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Comparison of different biological indices for the assessment of river quality: application to the upper river Moselle (France)

Auteurs : Thiébaut (Gabrielle), Tixier (Guillaume), Guérold (François) et Muller (Serge)

Année de publication : 2006
Publication : Hydrobiologia
Volume : 570
Fascicule : 1
Pagination : 159-164

Résumé :

The aim of our study was to assess the water quality of the upper Moselle river by using biological indices. Simultaneous physico-chemical surveys were also undertaken from May 1999 to April 2000. Twelve sampling sites were selected in order to provide a wide range of potential pollution. Chemical analysis did not reveal any major problem of pollution. However a lower water quality resulting from domestic pollution was established for some sampling sites. A biological monitoring combining both macroinvertebrates and macrophytes was performed. Biological indices based on plant community structure and macrophyte composition were not pertinent tools, whereas simple indices based on taxonomic richness of particular groups of macroinvertebrates were strongly correlated with several chemical parameters, showing that such simple biological variables should represent powerful indicators of ecosystem degradation.