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Do changes in temperature affect EU Water Framework Directive compliant assessment results of central European streams?
Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för idé- och samhällsstudier, Miljöarkeologiska laboratoriet. Department of River Ecology and Conservation, Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum, Frankfurt, Gelnhausen, Germany.ORCID-id: 0000-0003-1848-3154
2020 (Engelska)Ingår i: Environmental Sciences Europe, ISSN 2190-4707, E-ISSN 2190-4715, Vol. 32, artikel-id 129Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Benthic invertebrate communities are an integral and longstanding component of stream biomonitoring. However, multiple stressors driven by global change threaten benthic invertebrate communities. In particular, climate warming is expected to disrupt freshwater ecosystems. While an increasing number of studies have shown changes in benthic invertebrate community composition in response to climate warming, the effect on stream assessments has rarely been investigated. As several community composition metrics are also used in stream assessments, we predicted that climate warming would worsen stream assessment results. Therefore, we used a comprehensive data set of 2865 benthic invertebrate samples taken between 2000 and 2014 from small central European low mountain streams. We examined the effects of changes in temperature on common community and stream assessment metrics. We used 31 metrics covering composition, richness, tolerance and function of communities, of which many are used in various stream assessment schemes.

Results: Against our expectations, we identified a decreasing air temperature trend of − 0.18 °C over 15 years. This trend was accompanied by significant changes in community composition, for example, increases in species richness and decreases in the community temperature index (CTI). Further, we identified slight concomitant improvements of various globally used stream quality assessment metrics, such as a decreasing saprobic index and an increasing BMWP.

Conclusions: While temperature increased by + 0.9 °C during the past 30 years (1985–2014), our 15-year study period (2000–2014) showed a decrease by − 0.18 °C. Therefore, we regard the concomitant improvement in several assessment metrics as a recovery from prior increasing temperatures. In turn, we assume that increases in water temperature will lead to opposite effects and therefore cause declining assessment results. Water managers should be aware of this linkage that in turn could provide a chance to mitigate the effects of global warming by, for example, planting trees along the rivers and the removal of artificial barriers to increase current velocity to minimize a warming effect.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Springer, 2020. Vol. 32, artikel-id 129
Nyckelord [en]
Climate change, Stream quality, Assessment, Freshwater invertebrates, Macroinvertebrates, Community composition
Nationell ämneskategori
Ekologi
Forskningsämne
miljöarkeologi
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-175695DOI: 10.1186/s12302-020-00403-9ISI: 000574743200001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85091973800OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-175695DiVA, id: diva2:1473582
Tillgänglig från: 2020-10-06 Skapad: 2020-10-06 Senast uppdaterad: 2023-03-24Bibliografiskt granskad

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Pilotto, Francesca

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