TestWat - Macroinvertebrates and macrophytes of freshwater bodies in Flanders, Belgium

Latest version published by Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) on 31 May 2022 Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)

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Freshwater bodies perform a very important role in the ecological network and they are of great importance for biodiversity conservation. Because of their quick response to local and regional changes in environmental conditions, they are sensitive indicators of ongoing processes. Many users of these freshwater bodies need (or need to develop) a certain ecological quality. To optimize the ecological function of lentic freshwater systems a good understanding of their condition and occurring changes is needed and a specific reference situation is required. A classification that leans on a broad ecological base is essential. To have, in the future, a more objective and effective way to perform nature conservation, to prioritize nature development ect, we need to map the different types of freshwater bodies. We also need more knowledge related to environmental circumstances who can secure sustainable development of aquatic communities. The main objective of this study include the simplification of the main variety of permanent lentic freshwater systems in Flanders into workable units for environmental assessment, management and planning. A hierarchic typology will be worked out, based on biotic and ecological characteristics of key factors. The data collected in this context they are also important for determining the ongoing ecological status of still waters and to develop specific targets and a pragmatic evaluation method.

Data Records

The data in this occurrence resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 6,277 records.

This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.


The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.

How to cite

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Denys, L.; Moons, V.; Veraart, B. (2000). Ecologische typologie en onderzoek naar een geïntegreerde evaluatiemethode voor stilstaande wateren op regionale schaal: hoekstenen voor ontwikkeling, herstel en opvolging van natuurwaarden. Eindverslag van project VLINA97/02. Universiteit Antwerpen, departement biologie[S.l.]. 427 pp., details


Researchers should respect the following rights statement:

The publisher and rights holder of this work is Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO). To the extent possible under law, the publisher has waived all rights to these data and has dedicated them to the Public Domain (CC0 1.0). Users may copy, modify, distribute and use the work, including for commercial purposes, without restriction.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: 66178162-01dc-4133-9b3c-83265481c383.  Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by Belgian Biodiversity Platform.


Occurrence; Observation; macrophytes; macroinvertebrates; freshwater; Occurrence


Luc Denys
  • Owner
  • Originator
Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)
Jo Packet
  • Metadata Provider
  • Point Of Contact
Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)
Dimitri Brosens
  • Processor
Data liaison officer
Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)
Kliniekstraat 25
1070 Brussels
Brussels Capital Region

Geographic Coverage

Flanders has a temperate maritime climate influenced by the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, with relatively moderate summers and mild winters. Flanders is the northern part of Belgium. The two main geographical regions of Flanders are the Yser basin, in the North-West and the central plain. Flanders is divided in 6 ecoregions (Dunes district; Kempens district; Loam district; River Maas; Polder district, Sand and Loam district).

Bounding Coordinates South West [50.68, 2.54], North East [51.51, 5.92]

Taxonomic Coverage

All records in this dataset are macroinvertebrates (Animalia) or macrophytes (Plantae) and most are identified to species. The top 3 recorded species are the plants Lycopus europaeus (2%), Phragmites australis (2%), and Juncus effusus (2%).

Kingdom Plantae (plants), Animalia (animals)

Temporal Coverage

Start Date / End Date 1998-05-05 / 1999-09-21

Project Data

No Description available

Title Ecological typology and monitoring of standing waters and marshes
Funding VLINA (VLINA ( Vlaams Impulsprogramma Natuurontwikkeling)) Hercules foundation
Study Area Description Freshwaterbodies in Flanders
Design Description Typology and Ecological Research on integrated eveluationmethods for still waters on a regional scale: keystones for development, restoration and monitoring of natural values (Flanders).

The personnel involved in the project:

Luc Denys
  • Principal Investigator

Sampling Methods

Field samples and grab samples AQEM procedure

Study Extent Freshwaterbodies in Flanders
Quality Control Checked

Method step description:

  1. AQEM-procedure http://www.aqem.de/ftp/aqem_manual.zip

Bibliographic Citations

  1. Denys, L. (2009). Een a posteriori typologie van stilstaande wateren in Vlaanderen. Rapport van het Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek, 2009(39)[S.n.]: Brussel, details

Additional Metadata

To allow anyone to use this dataset, we have released the data to the public domain under a Creative Commons Zero waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/). We would appreciate however, if you read and follow these norms for data use (http://www.inbo.be/en/norms-for-data-use) and provide a link to the original dataset whenever possible. If you use these data for a scientific paper, please cite the dataset following the applicable citation norms and/or consider us for co-authorship. We are always interested to know how you have used or visualized the data, or to provide more information, so please contact us via the contact information provided in the metadata, opendata@inbo.be or https://twitter.com/LifeWatchINBO. The datasets is created under the Flemish Impulse Programme for Nature Development Introduction VLINA gives a serious stimulant to the research on nature conservation and improvement and development of the habitat of endangered of vulnerable species in Flanders. VLINA started 5 years ago and gave a financial impulse to innovative ecological and human-scientific research projects which had a maximum length of 3 years (see table). The total budget for the VLINA program was set on 500 million BEF or € 12.39 million. During the five years a total of 42 research projects was financed. Table: The number and the length of the projects Year Number of projects Project length 1996 6 3 years 1997 6 3 years 1998 4 3 years 1999 8 2 years 2000 18 1 years Total 42 5 years Based on a critical evaluation of existing scientific results from current research programs in Flanders as well as in Europe, the Board of Directors of the VLINA formulated the gaps in information for improving the ecological diversity in Flanders. The selected topics with a particular interest for the Flemish context were the following. Indicators of biodiversity and regulation in relation to human influence. We need simple and objective indicators for monitoring the ecological value of habitats and changes over time and over space. We also need to know more on the impact of human activities on the maintenance and survival of species and populations, especially the endangered ones, in Flanders. Ecological aspects of nature conservation. More knowledge should be acquired on how to improve the management of our nature reserves as a better buffer and to obtain higher values of the environment. Practical links to other land-use forms such as farming and forestry are priority issues. Habitat fragmentation. Due to the intensive use of land in Flanders, fragmentation of habitats is a serious problem. Research on genetic loss in small and isolated populations and how to improve passage and connection ways is of great interest. Ecohydrological aspects. In many cases semi-natural ecosystems are linked to artificial hydrological dynamics of periodic flooding. More information is needed on the relationship between soil and water properties on one hand and nature quality on the other. Sociological aspects of nature conservation. The values associated with biodiversity are not easily expressed in terms of economic value but are the result of the importance we assign to it. Which conflicts exists between the different actors and how can we improve the respect for nature in Flanders? The perceptions and attitudes of different social groups have to be studied. What is the effect of the different regulations on nature quality? What is the effect of nature-education? Does there exist an 'optimal mix' of instruments for nature conservation? Researchers The VLINA projects were carried out by the Flemish research institutes, the Institute for Nature Conservation and the Institute for Forest and Wildlife Management, universities, NGOs and others. Organisation The Board of Directors of VLINA is trusted with the scientific guiding of the Impulse Programme. This Board of Directors works in close collaboration with the operational VLINA-cell. This cell is responsible for the daily administration of the Impulse Programme. Every project has a steering committee, which is responsible for an optimal follow-up of the project. Research networks One of the objectives of VLINA was to establish new research networks. All projects are a collaboration of several VLINA-partners. They sample, process and interpret the data together. They also have some collective publications. Availability The summaries of all VLINA projects can be found in the GMO-database and on the website of the Nature Division (www.mina.vlaanderen.be/wiedoetwat/aminal/taken/natuur). The final reports of the VLINA projects can be asked at the operational VLINA-cell.

Purpose The dataset was created to support the development of a typology of freshwater bodies in Flanders.
Alternative Identifiers 66178162-01dc-4133-9b3c-83265481c383