Towards ecological goals for the heavily modified lakes in the IJsselmeer area, The Netherlands

  • Eddy Lammens
  • Francien van Luijn
  • Yolanda Wessels
  • Harry Bouwhuis
  • Ruurd Noordhuis
  • Rob Portielje
  • Diederik van der Molen
Part of the Developments in Hydrobiology book series (DIHY, volume 199)

Abstract

The European Water Framework Directive (WFD) obliges EU member states to define ecological goals for water bodies and, if necessary, to take measures to achieve these goals by 2015. The goals and measures for the water bodies in the IJsselmeer area of The Netherlands are elaborated in this study, following an approach described by Irmer & Pollard (2006, Alternative methodology for defining Good Ecological Potential (GEP) for Heavily Modified Water Bodies (HMWB) and Artificial Water Bodies (AWB). ECOSTAT). With the closure of the Afsluitdijk in 1932, the former Southern Sea estuary was transformed into the freshwater Lake IJsselmeer. Subsequently, a string of so-called border lakes and Lake Markermeer were created by land reclamation projects and the construction of dams. These alterations serve safety, provide drinking water supplies and created agricultural land. Owing to the change in category, the lakes are by (WFD) definition heavily modified. A natural lake rather than an estuary will be the starting point for determining ecological potential. However, damming and fixing the water table prevented the development of emergent vegetation and caused steep water-land gradients. The Maximum Ecological Potential includes the effect of these hydromorphological changes after all mitigation measures have been considered. Other pressures on the lakes are high nutrient loads, which cause phytoplankton blooms, the disappearance of aquatic macrophytes and intensive fishery, which overexploites the pikeperch and eel populations and causes indirect negative effects on water quality. Good Ecological Potential for these lakes is derived by estimating the effects of all effective hydromorphological measures that have no significant negative impact on existing functions or the wider environment, and the effects of all other measures. The suggested main measures are: construction of fish passages, adaptation of shore-lines, wind sheltered areas, reduction of nutrient load, reduction of fishery pressure and reduction of the bream stock. The effects of these measures are calculated from multivariate analyses that establish the relationships between (a) nutrients and chlorophyll- a, (b) chlorophyll-a and water transparency, (c) water transparency, depth distribution and vegetation coverage and (d) vegetation coverage and fish community. The proposed goals will be refined using new scientific insights and further discussions with stakeholders, and will finally be reported in the River Basin Management Plan 2009. It is expected that exemptions will be used for a phased achievement of the objectives.

Keywords

Water Framework Directive Human pressures Ecological condition Fish Fishery Macrophytes Transparency Nutrients Chlorophyll-a Water management Measures 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eddy Lammens
    • 1
  • Francien van Luijn
    • 2
  • Yolanda Wessels
    • 3
  • Harry Bouwhuis
    • 4
  • Ruurd Noordhuis
    • 1
  • Rob Portielje
    • 1
  • Diederik van der Molen
    • 1
  1. 1.RWS RIZALelystadThe Netherlands
  2. 2.RWS Directie IJsselmeergebiedLelystadThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Grontmij AquaSenseAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  4. 4.OranjewoudHeerenveenThe Netherlands

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