Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 417396
Title Development of a multimetric index based on macroinvertebrates for drainage ditch networks in agricultural areas.
Author(s) Verdonschot, R.C.M.; Keizer-Vlek, H.E.; Verdonschot, P.F.M.
Source Ecological Indicators 13 (2012)1. - ISSN 1470-160X - p. 232 - 242.
Department(s) CE - Freshwater Ecosystems
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2012
Keyword(s) benthic macroinvertebrates - community - biodiversity - integrity - streams - ponds - conservation - macrophytes - diversity - eutrophication
Abstract Drainage ditches are a prominent feature of many intensively managed agricultural areas. These small, shallow, line-shaped waterbodies could harbor a rich macroinvertebrate community, resembling that of natural small lentic ecosystems. Despite their high biodiversity potential, many ditch ecosystems are degraded due to nutrient enrichment, resulting in a shift from a mesotrophic system characterized by a diverse vegetation of emergent-, submerged-, and floating macrophytes to a hypertrophic state dominated by Lemnaceae or phytoplankton. Tools to assess the ecological quality of drainage ditches are currently lacking. Therefore, a multimetric index based on macroinvertebrates was developed to assess the ecological quality of drainage ditch systems in The Netherlands. Based on a large dataset from regional water district managers, who conduct routine sampling of macroinvertebrates in drainage ditches, a degradation gradient composed of 223 samples was derived, which represented the combined stressors eutrophication, organic pollution and salinity. We used a stepwise process to evaluate the discriminatory efficiency of a variety of diversity, abundance/composition, tolerance/sensitivity, and functional metrics for assessing ecological degradation in drainage ditches. After evaluating metric range, strength of correlation to the stressor gradient, degree of redundancy, and sample- and seasonal repeatability, five metrics were selected for the drainage ditch multimetric index: number of Trichoptera families, percentage of Gastropoda families, percentage of taxa preferring fresh water (Cl- <300 mg L-1), Dutch Saprobic index, and the percentage of predator taxa. The relationship of these single metrics with the stressor gradient is discussed.
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