Assessing the Ecological Integrity of a Major Transboundary Mediterranean River Based on Environmental Habitat Variables and Benthic Macroinvertebrates (Aoos-Vjose River, Greece-Albania)

Y. Chatzinikolaou, V. Dakos, M. Lazaridou-Dimitriadou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ecological integrity has become a primary objective in monitoring programs of surface waters according to the European Water Framework Directive. For this reason we propose a scheme for assessing the ecological integrity of a major transboundary river, the Aoos-Vjose (Greece-Albania), by analysing the effects of physicochemical, hydromorphological and habitat structure variables on benthic macroinvertebrates. Benthos and water samples were obtained from 17 sites, during high and low flow season. Physical habitat structure was determined using the River Habitat Survey method. In all but one of the surveyed habitats no anthropogenic change was evident. Macrobenthos assemblages were mainly influenced by seasonality and river section, whereas the water quality index was negatively correlated to habitat modification. Consequently, a large part of the river is considered of high ecological integrity and as such it may be used as baseline information for the management of other major rivers in the eastern Mediterranean basin
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-87
JournalInternational Review of Hydrobiology
Volume93
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Keywords

  • running waters
  • quality
  • assemblages
  • streams
  • sites
  • score

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