Integrative systems to assess ecological status and recovery of water bodies (WISER)

WISER (Water bodies in Europe: Integrative systems to assess ecological status and recovery) has developed tools for the integrated assessment of the ecological status of European surface waters. WISER has contributed significantly to the development of the ecological assessment tools to be used in the surface water status assessment in Europe according to the requirements of the Water Framework Directive (WFD). The project analysed existing data from more than 90 databases, covering all water categories, organism groups and environmental stressor types. Field-sampling campaigns provided new data to complement existing data bases. New indicators and evaluation methods were developed, particularly to facilitate the comparability and harmonization of aquatic assessment methods in Europe following the requirements of the WFD intercalibration. Likewise WISER has estimated the sources and levels of uncertainty connected to the assessment methods for ecological status of surface waters i. WISER has also identified suitable measures to improve surface waters at the large scale and highlighted the role of global and climate change in aquatic ecosystem monitoring and management.

WISER developed software tools (WISERBUGS - Uncertainty simulation software) for the evaluation of the uncertainty in the ecological status assessment. WISER developed assessment methods for all organism groups (fish, invertebrates and aquatic flora) and ecosystem types (lakes, coastal and transitional waters), as required by the WFD and for which sufficient methods were still lacking. WISER developed several 'common metrics' that can be used to compare and harmonise results of different assessment methods. Results of those are available in the "hands-on" results (e.g a "cook book" for the development of common metrics), which can be used for water body assessment and river basin management. Ultimately, the output from WISER will hopefully benefit standardization of existing methods for the assessment of ecological status in EU.

The role of the Finnish Environment Institute in WISER

Finnish Environment Institute was part of the steering group and coordinated Dissimination module of the project. We were also leading the workpackage 5.2., titled Effects of climate change and management: lakes and has a part in many of the other workpackages. Workpackage 5.2. focused on the research of the impact of catchment management strategies and climate change on pressures and ecological status of lakes. One of the two case studies is in Finland (Lake Pyhäjärvi, Säkylä). Finnish Environment Institute also shared its database of regulated lakes macrophytes with the project. During the project Finnish Environment Institute produced many deliverables, like research reports and internet modeling tool to assess target loads for lake managers.   

Further information, summarized key messages, and all project deliverables are available the project web pages: 

More information

Professor Anna-Stiina Heiskanen, Finnish Environment Institute SYKE, Olli Malve, Finnish Environment Institute SYKE, Seppo Hellsten, Finnish Environment Institute, SYKE

Published 2013-04-22 at 14:06, updated 2013-04-22 at 13:52