OligoNem – In situ methods using oligochaetes and nematodes for assessing sediment quality
Sediments play a critical role in biogeochemical cycling, and benthic processes support the base of aquatic food chains. However, sediments are often polluted and, as chemical sinks, can represent a risk for benthic communities. Even if no signs of pollution are apparent in the water column sediments can disturb the functioning of the ecosystem.It is therefore crucial to assess the sediment quality to assess the risk for aquatic ecosystems. Integrated methods for the evaluation of sediment quality do not only use physico-chemical and ecotoxicological analyses but also in situ indices that evaluate the diversity and sensitivity of macrobenthic communities. Nematodes and oligochaetes have been found to be most useful in this respect. To encourage the application of such indices the implementation of the French IOBS index for oligchaetes will be improved among other by using new DNA-based monitoring tools (e.g. barcoding) for their taxonomic identification. In addition, the possibility to implement the German NemaSPEAR index for nematodes in Switzerland will be explored.
Vivien, R., Lafont, M. (2015) Note faunistique sur les oligochètes aquatiques de la région genevoise et de Suisse. Revue suisse de Zoologie, 122:207-212