|Macrobenthos monitoring at the Belgian coast in 2008, in accordance with the Water Framework Directive|
Van Hoey, G.; Pecceu, E.; Derweduwen, J.; De Backer, A.; Wittoeck, J.; Hillewaert, H.; Vandendriessche, S.; Hostens, K. (2009). Macrobenthos monitoring at the Belgian coast in 2008, in accordance with the Water Framework Directive. ILVO: Belgium. 101 pp.
|Project|| Top | Authors |
- Macrobenthos monitoring van de Belgische Kust met betrekking tot het uitvoeren van de Kaderrichtlijn Water, more
|Authors|| || Top |
- Van Hoey, G., more
- Pecceu, E., more
- Derweduwen, J.
- De Backer, A., more
- Wittoeck, J., more
- Hillewaert, H., more
- Vandendriessche, S., more
- Hostens, K., more
The Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EG) of the European Parliament and of the
Council aims to achieve a good ecological and chemical quality status for all water types by
2015. The quality status of a water body can be determined based on the evaluation of
biological, chemical and hydro-morphological quality elements. The evaluation of those
quality elements is based on the integration of well defined biological quality criteria. Each
of these quality criteria supports a classification (bad, poor, moderate, good and high)
aiming to measure the ‘health’ of the system compared to reference conditions.
This report describes the monitoring and ecological quality status determination of the
quality element benthic invertebrates for the Belgian coastal waters (<1 nautical mile). The
evaluation tool for benthos is the Benthic Ecosystem Quality Index (BEQI), which aims to
provide a signal that is capable of showing significant deviations from a defined reference
state. An important aspect within the BEQI is the use of the habitat approach, which
presumes that there is a habitat typology within the water body. The habitat typology for
the Belgian coast includes (1) Abra alba habitat (muddy fine sand), (2) Nephtys cirrosa
habitat (well sorted medium sand), (3) Macoma balthica habitat (mud).
These three habitats were sampled in the western, central and eastern zones of the Belgian
coast in autumn 2007 and 2008, with an adequate sampling effort to obtain a reliable
ecological status evaluation. The samples were taken randomly at 9 (2007) or 11 locations
(2008). They were linked to one of the three habitat types based on a combination of a
cluster analysis and a SIMPROF analysis to define the significant biological groups within the
data. The cluster groups were linked to the habitat types based on the benthic and
sedimentological characteristics of the cluster groups. The samples assigned to one of the
habitats within each zone (western, central, eastern) of the Belgian coast were used for the
ecological status evaluation with the BEQI.
The overall ecological status of benthos along the Belgian coast was evaluated as good, with
a moderate status in some habitats and zones (the Macoma balthica habitat in the eastern
zone; the Abra alba habitat in the western and central zone). The ecological status
evaluation shows similar results for both years, except in the central zone. This can be
related to a better coverage of the habitats within the heterogeneous central zone during
the monitoring campaign of 2008.