The inland water macro-invertebrate occurrences in Flanders, Belgium

, Dimitri Brosens, Ward De Cooman, Wim Gabriels, Frank Lavens, Joost Mertens, Bart Vervaeke

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review

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The Flanders Environment Agency (VMM) has been performing biological water quality assessments on inland waters in Flanders (Belgium) since 1989 and sediment quality assessments since 2000. The water quality monitoring network is a combined physico-chemical and biological network, the biological component focusing on macro-invertebrates. The sediment monitoring programme produces biological data to assess the sediment quality. Both monitoring programmes aim to provide index values, applying a similar conceptual methodology based on the presence of macro-invertebrates. The biological data obtained from both monitoring networks are consolidated in the VMM macro-invertebrates database and include identifications at family and genus level of the freshwater phyla Coelenterata, Platyhelminthes, Annelida, Mollusca, and Arthropoda. This paper discusses the content of this database, and the dataset published thereof: 282,309 records of 210 observed taxa from 4,140 monitoring sites located on 657 different water bodies, collected during 22,663 events. This paper provides some background information on the methodology, temporal and spatial coverage, and taxonomy, and describes the content of the dataset. The data are distributed as open data under the Creative Commons CC-BY license.
Original languageEnglish
Article number759
Pages (from-to)117-137
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 22-May-2018

Thematic list

  • Environment

Taxonomic list

  • macroinvertebrates


  • management monitoring


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