The Use of Biological Indices for the Assessment of the River Quality (Ruda River, Poland)

Open access


Recognition of the deteriorating conditions of rivers worldwide has called for increased efforts to improve the ecological quality of impacted river systems. This is particularly important in areas that have suffered from a significant impact of human pressure on the ecological status of water. Field studies were conducted in the Ruda River in an area that had undergone anthropogenic disturbances. The objectives of our survey were to test the biological metrics based on benthic macroinvertebrates at four study sites. Spring and autumn surveys of benthic invertebrates indicated that based on the BMWP and BMWP(PL) indices, water quality was higher in comparison with the value of Multimetric index at all of the sites that were studied. Our results revealed that the water quality was higher at the study sites that are located above the dam reservoir based on both the chemical and biological parameters. This study also indicated that both spring and autumn constitute appropriate periods for carrying out monitoring studies. The values of multimeric index indicated the same water quality (except for site 1) in both sampling periods. Anthropogenic transformations of a riverbed influence the flora and fauna and affect the ecological status of rivers.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • [1] Bis B Mikulec A. Przewodnik do oceny stanu ekologicznego rzek na podstawie makrobezkręgowców bentosowych. (Guide to assessment the ecological status of rivers based on benthic macroinvertebrates). Warszawa; 2013.

  • [2] EU Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy. OJEU L3271; 2000.

  • [3] Kenney MA Sutton-Grier AE Smith RF Gresens SE. Benthic macroinvertebrates as indicators of water quality: The intersection of science and policy. Terrestrial Arthropod Reviews. 2009;2:99-128. DOI: 10.1163/187498209X12525675906077.

  • [4] Bis B Zdanowicz A Zalewski M. Effects of catchment properties on hydrochemistry habitat complexity and invertebrate community structure in a lowland river. Hydrobiologia. 2000;422/423:369-387.

  • [5] Tripole S Vallania EA Corigliano MC. Benthic macroinvertebrate tolerance to water acidity in the Grande river sub-basin (San Luis Argentina). Limnetica. 2008;27(1):29-38.

  • [6] Lewin I Czerniawska-Kusza I Szoszkiewicz K Ławniczak AE Jusik S. Biological indices applied to benthic macroinvertebrates at reference conditions of mountain streams in two ecoregions (Poland the Slovak Republic). Hydrobiologia. 2013;709:183-200. DOI: 10.1007/s10750-013-1448-2.

  • [7] Saloom ME Duncan RS. Low dissolved oxygen levels reduce anti-predator behaviors of the freshwater clam Corbicula fluminea. Freshwater Biol. 2005;50:1233-1238. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2427.2005.01396.x.

  • [8] Cross WF Wallace JB Rosemond AD Eggert SL. Whole-system nutrient enrichment increases secondary productivity in a detritus-based ecosystem. Ecology. 2006;87:1556-1565. DOI: 10.1890/012-9658(2006)87[1556:WNEISP]2.0.CO;2.

  • [9] Steinman AD Conklin J Bohlen PJ Uzarski DG. Influence of cattle grazing and pasture land use on macroinvertebrate communities in freshwater wetlands. Wetlands. 2003;23:877-889. DOI: 10.1672/0277-5212(2003)023[0877:IOCGAP]2.0.CO;2.

  • [10] Mykra H Saarinen T Tolkkinen M Mcfarland B Hamalainen H Martinmaki K et al. Spatial and temporal variability of diatom and macroinvertebrate communities: How representative are ecological classifications within a river system? Ecol Indic. 2012;18:208-217.

  • [11] Rosenberg DM Resh VH. Freshwater biomonitoring and benthic macroinvertebrates. In: Freshwater Biomonitoring and Benthic Macroinvertebrates. New York: Chapman & Hall; 1993.

  • [12] Almeida SFP Feio MJ. DIATMOD: diatom predictive model for quality assessment of Portuguese running waters. Hydrobiologia. 2012;695:185-197. DOI: 10.1007/s10750-012-1110-4.

  • [13] Maddock I. The importance of physical habitat assessment for evaluating river health. Fresh Biol. 1999;41:373-391. DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2427.1999.00437.x.

  • [14] Mophin-Kani K Murugesan AG. Assessment of river water quality using macroinvertebrate organisms as pollution indicators of Tamirabarani River Basin Tamil Nadu India. Int J Env Prot. 2014;4.1:1-14.

  • [15] Zeybek M Kalyoncu H Karakaş B Özgül S. The use of BMWP and ASPT indices for evaluation of water quality according to macroinvertebrates in Değirmendere Stream (Isparta Turkey). Turk J Zool. 2014;38:603-613. DOI: 10.3906/zoo-1310-9.

  • [16] Vandewalle M De Bello F Berg MP Bolger T Dolédec S Dubs F et al. Functional traits as indicators of biodiversity response to land use changes across ecosystems and organisms. Biodiv Conserv. 2010;19:9798. DOI: 10.1007/s10531-010-9798-9.

  • [17] Galas J Dumnicka E Galus-Barchan A. A comparison of various indices based on benthic macrofauna for the assessment of the ecological status of selected Carpathian streams. Oceanol Hydrobiol Stud. 2014;43.(2):123-130. DOI: 10.2478/s13545-014-0124-0.

  • [18] AQEM Consortium. Manual for the Application of the Aqem System. A Comprehensive Method to Assess European Streams Using Benthic Macroinvertebrates Developed for the Purpose of the Water Framework Directive. Version 1.0 February 2002.; 2002.

  • [19] Semenchenko VP Moroz MD. Comparative analysis of biotic indices in the monitoring system of running water in a biospheric reserve. Water Res. 2005;32(2):200-203. DOI: 10.1007/s11268-005-0025-0.

  • [20] Leunda PM Oscoz J Miranda R Arino AH. Longitudinal and seasonal variation of the benthic macroinvertebrate community and biotic indices in an undisturbed Pyrenean river. Ecol Indic. 2009;9:52-63. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2008.01.009.

  • [21] Sanchez-Montoya MM Vidal-Abarca MR Suarez ML. Comparing the sensitivity of diverse macroinvertebrate metrics to a multiple stressor gradient in Mediterranean streams and its influence on the assessment of ecological status. Ecol Indic. 2010;10:896-904. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2010.01.008.

  • [22] Jűttner I Chimonides PJ Ormerod SJ. Developing a diatom monitoring network in an urban river-basin: initial assessment and site selection. Hydrobiologia. 2012;695:137-151. DOI: 10.1007/s10750-012-1123-z.

  • [23] Böhmer J Rawer-Jost C Zenker A. Multimetric assessment of data provided by water managers from Germany: assessment of several different types of stressors with macrozoobenthos communities. Hydrobiologia. 2004;516:215-228. DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-0993-5_13.

  • [24] Lucke JD Johnson RK. Detection of ecological change in stream macroinvertebrate assemblages using single metric multimetric or multivariate approach. Ecol Indic. 2009;9:659-664. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2008.08.005.

  • [25] Aazami J Sari AE Abdoli A Sohrabi H Van den Brink PJ. Assessment of ecological quality of the Tajan River in Iran using a multimetric macroinvertebrate index and species traits. Environ Manage. 2015;56:260-269. DOI: 10.1007/s00267-015-0489.

  • [26] Deng X Xu Y Han L Yu Z Yang M Pan G. Assessment of river health based on an improved entropybased fuzzy matter-element model in the Taihu Plain China. Ecolog Indicators. 2015;57:85-95. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2015.04.020.

  • [27] Stoddard JL Larsen DP Hawkins CP Johnson RK Norris RH. Setting expectations for the ecological condition of streams: the concept for reference condition. Ecol Appl. 2006;16:1267-1276. DOI: 10.1890/1051-0761(2006)016[1267:SEFTEC]2.0.CO;2.

  • [28] Applegate JM Baumann PC Emery EB Wooten MS. First step in developing multimetric macroinvertebrates index for the Ohio River. River Res Applic. 2007;23:683-697. DOI: 10.1002/rra.1011.

  • [30] Timm H Mardi K Möls T. Macroinvertebrates in Estonian streams: the effects of habitat season and sampling effort on some common metrics of biological quality. Eston J Ecol. 2008;57:37-57. DOI: 10.3176/eco.2008.1.03.

  • [31] Gabriels W Lock K De Pauw N Goethals PLM. Multimetric Macroinvertebrate Index Flanders (MMIF) for biological assessment of rivers and lakes in Flanders (Belgium). Limnologica. 2010;40:199-207. DOI: 10.1016/j.limno.2009.10.001.

  • [32] Bennett C Owen R Birk S Buffagni A Erba S Mengin N et al. Hydrobiologia 2011;667:31-48. DOI: 10.1007/s10750-011-0635-2.

  • [33] Resh VH Rosenberg DM Reynoldson TB. Selection of benthic macroinvertebrate metrics for monitoring water quality of the Frazer River British Colombia: implications for both multimetric approaches and multivariate models. In: Wright JF Sutcliffe DW Furse MT editors. Assessing the Biological Quality of Freshwaters: RIVPACS and Other Techniques. Freshwater Biological Association Ambleside UK; 2000.

  • [34] Bunn SE Davies PM. Biological processes in running waters and their implications for the assessment of ecological integrity. Hydrobiologia 2000;422:61-70. DOI: 10.1023/A:1017075528625.

  • [35] Malmqvist B. Threats to the running water ecosystems of the world. Env Conserv. 2002;29:134-153.

  • [36] Gregory KJ. The human role in changing river channels. Geomorphology. 2006;79:172-191. DOI: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2006.06.018.

  • [37] James LA Marcus WA. The human role in changing fluvial systems: Retrospect inventory and prospect. Geomorphology. 2006;79:152-171. DOI: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2006.06.017.

  • [38] Obolewski K Gotkiewicz W Strzelczak A Osadowski Z Astel AM. Influence of anthropogenic transformations of river bed on plant and macrozoobenthos communities. Environ Monit Assess. 2011;173(1-4):747-63. DOI: 10.1007/s10661-010-1420-9.

  • [39] Touron-Poncet H Bernadet C Compin A Bargier N Céréghino R. Implementing the Water Framework Directive in overseas Europe: a multimetric macroinvertebrate index for river bioassessment in Caribbean Islands. Limnologica. 2014;47:34-43. DOI: 10.1016/j.limno.2014.04.002.

  • [40] Kolanek A Korol R Strońska M Szyjkowska U. Assessment of water pollution by nitrates in the Middle Odra Basin. J Water Land Dev. 2007;11:91-102. DOI: 10.2478/v10025-008-0008-z.

  • [41] Moog O. Water quality - Guidance on pro-rata multi habitat sampling of benthic invertebrates from wadeable rivers in the HKH Region. 2005.

  • [42] Błachuta J Szoszkiewicz K Gebler D Schneider SC. How do environmental parameters relate to macroinvertebrate metrics? - prospects for river water quality assessment. Pol J Ecol. 2014;62:111-122. DOI: 10.3161/104.

  • [43] Solak NC Àcs E. Water quality monitoring in European and Turkish rivers using diatoms. Turkish J Fish Aquat Sci. 2011;11:29-337. DOI: 10.4194/trjfas.2011.0218.

  • [44] Edington JM Hildrew AG. A revised key to the case less caddis larvae of the British Isles with notes on their ecology. Scientific Publications. Freshwater Biological Associations. Cumbria; 2000.

  • [45] Birk S Hering D. Water view web-database: a comprehensive review of European assessment methods for rivers. FBA News 20.4; 2002.

  • [46] Birk S Hering D. Direct comparison of assessment methods using benthic macroinvertebrates: a contribution to the EU Water Framework Directive intercalibration exercise. Hydrobiologia. 2006;566:401-415. DOI: 10.1007/s10750-006-0081-8.

  • [47] Šporka F Pastuchová Z Hamerlík L Dobiašová M Beracko P. Assessment of running waters (Slovakia) using benthic macroinvertebrates - derivation of ecological quality classes with respect to altitudinal gradients. Section Zoology. Biologia. 2009;64:1196-1205. DOI: 10.2478/s11756-009-0201-9.

  • [48] Buffagni A Crosa GA Harper DM Kemp JL. Using macroinvertebrate species assemblages to identify river channel habitat units: an application of the functional habitats concept to a large unpolluted Italian river (River Ticino northern Italy). Hydrobiologia. 2000;435:213-225. DOI: 10.1023/A:1004124717508.

  • [49] Böhmer J Rawer-Jost C Zenker A Meier C Feld CK Biss R et al. Assessing streams in Germany with benthic invertebrates: Development of a multimetric invertebrate based assessment system. Limnologica. 2004;34:416- 432. DOI: 10.1016/S0075-9511(04)80010-0.

  • [50] Korycińska M Królak E. The use of various biotic indices for evaluation of water quality in the lowland rivers of Poland (Exemplified by the Liwiec River). Pol J Environ Stud. 2006;15:419-428.

  • [51] Višinskienė G Bernotienė R. The use of benthic macroinvertebrate families for river quality assessment in Lithuania. Cent Eur J Biol. 2012;7:741-758. DOI: 10.2478/s11535-012-0052-1.

  • [52] Duran M. Monitoring water quality using benthic macroinvertebrates and physicochemical parameters of Behzat Stream in Turkey. Polish J Environ Stud. 2006;15(5):709-717.

  • [53] Czerniawska-Kusza I. Comparing modified biological monitoring working party score system and several biological indices based on macroinvertebrates for water quality assessment. Limnologica. 2005;35:169-176. DOI: 10.1016/j.limno.2005.05.003.

  • [54] Raczyńska M Grzeszczyk-Kowalska A Chojnacki J Raczyński M. Impact of taxonomic structure and benthic fauna biomass on the biological classification of river waters. Ecol Chem Eng A. 2012;19(4-5):421-431. DOI: 10.2428/ecea.2012.19(04)044.

  • [55] Nguyen HH Everaert G Gabriels W Hoang TH Goethals PLM. A multimetric macroinvertebrate index for assessing the water quality of the Cau river basin in Vietnam. Limnologica. 2014;45:16-23. DOI: 10.1016/jlimno.2013.10.001.

  • [56] Wyżga B Oglęcki P Hajdukiewicz H Zawiejska J Radecki-Pawlik A Skalski T et al. Interpretation of the invertebrate-based BMWP-PL index in a gravel-bed river: insight from the Polish Carpathians. Hydrobiologia. 2013;712(1):71-88. DOI: 10.1007/s10750-012-1280-0.

  • [57] Hering D Johnson RK Kramm S Schmutz S Szoszkiewicz K Verdonschot PFM. Assessment of European streams with diatoms macrophytes macroinvertebrates and fish: a comparative metric-based analysis of organism response to stress. Freshwater Biol. 2006;5:1757-1785. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2427.2006.01610.x.

  • [58] Mutonkole SP. Benthic macroinvertebrates as indicators of water quality: a case-study of urban Funa Stream (in Kinshasa Democratic Republic of Congo). Open J Water Pollut Treatment. 2015;2(1):8-24. DOI: 10.15764/WPT.2015.01002.

  • [59] Guimarães RM. Facure KG Pavanin LA Jacobucci GB. Water quality characterization of urban streams using benthic macroinvertebrate community metrics. Acta Limnol Bras. 2009;21:217-226.

  • [60] Buffagni A Erba S Cazzola M Kemp JL. The AQUEM multimetric system for the southern Italian Apennines: assessing the impact of water quality and habitat degradation on pool macroinvertebrates in Mediterranean rivers. Hydrobiologia. 2004;516:313-329.

  • [61] Hering D Moog O Sandin L Verdonschot PFM. Overview and application of the AQUEM assessment system. Hydrobiologia. 2004:516:1-20. DOI: 10.1023/B:HYDR.0000025273.15958.6a.

  • [62] Pinto P Rosado J Morais M Antunes I. Assessment methodology for Southern siliceous basins in Portugal. Hydrobiologia. 2004;516:191-214. DOI: 10.1023/B:HYDR.0000025266.86493.a2.

  • [63] Menetrey N Oertli B Lachavanne JB. The CIEPT: a macroinvertebrates based multimetric index for assessing the ecological quality of Swiss lowland pond. Ecol Indic. 2011;1:590-600. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2010.08.005.

  • [64] Camargo JA. The importance of biological monitoring for the ecological risk assessment of freshwater pollution: A case study. Environ Int. 1994;20:229-238. DOI: 10.1016/0160-4120(94)90140-6.

  • [65] Wetzel RG. Limnology. 3rd ed. New York: Academic Press; 2001.

  • [66] Camargo JA Alonso A De la Puente M. Multimetric assessment of nutrient enrichment in Impounded rivers based on benthic macroinvertebrates. Environ Monit Assess. 2004;96:233-249. DOI: 10.1023/B:EMAS.0000031730.78630.75.

  • [67] Lewin I Jusik S Szoszkiewicz K Czerniawska-Kusza I Ławniczak AE. Application of the new multimetric MMI PL index for biological water quality assessment in reference and human-impacted streams (Poland the Slovak Republic). Limnologica 2014;49:42-51. DOI: 10.1016/j.limno.2014.09.001.

  • [68] Sandin L Johnson RK. The statistical power of selected indicator metrics using macroinvertebrates for assessing acidification and eutrophication of running waters. Hydrobiologia. 2000;422/423:233-243. DOI: 10.1023/A:1017082619481.

Journal information
Impact Factor

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 1.467
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.226

CiteScore 2018: 1.47

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.352
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.907

Cited By
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 702 166 4
PDF Downloads 364 114 8