Standardisation of River Classifications in Greece

Data set information

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Data holding centreHellenic Centre for Marine Research, Institute of Marine Biological Resources and Inland Waters, Dept. of Inland Waters
CountryGreece  Greece
Time period2002-2005
Geographical area

Various rivers from Greek mainland and islands


Terrestrial water content


Standardisation of River Classifications: Framework method for calibrating different biological survey results against ecological quality classifications to be developed for the Water Framework Directive. Problems to be solved: The variety of assessment methods for streams and rivers in Europe provides good opportunities for implementing the Water Framework Directive but their diversity may also result in serious strategic problems. The number of organism groups that will be used to assess Ecological Status, and the number of methods available for doing so are so diverse that inter-calibration and standardisation of methods is crucial. Similarly, protocols need to be devised to integrate the information gathered on the different taxonomic groups. The project aims to derive a detailed picture of which methods are best suited for which circumstances as a basis for standardisation. We propose to develop a standard for determining class boundaries of Ecological Status and another for inter-calibrating existing methods. Scientific objectives and approach: Data will be used to answer the following questions, which form the basis of a conceptual model: 1) How can data resulting from different assessment methods be compared and standardised? 2) Which methods/taxonomic groups are most capable of indicating particular individual stressors? 3) Which method can be used on which scale? 4) Which method is suited for early and late warnings? 5) How are different assessment methods affected by errors? 6) What can be standardised and what should be standardised? For the purposes of this project two 'core streams types' are recognised: small, shallow, upland streams and medium-sized, deeper lowland streams. Besides the evaluation of existing data, a completely new data set is sampled to gain comparable data on macroinvertebrates, phytobenthos, fish and stream morphology taken with a set of different methods from sites representing different stages of degradation. This will be the main source of data for cross-comparisons and the preparation of standards. A number of 'additional stream types' will be investigated in order to extend the range of sites at which field methods and assessment procedures are compared. The participants will be trained in sampling workshops and quality assurance will be implemented through an audit. Using the project database, assessment methods based on benthic macroinvertebrates will be compared and inter-calibrated, particularly in terms of errors, precision, relation to reference conditions and possible class boundaries. The discriminatory power of different organism groups to detect ecological change will be tested through various statistical procedures. Two CEN Workshops will be held during the contracted period. These will result in the formulation of draft standards for circulation, amendment, agreement by participating countries in CEN.STAR will benefit from clustering with the complementary Framework V Project, FAME. Project FAME will develop European fish assessment protocols using existing data. STAR fish sampling will be based on FAME protocols and STAR field data will be used by FAME to test these new protocols. Expected impacts: The project will provide a general concept understanding of how to use different organism groups for stream assessment. The project findings will be implemented through a decision support system. Existing methods based on benthic macroinvertebrates will be inter-calibrated to enable a future comparison of river quality classes throughout Europe. Existing assessment methods will be supplemented by an 'error module'. A matrix of possible class boundaries of grades of 'Ecological Status' associated with different methods and stressors will be developed. Committee drafts for the relevant CEN working group and draft standards on stream assessment methods will be produced. Deliverables: Please see:

OriginatorsHellenic Centre for Marine Research, Institute of Marine Biological Resources and Inland Waters, Dept. of Inland Waters
Data web site
OrganisationHellenic Centre for Marine Research, Institute of Marine Biological Resources and Inland Waters, Dept. of Inland Waters
ContactDr A. Diapoulis

Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Institute of Marine Biological Resources and Inland Waters, Dept. of Inland Waters
46.7 km Athens - Sounio av.

Telephone+30 2291076458
Facsimile+30 2291076419
Collating centreHellenic Centre for Marine Research, Hellenic National Oceanographic Data Centre
Local identifier6007008
Global identifier1222
Last revised2015-08-28