Scientific article
Open access

The M-NIP: a macrophyte-based nutrient index for ponds

Published inHydrobiologia, vol. 634, no. 1, p. 43-63
  • Open Access - Licence nationale Springer
Publication date2009

In Swiss ponds, eutrophication represents one of the major threats to biodiversity. A biological method to assess the trophic state would, therefore, be particularly useful for monitoring purposes. Macrophytes have already been successfully used to evaluate the trophic state of rivers and lakes. Considering their colonizing abilities and their roles in pond ecosystem structure and function, macrophytes should be included in any assessment methods as required by the European Water Framework Directive. Vegetation survey and water quality data for 114 permanent ponds throughout Switzerland were analysed to define indicator values for 113 species including 47 with well-defined ecological response to total water phosphorus (TP). Using indicator values and species cover, a Macrophyte Nutrient Index for Ponds (M-NIP) was calculated for each site and assessed with both the original pond data set and a limited validation data set. The resulting index performed better when considering only species with narrow responses to TP gradient and was more applicable, but less accurate when including all species. Despite these limitations, the M-NIP is a valuable and easy tool to assess and monitor the nutrient status of Swiss ponds and was shown to be robust and relatively sensitive to slight changes in phosphorus loading with a validation subset.

  • Aquatic vegetation
  • Bioassessment
  • Eutrophication
  • Water quality
  • EU Water Framework Directive
Citation (ISO format)
SAGER, Lionel, LACHAVANNE, Jean-Bernard. The M-NIP: a macrophyte-based nutrient index for ponds. In: Hydrobiologia, 2009, vol. 634, n° 1, p. 43–63. doi: 10.1007/s10750-009-9899-1
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Technical informations

Creation10/05/2009 3:47:00 PM
First validation10/05/2009 3:47:00 PM
Update time03/14/2023 3:15:57 PM
Status update03/14/2023 3:15:57 PM
Last indexation01/15/2024 7:05:03 PM
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