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TestWat - Macroinvertebrates and macrophytes of freshwater bodies in Flanders, Belgium
Denys L, Packet J (2016). TestWat - Macroinvertebrates and macrophytes of freshwater bodies in Flanders, Belgium. Version 25.5. Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO). Occurrence Dataset
Contact: Packet, Jo

Access data
Archived data
Availability: CC0 To the extent possible under law, the person who associated CC0 with this dataset has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to this dataset.

Notes: To allow anyone to use this dataset, we have released the data to the public domain under a Creative Commons Zero waiver. We would appreciate however, if you read and follow these norms for data use and provide a link to the original dataset whenever possible. If you use these data for a scientific paper, please cite the dataset following the applicable citation norms and/or consider us for co-authorship. We are always interested to know how you have used or visualized the data, or to provide more information, so please contact us via the contact information provided in the metadata, or

The dataset was created to support the development of a typology of freshwaterbodies in Flanders. more

Freshwater bodies perform a very important role in the ecological network and they are of great importance for biodiversity conservation. Because of their quick response to local and regional changes in environmental conditions, they are sensitive indicators of ongoing processes. Many users of these freshwater bodies need (or need to develop) a certain ecological quality. To optimize the ecological function of lentic freshwater systems a good understanding of their condition and occurring changes is needed and a specific reference situation is required. A classification that leans on a broad ecological base is essential. To have, in the future, a more objective and effective way to perform nature conservation, to prioritize nature development ect, we need to map the different types of freshwater bodies. We also need more knowledge related to environmental circumstances who can secure sustainable development of aquatic communities. The main objective of this study include the simplification of the main variety of permanent lentic freshwater systems in Flanders into workable units for environmental assessment, management and planning. A hierarchic typology will be worked out, based on biotic and ecological characteristics of key factors. The data collected in this context they are also important for determining the ongoing ecological status of still waters and to develop specific targets and a pragmatic evaluation method.
Geographic coverage: Flanders has a temperate maritime climate influenced by the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, with relatively moderate summers and mild winters. Flanders is the northern part of Belgium. The two main geographical regions of Flanders are the Yser basin, in the North-West and the central plain. Flanders is divided in 6 ecoregions (Dunes district; Kempens district; Loam district; River Maas; Polder district, Sand and Loam district).
Taxonomic coverage: All records in this dataset are macroinvertebrates (Animalia) or macrophytes (Plantae) and most are identified to species. The top 3 recorded species are the plants Lycopus europaeus (2%), Phragmites australis (2%), and Juncus effusus (2%).
Sampling methods: Field samples and grab samples AQEM procedure.
Study Extent: Freshwaterbodies in Flanders.
Quality Control: Checked.
Additional information: The datasets is created under the Flemish Impulse Programme for Nature Development Introduction VLINA gives a serious stimulant to the research on nature conservation and improvement and development of the habitat of endangered of vulnerable species in Flanders. VLINA started 5 years ago and gave a financial impulse to innovative ecological and human-scientific research projects which had a maximum length of 3 years (see table). The total budget for the VLINA program was set on 500 million BEF or € 12.39 million. During the five years a total of 42 research projects was financed. Table: The number and the length of the projects Year Number of projects Project length 1996 6 3 years 1997 6 3 years 1998 4 3 years 1999 8 2 years 2000 18 1 years Total 42 5 years Based on a critical evaluation of existing scientific results from current research programs in Flanders as well as in Europe, the Board of Directors of the VLINA formulated the gaps in information for improving the ecological diversity in Flanders. The selected topics with a particular interest for the Flemish context were the following. Indicators of biodiversity and regulation in relation to human influence. We need simple and objective indicators for monitoring the ecological value of habitats and changes over time and over space. We also need to know more on the impact of human activities on the maintenance and survival of species and populations, especially the endangered ones, in Flanders. Ecological aspects of nature conservation. More knowledge should be acquired on how to improve the management of our nature reserves as a better buffer and to obtain higher values of the environment. Practical links to other land-use forms such as farming and forestry are priority issues. Habitat fragmentation. Due to the intensive use of land in Flanders, fragmentation of habitats is a serious problem. Research on genetic loss in small and isolated populations and how to improve passage and connection ways is of great interest. Ecohydrological aspects. In many cases semi-natural ecosystems are linked to artificial hydrological dynamics of periodic flooding. More information is needed on the relationship between soil and water properties on one hand and nature quality on the other. Sociological aspects of nature conservation. The values associated with biodiversity are not easily expressed in terms of economic value but are the result of the importance we assign to it. Which conflicts exists between the different actors and how can we improve the respect for nature in Flanders? The perceptions and attitudes of different social groups have to be studied. What is the effect of the different regulations on nature quality? What is the effect of nature-education? Does there exist an 'optimal mix' of instruments for nature conservation? Researchers The VLINA projects were carried out by the Flemish research institutes, the Institute for Nature Conservation and the Institute for Forest and Wildlife Management, universities, NGOs and others. Organisation The Board of Directors of VLINA is trusted with the scientific guiding of the Impulse Programme. This Board of Directors works in close collaboration with the operational VLINA-cell. This cell is responsible for the daily administration of the Impulse Programme. Every project has a steering committee, which is responsible for an optimal follow-up of the project. Research networks One of the objectives of VLINA was to establish new research networks. All projects are a collaboration of several VLINA-partners. They sample, process and interpret the data together. They also have some collective publications. Availability The summaries of all VLINA projects can be found in the GMO-database and on the website of the Nature Division ( The final reports of the VLINA projects can be asked at the operational VLINA-cell.
The publication of this dataset was supported by the INBO as part of the Flemish contribution to LifeWatch.

Biology > Invertebrates, Biology > Plants
Fresh water, Observation, Belgium, Flanders, ,

Geographical coverage
Belgium, Flanders [Marine Regions]

Temporal coverage
5 May 1998 - 21 September 1999

Taxonomic coverage

Occurrence of biota

Vlaamse overheid; Beleidsdomein Omgeving; Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek (INBO), moredata creator

LifeWatch: Flemish contribution to, more

Used in this dataset
Denys, L. (2009). Een a posteriori typologie van stilstaande wateren in Vlaanderen. Rapport van het Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek, 2009(39). [S.n.]: Brussel. , more

Dataset status: Completed
Data type: Data
Data origin: Monitoring: field survey
Metadatarecord created: 2017-06-27
Information last updated: 2022-07-28
All data in the Integrated Marine Information System (IMIS) is subject to the VLIZ privacy policy