CNR-IRSA activities related to INHABIT

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Wadable rivers

Following the experience of EU co-funded projects dedicated to WFD implementation CNR-IRSA has developed a standard method for benthic macroinvertebrates sampling fully compliant with WFD requirements. The method has been published in 2007 in Notiziario IRSA – Mar 2007 (in Italian) and has been lately selected as official Italian method for operational monitoring and included into national legislation (MacrOper system, DM 260/2010). Sampling procedure follows a quantitative collection in defined area proportional to microhabitat composition of the investigated site. The sample is formed by a defined number of sampling units collected in all microhabitats present above a minimum occurrence percentage. Such percentage is defined according to the total number of sampling units (or replicates). The minimum sampling required for classification is composed by 10 sampling units, accordingly microhabitat composition has to be estimated at 10% steps. The sampling area can be 0.5 m2 or 1 m2 depending on river type. The obtained taxalist is thus used for ecological status definition. Sampling features are recorded in a dedicated sampling form that includes registration of flow types, habitat quantification and general information of site.