ETC/BD Technical paper 5/2016: Revising the freshwater section of the EUNIS habitats classification – A scoping paper updated July 2016

02 Dec 2022

Gertie Arts and Joop Schaminée, Wageningen Environmental Research (WEnR, NL)

Although a floristic approach was considered appropriate for the revision of EUNIS terrestrial habitats, which are largely defined by their vegetation, a different approach was considered for EUNIS freshwater habitats. These habitats are characterized by more groups of organisms, like e.g. macroinvertebrates, fish and algae. In the context of the discussion about the revision of EUNIS freshwater habitats, this reports compares the most important freshwater typologies as existing in Europe.

First of all the report explains why a review of the EUNIS freshwater habitats is needed. Then it describes which typologies for freshwater habitats are currently used by EU directives and guidelines and could be added to, or contribute to the EUNIS classification system. It discusses what are the pros and cons of taking the EU habitat Red List  typology based on EUNIS-3 habitats for the revision of the EUNIS typology. Furthermore it lists which data are available for freshwater habitats in addition to vegetation data. The report concludes with recommendations on how to proceed.