MacrOper system

CNR-IRSA activities related to INHABIT

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MacrOper system

By means of MacrOper classification system, quality classification for benthic macroinvertebrates can be obtained for ecological status classification. MacrOper system combines information on the following elements:

  • national typological scheme (according to DM 131/2008);
  • boundary class defined within European intercalibration process;
  • numeric reference values type specific for the 6 considered metrics;
  • STAR_ICMi calculation.

In addition the correct attribution to a quality class requires:

  • benthic fauna to be sampled according to a multihabitat proportional technique.


Very briefly MacrOper classification system allows to obtain:

  • the classification of a water body according to WFD requirements;
  • a classification directly comparable with those of other European countries.

Moreover, the system:

  • is explicitly dedicated to the assessment of the ecological state, as requested in particular for WFD operative monitoring;
  • is not adequate per se for the aims of surveillance and investigative monitoring whose objectives are beyond mere sites classification;
  • can be used in order to derive quality class in sites subject to surveillance and investigative monitoring (although additional information based on benthic community is required in this case).