash out the biofilm, put the stems into a Petri-dish filled with few tap water, and rub the coating from the surface (one by one) with the help of a brush. Wash out the substrate and pour the suspension into a labelled bottle.
2.03 Method to select the sampling/survey site or area: Random sampling/surveying
2.04 Sampling/survey device: Brush
2.05 Specification: clipper
2.06 Sampled/surveyed habitat:
Specification of sampled habitat: Reed stems
Sampled habitat: Single habitat(s)
2.07 Sampled/surveyed zones in areas with tidal influence: Both tidal zones
2.08 Sampling/survey month(s): June to October
2.09 Number of sampling/survey occasions (in time) to classify site or area: One
2.10 Number of spatial replicates per sampling/survey occasion to classify site or area: 5
2.11 Total sampled/surveyed area or volume or total sampling duration to classify site or area:
5 x 30=150 cm2

Sample processing

2.12 Minimum size of organisms sampled and processed: every diatom
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: Relative abundance
Abundance is related to: Area
Unit of the record of abundance: number of valves per 400 valves
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 indicator and sensitivity values for organic material and nutrients (diatom indices calculated by OMNIDIA and self-developed program)
3.02 Does the metric selection differ between types of water bodies: Yes
3.03 Combination rule for multi-metrics: Average metric scores
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: Expert knowledge, Least Disturbed Conditions
3.07 Reference site characterisation:
Number of sites: n.a.
Geographical coverage: n.a.
Location of sites: n.a.
Data time period: n.a.
It was practically impossible to find reference conditions, so we used the so called "Least Disturbed" Sites for boundary setting.
3.08 Reference community description: n.a.
3.09 Results expressed as EQR: Yes

Boundary setting

3.10 Setting of ecological status boundaries: Equidistant division of the EQR gradient
3.11 Boundary setting procedure:
We calculated the median of the used diatom index in every type. This median was the H/G boundary. If within a type there was any pressure, the H/G boundary was the median minus 1, if within a type there were multiply pressures, the H/G boundary was the median minus 2. The rest was devided into four equal parts.
3.12 "Good status" community:
At good status stands of the sensitive taxa are well developed. They are dominant, but significantly decreasing at the good-moderate boundary and replaced by tolerant taxa. The median of the index values of the selected LDC sites were considered as high/good (H/G) class boundaries.


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

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