• epiphytic macroinvertebrates;
  • shallow lakes;
  • ecological status;
  • bioindicators;
  • EC Water Framework Directive


  • 1.
    The EC Water Framework Directive requires that Member States assess the ecological quality of their water bodies on the basis of a wide set of variables, including benthic invertebrates.
  • 2.
    The aim of the study was to find one or more faunistic indices that could be related to ecological status of shallow lakes, independent of different macrophyte types.
  • 3.
    Six invertebrate indices were calculated from abundance and biomass data in 10 Spanish shallow lakes: total abundance and biomass, Shannon's index, percentage of predators, percentage of Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera and Trichoptera, Orthocladiinae as a percentage of the total Chironomidae, and Chironominae as a percentage of the whole macroinvertebrate community. Taxon richness was also calculated.
  • 4.
    Differences in the values of indices across different macrophyte types were explored by means of a one-way analysis of variance. Significant differences were occasionally found when indices were calculated from biomass data. Total abundance was also significantly different across some architecture types.
  • 5.
    No significant correlations were found between the overall values of the indices for each lake and the environmental variables measured (ecological status, total nitrogen, total phosphorus, chlorophyll a concentrations, dynamics of the water flow, and naturalness of the shore), except in the case of total biomass.
  • 6.
    Values of indices were plotted (box plots) to detect potential differences between lakes of different ecological status. None of the index values was clearly related to ecological status. Thus, the approach used here, requiring relatively little sampling effort and taxonomic expertise, was of little use as a quality indicator for shallow lakes. The implementation of the Directive will therefore require different approaches to be developed and tested.

Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.