ICPR – International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine

276. The macrozoobenthos of the Rhine 2018

The species diversity and dominant species proportions of the macrozoobenthos (invertebrates living on the river bottom) is an indicator of water quality, and of the quantity and quality of habitat structures in a water body. The increasing establishment of thermophilic invasive species also allows to draw conclusions about heat stress. All in all, more than 500 macrozoobenthos species were detected in the Rhine between the Alps and the North Sea. Above all molluscs (Mollusca), oligochaeta, crustaceans, insects, freshwater spunges and bryozoa make up the aspect.

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