Status and Causal Pathway Assessments Supporting River Basin Management

Peter von der Ohe, Sabine Apitz, Kestutis Arbaciauskas, M Beketov, Dietrich Borchardt, Dick de Zwart, Willem Goedkoop, Michaela Hein, Seppo Hellsten, Daniel Hering, Ben KEFFORD, Vadim Panov, R Schäfer, Helmut Segner, Jos van Gils, Joop Vegter, Markus Wetzel, Werner Brack

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review


The European Water Framework Directive (WFD) requires a status assessment of all water bodies. If that status is deteriorated, the WFD urges the identification of its potential causes in order to be able to suggest appropriate management measures. The instrument of investigative monitoring allows for such identification, provided that appropriate tools are available to link the observed effects to causative stressors, while unravelling confounding factors. In this chapter, the state of the art of status and causal pathway assessment is described for the major stressors responsible for the deterioration of European water bodies, i.e. toxicity, acidification, salinisation, eutrophication and oxygen depletion, parasites and pathogens, invasive alien species, hydromorphological degradation, changing water levels as well as sediments and suspended matter. For each stressor, an extensive description of the potential effects on the ecological status is given. Secondly, stressor-specific abiotic and biotic indicators are described that allow for a first indication of probable causes, based on the assessment of available monitoring data. Subsequently, more advanced tools for site-specific confirmation of stressors at hand are discussed. Finally, the local status assessments are put into the perspective of the risk for downstream stretches in order to be able to prioritise stressors and to be able to select appropriate measures for mitigation of the risks resulting from these stressors.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRisk-informed management of European river basins
EditorsJ Brils, W Brack, D Muller-Grabherr, P Negrel, J.E Vermaat
Place of PublicationGermany
Number of pages97
ISBN (Electronic)9783642385988
ISBN (Print)9783642385971
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameThe Handbook of Environmental Chemistry
ISSN (Print)1867-979X
ISSN (Electronic)1616-864X


Dive into the research topics of 'Status and Causal Pathway Assessments Supporting River Basin Management'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this