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  • Poikane, Sandra; Birk, Sebastian; Boehmer, Juergen; Carvalho, Laurence; de Hoyos, Caridad; Gassner, Hubert; Hellsten, Seppo; Kelly, Martyn; Solheim, Anne Lyche; Olin, Mikko; Pall, Karin; Phillips, Geoff; Portielje, Rob; Ritterbusch, David; Sandin, Leonard; Schartau, Ann-Kristin; Solimini, Angelo G.; van den Berg, Marcel; Wolfram, Georg; van de Bund, Wouter (2015)
    The Water Framework Directive is the first international legislation to require European countries to establish comparable ecological assessment schemes for their freshwaters. A key element in harmonising quality classification within and between Europe's river basins is an "Intercalibration" exercise, stipulated by the WFD, to ensure that the good status boundaries in all of the biological assessment methods correspond to similar levels of anthropogenic pressure. In this article, we provide a comprehensive overview of this international comparison, focusing on the assessment schemes developed for freshwater lakes. Out of 82 lake ecological assessment methods reported for the comparison, 62 were successfully intercalibrated and included in the EC Decision on intercalibration, with a high proportion of phytoplankton (18), macrophyte (17) and benthic fauna (13) assessment methods. All the lake assessment methods are reviewed in this article, including the results of intercalibration. Furthermore, the current gaps and way forward to reach consistent management objectives for European lakes are discussed. (C) 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
  • Rodil, Iván F.; Lohrer, Andrew M.; Attard, Karl M.; Hewitt, Judi E.; Thrush, Simon F.; Norkko, Alf (2021)
    Similar to other coastal biogenic habitats (e.g. tidal marshes, kelp forests, mangroves and coral reefs), a key function of seagrass meadows is the enhancement of biodiversity. Variability at multiple spatial scales is a driver of biodiversity, but our understanding of the response of macrofauna communities to variability of seagrass meadows is limited. We examined the macrofauna community structure (abundance and biomass) and diversity patterns (alpha- and beta-diversity) across a seascape gradient of eleven seagrass meadows differing in the number, composition and density of plant species. The variability of the macrobenthic communities was regulated by a combination of sedimentary (mainly for the infauna) and macrophyte (mainly for the epifauna) predictors. We demonstrate that the natural occurrence of drifting algae trapped in the aboveground complexity of the meadows benefits seagrass macrofauna. Seagrass-associated macrofauna showed a clear increase in abundance and alpha-diversity metrics with increasing habitat complexity attributes (i.e. shoot density, plant biomass and canopy height). Furthermore, partitioning of beta-diversity (i.e. the variation of species composition between sites) implied the replacement of some species by others between sites (i.e. spatial turnover) instead of a process of species loss (or gain) from site to site (i.e. nestedness). Therefore, the enhancement of macrofauna diversity across an increasing gradient of seagrass complexity, and the dominance of the turnover component suggest that devoting conservation efforts on many different types of meadows, including the less diverse, should be a priority for coastal habitat-management.
  • Näkki, Pinja; Setälä, Outi; Lehtiniemi, Maiju (2019)
    Microplastics (MPs) are ubiquitous in the marine environment. High concentrations of MPs are found from seafloor sediments, which have been proposed to act as their final sinks. Because bioturbation is an important process affecting the burial of MPs, a mesocosm experiment was established to study whether sediment infauna may also promote MP return to the sediment surface. Thin layers of frozen sediment containing an environmentally realistic concentration (500 μm and 100–300 μm) were added to depths of 2 cm and 5 cm in the experimental cylinders filled with sediment. The displacement of these MPs, made of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), by a community of common benthic invertebrates in the northern Baltic Sea (clam Limecola balthica, polychaete Marenzelleria spp., gammarid Monoporeia affinis) was studied in a 10-week experiment. After the experiment, the MPs were extracted from each sediment layer and the animals were examined for MP ingestion. The results indicated that the transportation of MPs to the sediment surface by bioturbation was negligible. Thus, in the Baltic Sea, the seafloor may act as a sink for once sedimented MPs, reducing simultaneously the MP exposure of the macrofauna feeding on the sediment surface.