Reference conditions and EQOs for aquatic vegetation and macrozoobenthos

image of Reference conditions and EQOs for aquatic vegetation and macrozoobenthos

Development of a methodological approach to define and characterise type areas of selected elements of the ecosystems in the open parts of the Skagerrak and Kattegat. The selected elements are aquatic vegetation on hard substrate and macrozoobenthos. Furthermore, the project will develop quantitative ecological relationships and empirical models that describe the relationship between anthropogenic pressures and biological elements.



Water mass classification

Why “Water mass classification”? Because the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) recognises that the ecological character of waters will vary according to their different physical regimes (Annex II 1.1(ii)), for instance the biological communities on an exposed Atlantic rocky shore will differ from a fjord or a bay in the Baltic due to different oceanographic conditions. The WFD introduce a set of physical, chemical and morphological factors to define (and describe) the type of natural environment. The purpose of assigning water bodies to a physical type is to ensure that valid comparisons of its ecological status can be made. For each type, reference conditions must also be described as these form the ‘anchor’ for classification of the water bodies’ status or quality.


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