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Ciecierska H.,University of Warmia and Mazury | Kolada A.,Institute of Environmental Protection National Research Institute
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment | Year: 2014

The paper introduces the Ecological State Macrophyte Index (ESMI), a method compliant with the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC) for assessing the ecological status of lakes based on macrophytes. A description of the elaboration of macrophyte metrics, relevant reference conditions and a classification system for two types of high-alkalinity lowland lakes (stratified and polymictic), and a customised field survey procedure based on belt transects are presented. The ESMI evaluates two aspects of macrophyte community: taxonomic composition (index of evenness J) and abundance (colonisation index Z), which are combined into one multimetric. ESMI values range from 0 to 1, where 1 denotes pristine conditions and 0, highly degraded habitats. The high/good class boundary (H/G) was set at the first quartile of ESMI values of reference lakes. For the other classes, boundaries were set by dividing the range of ESMI values between the H/G boundary and the minimum value recorded in the dataset in a logarithmic scale into four. The ESMI correlated best with water transparency (Pearson's R=0.62 in stratified lakes and 0.79 in polymictic ones), whereas the correlations with phosphorus and nitrogen concentrations were somewhat weaker (R=-0.48 to -0.57). Based on the results of international intercalibration, the original class boundaries were modified (merged for stratified and polymictic lakes, the good/moderate boundary tightened to approximately 20 %), to make ESMI-based assessment results comparable with the outcomes of other European methods. © 2014 The Author(s).

Dmuchowski W.,Polish Academy of Sciences | Dmuchowski W.,Warsaw University of Life Sciences | Gozdowski D.,Warsaw University of Life Sciences | Bragoszewska P.,Warsaw University of Life Sciences | And 3 more authors.
Ecological Engineering | Year: 2014

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of Betula pendula for the phytoremediation of soils contaminated with Zn. The trees grew on highly contaminated mounds of metallurgical waste under control conditions. The study demonstrated the ability of this species to accumulate high amounts of Zn in its leaves, in both the controlled and in the contaminated environments. The content of Zn in the soil and in the leaves of Solidago virgaurea near the trees was significantly less than at 7. m away. In the heavily polluted environment, this resulted in "cleansing" of the soil, and in the environment of background contamination, the effect was soil depletion and the reduction of Zn in plants. B. pendula satisfies the conditions required for plants used in phytoremediation and can be practically applied to clean soils contaminated with Zn. The authors propose the inclusion of B. pendula in the group of hyperaccumulators of Zn. © 2014.

Kolada A.,Institute of Environmental Protection National Research Institute | Ciecierska H.,University of Warmia and Mazury | Ruszczynska J.,University of Warmia and Mazury | Dynowski P.,University of Warmia and Mazury
Hydrobiologia | Year: 2013

According to the Water Framework Directive, the results of the ecological status assessment should be accompanied with estimates of the level of confidence and precision of the determination. The Polish macrophyte-based method for lake assessment (Ecological State Macrophyte Index, ESMI) was tested for its uncertainty. The data from 12 lakes surveyed using four modifications of the sampling procedure, different numbers of transects and by two or three independent surveyors were analysed and the risk of misclassification was estimated. The choice of the sampling technique had no effect on abundance parameters (Cmax and %cover), but it affected significantly the taxonomic composition indices (H and J′). It did not influence, however, the final assessment result, since in all the methods used, the ESMI values were comparable and showed no significant differences of means. Although the mean ESMI values were statistically indifferent and gave the same assessment result irrespective of the number of transects surveyed, the lower the number of transects, the higher the SD value and the more uncertain the assessment result. The risk of misclassification of the 12 lakes varied from 0.5% to over 40% depending on the sampling standard deviation value and the proximity of the index observed value to the class boundary. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Kolada A.,Institute of Environmental Protection National Research Institute
Aquatic Botany | Year: 2016

Macrophyte-based methods for lake ecological status assessment universally include hydrophytes. Emergent plants (helophytes) are presumed to respond more directly to soil characteristics, wind exposure or shoreline management, hence are usually not considered as reliable indicators of water nutrient enrichment. The aims of the study were to explore the potential role of helophytes as eutrophication indicators and to test whether including or excluding emergent vegetation affects the indicator value of the Ecological State Macrophyte Index (ESMI) used in lake monitoring in Poland. Data on macrophyte composition and abundance (76 hydrophyte and 48 helophyte communities) and water quality from 490 Polish lowland lakes were analysed. Based on the frequency distribution and non-metric multi-dimensional scaling ordination, helophyte communities that exhibited clear trends of occurrence and abundance along the eutrophication gradient and enabled differentiation between lakes in diverse ecological conditions were identified. The effect of emergent vegetation on assessment metric diagnostic capacity was tested using modified index ESMI calculated with helophytes being included (CompESMITOT) and excluded (CompESMIHYDR) by comparing correlations between both metrics and eutrophication indicators (trophic state indices). Compared to CompESMITOT, CompESMIHYDR correlated slightly, though significantly weaker with most of the water quality indicators, and only for TSITP the difference in metric responses was statistically non-significant. The added diagnostic value of including emergent vegetation was between 0.04 and 0.08 of r2 increase and this benefit was more pronounced in more degraded lakes. The presented results demonstrated that emergent vegetation provides reliable information on ecosystem ecological conditions and can support assessment of the ecological status of lakes under eutrophication pressure. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Pasztaleniec A.,Institute of Environmental Protection National Research Institute | Poniewozik M.,Catholic University of Lublin
Biologia (Poland) | Year: 2013

In the present study we focused on the impact of macrophyte cover (composed mainly of the Lemna genus) on phytoplankton taxonomic and functional diversity. Some important environmental parameters, mainly light (KdPAR), and the chemical conditions (pH, dissolved oxygen, ammonium, soluble and total forms of phosphorus) were closely related to the pleustophyte cover. Among them, the key factor in the phytoplankton ecology of the studied oxbow lakes was the dense macrophyte cover which strongly reduced the illumination of water. Neither differences in the mean nutrient concentrations between the lakes with FFP (Free Floating Plants) absence and those with FFP dominance nor significant relationships between nutrients and the phytoplankton structure were observed. The species composition of phytoplankton and the functional (FG) and morpho-functional (MFG) groups reflected the differences between the habitats connected with hydromacrophytes. The free-floating macrophyte cover favours mixotrophic and heterotrophic species, mainly Euglenophyta (coda W1 and W2) and chrysophytes (codon Ws) as well as shade-adapted cyanobacteria with the high tolerance of the low oxygen content (codon K). In lakes with FFP absence - taxa from Chlorophyta and Bacillariophyceae (associations X1, J, and D), or filamentous cyanobacteria (codon S1) dominated the phytoplankton. MFG were less related to the oxbow type and exhibited greater similarity between lakes independently of the presence or absence of FFP. Only unicellular Cyanoprokaryota which created MFG 4 and colonial chroococcales (MFG 5b and 5c) reached a greater percentage share, especially in oxbow lakes with FFP dominance. © 2013 Versita Warsaw and Springer-Verlag Wien.

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