Indicator Freshwater Species - Design of a structure for an indicator value database for European freshwater species
As a first step towards an indicator database for European freshwater species a database for macroâˆ’invertebrate indicators was developed that will be extended to other freshwater organism groups throughout the duration of the project. The macroâˆ’invertebrate taxa and autecology database at www.freshwaterecology.info is a "living document". It was first set up under the aegis of the EU funded AQEM project (www.aqem.de), which aimed to develop and test an integrated assessment system for the ecological quality of rivers throughout Europe using benthic macroâˆ’invertebrates. The eight project member countries (Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden) developed a multiâˆ’metric assessment system for different stream types, which functions using dedicated software (AQEM assessment software which can be downloaded at www.aqem.de). As the assessment system requires ecological information on the taxa it was essential to gather information on both taxa occurrence within the partner countries and ecological information on these taxa for a consistent and reliable database. The database is now being further improved within the Euroâˆ’limpacs. As the project deals with the evaluation of impacts of Climate Change on European freshwater ecosystems, the database will be extended by ecological parameters, which might be sensitive to direct or indirect impacts of Climate Change. This deliverable comprises version 1.0 presented and all macroâˆ’invertebrate organism groups are included. At present, the parameters are limited to the distribution of the taxa in the European countries. For detailed query explanations see "How to use the database". The online database will be subsequently be improved by including autecological parameters into the queries.