Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 170, Issue 1–4, pp 535–544 | Cite as

Use of biological indicators to assess water quality of the Ul River (Portugal)

  • Paula Cristina Resende
  • Paulo Resende
  • Miguel Pardal
  • Salomé Almeida
  • Ulisses Azeiteiro


Diatoms and macroinvertebrates have been extensively used as water quality indicators in Europe for the last two decades. In Portugal, the use of biological indicators to assess water quality in rivers has increased greatly. The aim of this work was to assess the water quality and ecological status of the Ul River in order to evaluate its ability for the establishment of a fluvial beach, using periphytic diatoms and macroinvertebrates as indicators. Four sites were selected along the Ul River. At each site, biological, physical, and chemical parameters were investigated. Epilithic diatoms and macroinvertebrates were sampled. The Specific Polluosensitivity Index and the Biological Diatom Index were applied to diatom data, while for macroinvertebrates, the Iberian Biological Monitoring Working Party (IBMWP) was used. According to the results obtained, it was possible to conclude that up to now, this river does not possess the ideal conditions for the establishment of a fluvial beach. We concluded that epilithic diatoms and macroinvertebrates provided consistent information on water quality assessment and can be used as biological indicators of the water quality in Ul River.


WFD Diatoms Macroinvertebrates SPI BDI IBMWP 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paula Cristina Resende
    • 1
  • Paulo Resende
    • 2
  • Miguel Pardal
    • 1
  • Salomé Almeida
    • 3
  • Ulisses Azeiteiro
    • 1
  1. 1.Instituto do Mar (IMAR), Departamento de ZoologiaUniversidade de CoimbraCoimbraPortugal
  2. 2.Luságua, Serviços Ambientais S.A.LisbonPortugal
  3. 3.Departamento de BiologiaUniversidade de AveiroAveiroPortugal

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