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DEMNA : MacroInvertebrate occurrences in monitored surface water bodies of Wallonia

Latest version published by Service Public de Wallonie – Département d’Etude du Milieu Naturel et Agricole (SPW – DEMNA) on Jun 29, 2017 Service Public de Wallonie – Département d’Etude du Milieu Naturel et Agricole (SPW – DEMNA)

"DEMNA : MacroInvertebrate occurrences in monitored surface water bodies of Wallonia" is an occurrence dataset created by the Hydrobiology unit at the Department of Study of the Natural and Agricultural Environment (DEMNA- Public Service of Wallonia). The data come from an ongoing monitoring network on the biological quality of water bodies in Wallonia set up to undertake the Eu Water framework directive missions (since 2005). MacroInvertebrates are one of the 4 indicator groups used to assess the biological quality of water bodies with macrophytes(doi:10.15468/cumtkq), diatoms(doi:10.15468/vvkk9a) and fishes(doi:10.15468/jgddny). The occurrences are derived from standardized IBGN/IBGA samplings, and are completed with had hoc observations from non-specific monitorings. Some IBGN/IBGA target taxa have been removed from the dataset, due to the low taxonomic resolution used (classes, orders).

The Current monitoring network is composed of more than 440 sites, distributed among small streams to the largest rivers/canals from the hydrographic districts of the Meuse, the Scheldt, the Rhine and the Seine (Wallonia areas). Some data can be previous to the set up of the current monitoring network, collected during other activies of the hydrobiology unit.

The results of the Biological quality assessment can be acessed through cigale ( information is available upon request adressed to the DEMNA, and please note that this dataset does not replace any official convention on the provision of biological data delivered by the department.

Maintenance of the dataset will be realised each year in order to include previous-year reported samlings.

Data Records

The data in this occurrence resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 141,679 records.

This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.


Download the latest version of this resource data as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A) or the resource metadata as EML or RTF:

Data as a DwC-A file download 141,679 records in English (3 MB) - Update frequency: annually
Metadata as an EML file download in English (22 KB)
Metadata as an RTF file download in English (20 KB)


The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.

How to cite

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Origin of the information: SPW-DGO3-DEMNA-Hydrobiology Unit.


Researchers should respect the following rights statement:

The publisher and rights holder of this work is Service Public de Wallonie – Département d’Etude du Milieu Naturel et Agricole (SPW – DEMNA). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) 4.0 License.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: 76a03a1c-fe0b-496e-adad-cd19af2ae043.  Service Public de Wallonie – Département d’Etude du Milieu Naturel et Agricole (SPW – DEMNA) publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by Belgium Biodiversity Platform.


Occurrence; Monitoring; macroinvertebrates; Wallonia; Belgium; IBGN; IBGA; water framework directive; DEMNA; freshwater; Specimen


Who created the resource:

Frédéric Chérot
qualified attached
Department d'étude du milieu naturel et agricole Avenue Maréchal Juin 23 5030 Gembloux Namur BE

Who can answer questions about the resource:

Maxime Coupremanne
Data liaison officer
Belgian Biodiversity Platform 22 Avenue de la faculté 5030 Gembloux Namur BE
Frédéric Chérot
qualified attached
Department d'étude du milieu naturel et agricole Avenue Maréchal Juin 23 5030 Gembloux Namur BE

Who filled in the metadata:

Frédéric Chérot
Qualified attached
Department d'étude du milieu naturel et agricole Avenue Maréchal Juin 23 5030 Gembloux Namur BE
Maxime Coupremanne
Data liaison offier
Belgian Biodiversity Platform 22 Avenue de la faculté 5030 Gembloux Namur BE

Who else was associated with the resource:

Principal Investigator
François Darchambeau
Unit manager
Department d'étude du milieu naturel et agricole Avenue Maréchal Juin 23 5030 Gembloux Namur BE

Geographic Coverage

Wallonia, Southern Belgium. Some exceptional data can be found in neighboring regions (Flanders) or countries (France, Luxembourg, etc.).

Bounding Coordinates South West [49.497, 2.747], North East [50.813, 6.372]

Taxonomic Coverage

Freshwater macroinvertebrates from Wallonia. The observations include more than 670 taxa divided between species (more than 240), genus (more than 250) and families (more than 170). Thus, the dataset includes more taxa than expected for the IBGN/IBGA protocols, due to higher identifications and had hoc observations made by the laboratory staff.

Kingdom  Animalia (animals)
Phylum  Arthropoda (Arthropods),  Mollusca (Molluscs),  Platyhelminthes (Flat worms),  Annelida (Ringed worms),  Cnidaria (cnidarians),  Bryozoa (Moss animals),  Porifera (Sponges),  Nematomorpha (Gordian worms),  Nematoda (Roundworms)

Temporal Coverage

Start Date / End Date 1989-05-01 / 2015-09-30

Project Data

This Directive covers a complex set of objectives, instruments and obligations. The directive is mainly concerned with the organization and management of water at the river basin level.

Title Water Framework Directive (FWD)
Identifier 2000/60/CE
Funding Countries are responsible for achieving the objectives of the Directive. In the context of this dataset, funding is provided by the Public Service of Wallonia (SPW).
Study Area Description Water bodies from Europe,Managed at the basin scale. According to six-year management cycles (2010-2015, 2016-2021, etc.). International or national basin districts have been delineated. These districts encompass not only the entire hydrographic network but also the drainage area and the estuaries, including groundwater, marine and related associated environments.
Design Description The aim of this Directive is to achieve a good biological and chemical quality of the waters masses. Attention is focused on: - the composition of fauna and flora - the amount of oxygen or nutrients (fertilizer) in the water - pH - Hydromorphological aspects (current,etc.) of river beds

The personnel involved in the project:

Principal Investigator
François Darchambeau

Sampling Methods

The station is theoretically defined as a section of the watercourse equal to ten times the width of the wet bed. The sampling methodology consists of sampling eight different microhabitats characterized by eight substrate-speed couples. In practice, a section of length equal to 10 times the average width of the station often proves to be too short to find 8 microhabitats in narrow streams (in the order of one meter) and too long in largest streams (Several tens of meters). This value must therefore be adjusted to find 8 microhabitats. The substrate/velocity pairs whose surface in the station is <1/20 m² are not sampled. The 8 microhabitats are distributed between lotic zones and lentic zones, between mineral substrates and vegetable substrates, between the bed, the left and right banks. A push net ('Haveneau') is used. It must be solid, with a maximum 500 μm mesh size, frame width of 25 to 30 cm, frame height 20 to 25 cm, net length 50 to 60 cm, apical width of the net from 7 to 10 cm. In order to sample mineral substrates with particle sizes from 0.1 to 100 mm (corresponding to sands, gravels, stones, rollers), the operator in charge of the net sampling places the net against the current and stirs the substrate upstream with the foot on a surface of about 1/20 m² at a short distance from the net. He repeats this operation 5 times for the same type of substrate/velocity pairs, in 5 different places (for example from one bank to the other). To sample the bryophytes, the operator places the push net net in front of the current and treads a foot for about 1/20 m² in order to extract the macroinvertebrates which are then entrained in the net by the current. To sample the roots, heliphytes of the banks and other emerging spermaphytes, the operator, facing the current, shakes the substrate vigorously in the haveneau net, then examines it and detaches the fixed organisms. Three rows of nets will be applied for the roots, the heliphytes of the banks and the other emergent spermaphytes. The mineral substrates with particle sizes from 100 to 250 mm (corresponding to medium stones) are placed in a bucket of water and cleaned by the hand-picker. About ten stones will be sampled, equivalent to about 1/20 m². Large mineral substrates (granulometry higher than 250 mm, corresponding to "blocks", stones that are only possible to lift with two hands) are hand-cleaned in a bucket of water. Two or three blocks according to their size will be sampled, equivalent to about 1/20 m². To sample the immersed spermaphytes, the operator raises a clump of spermaphytes, pulls it out by hand and transfers it to its bucket. By holding the sample in the bucket, the operator expands the tuft into several fragments, shakes each fragment individually and energetically, and detaches the fixed organisms by hand. Net samples, usually composed of a mixture of plants, mineral fragments, and macroinvertebrates, are dumped into a bucket of water once this part of the sampling is completed. The samples taken by hand are directly transferred to a bucket. The solid contents of the buckets are resuspended and removed with a 500 μm mesh sieve. The sieve is then held in a light stream of water to remove the fine elements (vase, fine sand, etc.). Then, the remaining contents of the sieve are introduced into a flask containing about ten centimeters of water. A rapid visual examination can assess the abundance and diversity of macroinvertebrates, the dominant taxa and the probable indicator group. If the sample contains fragile organisms or very small sized organisms (mainly Peloptera and Ephemeroptera), these organisms can be delicately packaged separately, if necessary in ethanol (Fine Shellfish). The taxa observed with a single specimen or supposed to represent the indicator group are possibly isolated in a pill box, placed in the flask. A sufficient volume of water to cover the sample (5 to 10 cm) is added. The sample is fixed by adding 10% of a neutralized solution of formaldehyde and 90% of water, then it is homogenized carefully and delicately. As far as possible, formalin is added using a 50 ml syringe, otherwise by pouring directly. Protected organisms (Astacus astacus, Dytiscus spp, Hydrophilus piceus, Margaritifera margaritifera, Unio crassus, ...) will be carefully recorded on the field protocol in the boxes "other taxa noticed" and returned to the water . For this purpose, a 10 X magnifier is used.

Study Extent The current monitoring network is composed of more than 440 sampling stations distributed among the Wallonia. The concerned habitats includes static water masses, canals, and small streams to largest rivers from the hydrographic districts of the Meuse, the Scheldt, the Rhine and the Seine. The current network and method designs were set up in 2005, but the dataset also includes older data coming from different sampling events performed by the hydrobioloy unit at the department for the study of the natural and agricultural environment.
Quality Control Field operators determine whether the sample could be identified directly after being sorted. Otherwise, the sorting operator stored the sample in alcohol (10% formalin) pending further identification in the laboratory. The final results are only imported into the unit database ('AQUABIO') once the sampling and determination are deemed valid. The samples are then labeled in 40 * 30 * 12 cm red plastic boxes (Manutan reference A025911 or equivalent) and stored permanently in the collection.

Method step description:

  1. Selecting the sampling area and preparing the route.
  2. Selection of substrates to be surveyed by station.
  3. Sampling of substrates.
  4. Cleaning the sample.
  5. Sample conditioning.
  6. Post-sampling identifications/verifications and counting.
  7. Report writing.
  8. Encoding in the Aquabio database.

Collection Data

Collection Name AQUABIO_MI
Collection Identifier MI
Parent Collection Identifier AQUABIO
Specimen preservation methods Formalin,  Alcohol

Additional Metadata

Dataset also include 'adhoc observations', that come from field observations made during other sampling event, not specific to IBGN/IBGA macroinvertebrates samplings. results of the waterbodies monitoring can be accessed through the catalog :

Purpose Monitoring the biological quality of surface waterbodies in Wallonia, based on 4 biological indicator groups (with macrophytes, diatoms and fishes), for the EU water framework directive. MacroInvertebrates are used to determine IBGN / IBGA indicators, that are reported to Europe annualy.
Maintenance Description Only Europe-reported data are considered as valid, which is a requirement for GBIF publication. Thus, the dataset will be republished annualy after the reporting.
Alternative Identifiers 76a03a1c-fe0b-496e-adad-cd19af2ae043