Présentations Colloques

Oral Presentation
Session 8.09: Hydrogeoecology: a focus on groundwater ecology
Hug Katrin
GroundCare - Concept for the integrative ecological assessment of groundwater ecosystems status and services
Targeted provisional session No. 8.09 ****Today, the ecological assessment of surface waters is routine and made its way into national and international (e.g. European Water Framework Directive) regulations. For groundwater and aquifers a comparable approach, considering ecological aspects, is still missing. In contrast, groundwater monitoring and management schemes follow almost exclusively physical-chemical and quantitative criteria. However, groundwater systems are ecosystems harboring diverse communities of microorganisms and invertebrates. Directly linked to these biological components, groundwater systems provide important ecosystem services of societal relevance, such as the natural production of clean drinking water, biodegradation of pollutants and elimination of pathogens, to name a few. The application of suitable biological indicators for groundwater systems potentially allows the detection of changes in ecosystem services associated to natural or anthropogenic effects, thereby sustaining groundwater quality assessment.**In the recent past, we contributed to the development of a first concept of an ecologically sound groundwater assessment scheme. Work included (1) the identification of biological ecological criteria, (2) set-up of a groundwater ecosystem typology, (3) deduction of natural biological groundwater background values and definition of reference conditions for selected sites, and (4) a first evaluation model. **In the framework of the project consortium GroundCare, recently funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, ten partners from science, authorities and the private sector challenge and further develop the early concept extending the focus to a qualitative and quantitative assessment and monitoring of groundwater ecosystem services.**The talk will inform about first results and developments in GroundCare, and further activities related to groundwater ecosystem status and services assessment. **