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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2009

Theoretical and practical aspects on benthic quality assessment according to the EU-Water Framework Directive - examples from Swedish waters

Leonardsson, Kjell; Blomqvist, Mats; Rosenberg, Rutger


A previously presented objective method to calculate each species sensitivity to disturbance is here slightly modified and implemented in the Benthic Quality Index (BQI) for marine benthic invertebrates. A framework for assessment of water bodies based on multi-site BQI-values is also presented, where a certain variation of BQI-values is allowed to cover the heterogeneity within each water body. The 20th percentile, using bootstrapping, from the available sites' BQI-values is compared with the status boundaries for quality assessment. The reliability of the assessment depends on the background information available for the boundary setting as well as the number of sampling sites included in the assessment. Agreement between time series of quality assessments in areas with known changes in anthropogenic disturbances is encouraging. Problems associated with water body assessment based on few or no samples, as well as multiple sampling occasions during the 6-yr WFD cycle are discussed. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Baltic Sea; Benthic quality assessment; EU-Water Framework Directive; Kattegat; Pollution; Skagerrak

Published in

Marine Pollution Bulletin
2009, Volume: 58, number: 9, pages: 1286-1296

    SLU Authors

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG6 Clean water and sanitation
    SDG14 Life below water

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Fish and Aquacultural Science
    Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

    Publication Identifiers


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