Water Quality Assessment Based on Diatom Indices – Small Hilly Streams Case Study

 

Božica Vasiljević1, Jelena Krizmanić2, Marija Ilić1, Vanja Marković1, Jelena Tomović1, Katarina Zorić1 and Momir Paunović1

 

 

1 University of Belgrade, Institute for Biological Research "Siniša Stanković", 142 Despota Stefana Blvd., 11000 Belgrade, Serbia; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

2 University of Belgrade, Faculty of Biology, Institute for Botany and Botanical Garden "Jevremovac",43 Takovska, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia

 

 

Abstract

Benthic diatoms are group of organisms used as ecological indicators and considered to be valuable in water quality assessment and monitoring. They are included in the European Union Water Framework Directive as one of the biological quality elements. In Serbia, national regulation in the field of parameters of status of groundwater involves diatom indices. The aim of this paper is to present application of benthic diatoms in water quality evaluation. For that purpose diatom indices (IPS, EPI-D, CEE and TDI) are calculated based on data from several small hilly streams in Eastern Serbia.

Keywords: water quality, benthic diatoms, IPS, EPI-D, CEE, TDI, Serbia

 

Introduction

Benthic algae inhabit the bottom of aquatic ecosystems in the photic zone, connected with natural or superficial substrates in various ways. They are under the influence of physical, chemical and biological changes in water over time and considered to be an appropriate parameter for evaluating pollution levels, especially in running waters. Furthermore, they are used for observation of long-term changes in water ecosystems caused by eutrophication. The dominant group in the benthic algae community are diatoms – widespread, present throughout the entire year and residing in various microhabitats in aquatic ecosystems. Benthic diatoms are particularly used as ecological indicators and regarded as valuable in water quality assessment and monitoring (Round, 1991; Whitton et al. 1991; Whitton and Rott 1996; Prygiel et al. 1999). Various diatom indices developed in many countries as a tool for water quality estimation are comprised in the OMNIDIA software (Lecointe et al., 1993) which calculates their values.

Investigations in this field contributed to forming the legislative base for water management on the territory of the European Union – Water Framework Directive (WFD, 2000), according to which benthic diatoms are included as one of the biological quality elements.

Serbian national regulation on parameters of ecological and chemical status of surface waters and parameters of chemical and quantitative status of ground waters (Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia 74/2011), identify six groups of running water types as the framework for ecological and chemical status assessment. National regulative defines threshold values for two diatom indices: IPS (Coste in CEMAGREF, 1982) and CEE (Descy and Coste, 1991).

The aim of this work is to study the application of benthic diatoms in ecological status assessment for small hilly streams in Eastern Serbia.