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A Top-down Approach for the Development of a Stream Typology Based on Abiotic Variables



The management of aquatic ecosystems requires stream-type specific assessment systems, which enable the partition of natural spatial variability and consequently an optimisation of monitoring and assessment programs. Two different approaches are generally used to construct such typologies. In a top-down approach, environmental variables are chosen on previous knowledge of the general topography of the landscape. In a bottom-up approach, analyses of aquatic communities are used for grouping the streams. In the present study, a typology for Luxembourg’s streams is defined with the top-down approach i.e., with abiotic criteria and thus criteria different from those necessary for the assessment of biological conditions (i.e., biotic assemblages). This typological determination is based upon a combination of classification and ordination procedures. A particular emphasis was put on variable characterisation. The results show that six different water stream types were identified using our databases. Typological descriptors are stream dimension, elevation as well as geology. Organic charge, slope and land use rather characterise sites within groups. So, types are defined with criteria independent from any anthropogenic influence or pressure. Such a typology is expected to be relevant for analysing aquatic biota in order to build up a model for the biomonitoring of streams.



HydrobiologiaSpringer Journals

Published: Nov 1, 2005

DOI: 10.1007/s10750-005-4461-2

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