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Assessing the relationship between the Lake Habitat Survey and littoral macroinvertebrate communities in European lakes
Citation key McGoff2013205
Author McGoff,E., Aroviita,J., Pilotto,F., Miler,O., Solimini,A., Porst,G., Jurca,T., Donohue,L. & Sandin,L.
Pages 205 - 214
Year 2013
ISSN 1470-160X
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2012.09.018
Journal Ecological Indicators
Volume 25
Abstract Implementation of the \EU\ Water Framework Directive (WFD) has drawn much attention to hydromorphological alterations of surface waters. The Lake Habitat Survey (LHS) protocol provides a method for characterising and assessing the physical habitats of lakes and reservoirs. Two metrics were developed based on this method: the Lake Habitat Modification Score (LHMS) and the Lake Habitat Quality Assessment (LHQA), as measures of lake modification and habitat value, respectively. However, the use of these metrics to predict measures of ecological quality remains largely untested. Thus, we assessed the relationships between \LHS\ metrics and the littoral macroinvertebrate community in 42 lakes across Europe. A significant relationship was found between littoral macrophyte descriptors and riparian natural land cover variables of the \LHQA\ score and macroinvertebrate community composition in 2 out of 4 European regions. No relationship was found between macroinvertebrate community composition and the LHMS. Some significant correlations were found between selected macroinvertebrate metrics and the \LHS\ scores, but this pattern was not consistent across regions, and no relationship was found with the overall \LHMS\ or \LHQA\ scores. This demonstrates that the \LHS\ metrics do not consistently predict the quality of littoral macroinvertebrate communities across Europe, and a region specific approach may be necessary. However, we could demonstrate a relationship between the site specific \LHS\ variables and the macroinvertebrate community at the site level, and in some cases at the regional level. Therefore, although the \LHS\ metrics do not appear to be a useful for relating habitat quality and pressure to littoral macroinvertebrate communities, selected \LHS\ variables may exhibit stronger relationships with the biota.
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