INHABIT project

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Home Themes & Results Innovative measures (I3) Lakes results - Group of actions I3

Results of action group I3 for lakes

Lakes - Relations between hydromorphological characteristics and biological elements

National standards were used to sample the four quality parameters (phytoplankton, macrophytes, macroinvertebrates and fish fauna), and the Lake Habitat Survey (LHS) to collect information on hydromorphology and habitat. Statistical analyses of the collected data and of the relationships between biological and hydromorphological data, showed that:

  • human pressures along the coast does not particularly affect macroinvertebrate assemblages, but there are some (not statistically significant) relationships between the BQIES quality index and hydromorphological variables;
  • fish fauna is more related to chemical than to hydromorphological variables, but fish abundance is correlated to the morphology of the littoral zone;
  • macrophytes species composition is related to the shore substrate, land cover of the bank and of the shore.

A detailed description in detail of the analyses performed are reported in deliverable I3d1: LAKES.


Lakes - Local variability and proposals for effective measures to restore the ecological quality

Lake Habitat Survey provides summary information on the quality of habitat and hydromorphological alterations and can be used for defining human pressures in the riparian zone and the shore, as well as for the identification and protection of particular habitats detected during its application.
It can also provide useful information for the definition and implementation of effective actions to mitigate and restore the ecological quality, particularly if associated with the collection of biological information.
In this context it would be appropriate to consider the application of the LHS in order to obtain additional elements to give a better understanding of the ecological status for the preparation of the Management Plans.
The biological methods to define the ecological quality of lakes developed so far are more sensitive to the trophic status than to hydrologic and morphologic alterations, and they need to be refined to consider this latter aspect.
Innovative measures for lake management can be developed considering that the littoral areas are very important for the intensity of the impacts and the loss of ecological quality, and that the preservation of their habitats and their diversity is crucial for sustaining ecosystem services and a high biodiversity.
In addition, improvement actions should be designed to reduce diffuse loads from arable catchments, in particular in small lakes, to improve the ecological quality and to ameliorate the adaptation to climate change.
In conclusion, to fill the existing gaps in the River Basin Management Plans, regarding the lakes, we need:

  • to perform all required monitoring campaigns, for all quality parameters;
  • to gather information simultaneously on hydromorphological and physico-chemical parameters;
  • to investigate the relationships between human pressures (chemical and hydromorphological ) and impacts on biocoenoses, whether riparian or littoral.

Further insights into the classification of ecological status , the variability of local habitat and the proposed new measures to restore the ecological quality of lakes are reported in deliverable I3d2.
Furthermore, the results of the project INHABIT can be used as a basis and an example to enhance the knowledge of other lakes and the overall quality of the Basin Plans.
Guidelines on how to implement new measures to facilitate the achievement of good ecological status in 2015 can also be found in the deliverable I3d4_EN.