Phytoplankton based assessment of ecological status of Bulgarian lakes and comparison of metrics within the water framework directive

D. Belkinova, J. PadisáK, G. Gecheva, S. Cheshmedjiev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


Taxonomic composition and abundance of summer phytoplankton were studied in 78 lakes in Bulgaria. The Hungarian Assemblage index was applied for the first time on various Bulgarian lake types and 27 phytoplankton functional groups were identified. The dominant functional groups differed based on lake type and trophic status. Functional groups’ frequency distribution showed that high relative abundance of assemblages L0, Y, MP, N, E, X3, Xph indicated high or good status, regardless of lake type. S.multaneously undesirable assemblages, linked to the declined water quality, were LM, J. M, S. and H1. We also examined the relationship between the Assemblage index and a number of phytoplankton metrics: Total biomass, % Cyanobacteria, Transparensy, Chlorophyll a, Algal bloom and Algae G.oup Index. The two applied indices (Hungarian Assemblage index and Algae G.oup index) were highly correlated (p<0.01). The Assemblage index had also strong relationship (p<0.001) with Total biomass, % Cyanobacteria, Chlorophyll a, as well as with the assessed overall ecological status. Assemblage index and Algae Group Index resulted in similar assessment and were applicable to all three Alpine and mountain, Deep semimountain and Small and middle sized lowland lake groups. Assemblage index is recommended especially for lentic ecosystems in extreme cases, e. g. hyperhaline lakes, for its flexibility and more adequate assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-103
Number of pages21
JournalApplied Ecology and Environmental Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Algae Group Index
  • Assemblage index
  • Biomass
  • Functional groups
  • Q index

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science

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