The assessment systems for the open (BALCOSIS) as well as for the inner (PHYBIBCO) coastal waters of the German Baltic Sea according to the requirements of the European Water Framework Directive were updated by the MariLim GmbH (BALCOSIS: Version 4, Status: May 2019; PHYBIBCO: Version 2, Status: May 2019).

For the assessment of depth limits of both seagrass beds and Fucus spp. a new method has been established and implemented in the BALCOSIS system, Version 4. In this method, depth limits are assessed via a definition of plant stocks and evaluation criteria that consider the different reproduction processes and growth habits of both vegetation elements. The criteria do no longer apply coverage percentages as this method can lead to a high uncertainty depending on the experience and interpretation of the person evaluating the data.

Both implementation guidelines were edited and updated regarding literature references, taxonomic names, maps and tables for sampling stations as well as technical reforms like the reclassification of certain water bodies.

Further information for the assessment system BALCOSIS can be found on our own website:

as well as for the assessment system PHYBIBCO: