MARS Diagnostic tools

While the assessment of the ecological status of surface water bodies has become quite straightforward nowadays, almost two decades after the WFD has been launched, the inference of appropriate management options from the assessment is still challenging. More precisely, water body managers face the ecological status assessment of a given water body that usually integrates over several or numerous (multiple) stressors impacting the water body. The challenge is to identify the most-impacting stressor(s) and to distinguish them from the minor ones. Such stressor hierarchies are required to infer the appropriate hierarchy of management options to address the relevant stressors.

The first tool presented here, constitutes an approach to diagnose the causes of deterioration of lowland rivers based on the causes' (stressors') effects on selected diagnostic metrics derived from the macro-invertebrate community. The approach uses a Bayesian (Belief) Network (BN) to statistically infer the probabilities of the causes to be causal for the detected effects at the water body.

The graphical interface allows the user to easily enter evidence (i.e. the states of selected effect variables) to the BN. The results are graphically displayed and accompanied by helpful background information and web links to relevant sources of information.

This is the first model out of a series which will go online in later autumn 2017.

NOTE: The tool is hosted on an external server, it might take a few seconds to load. For full technical support you should use Google Chrome, in some versions of Firefox or Safari the mouse-over effects for extra information do not work correctly. We are working on this issue.