Development of transient habitat modeling for stream Macrozoobenthos

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


In addition to the hydromorphological pressure on the ecological conditions of free-flowing river courses, increasing water temperature is affecting the water bodies, particularly by changing freshwater community compositions. The low discharge of numerous European rivers in the dry and hot hydrological year 2022 proves this relevance. Therefore, ecological assessment tools such as habitat modeling should take these factors into account when assessing the quantity and quality of habitats. In this paper, the habitat modeling tool “Transient River Habitat Modeling for Macrozoobenthos” (TRiMM) is improved by incorporating a fuzzy logic approach and adding water temperature to the set of parameters determining habitat suitability for macrozoobenthos. Habitat-relevant parameters, including hydromorphological factors (depth, velocity, mineral and organic substrate) and a water quality factor (temperature), are combined in the habitat model so that it can more broadly characterize river physical conditions and their interactions with biological indicators. Habitat modeling employed the mentioned parameters to simulate suitability for the macrozoobenthos in a small river in central Saxony, Germany. Due to its deteriorated condition, this river was selected as a representative for thousands of kilometers of small rivers across the region, which have been restored. The model simulated the status quo of river conditions from spring to summer for three macrozoobenthos species (Ancylus fluviatilis, Ephemera danica and Gammarus fossarum). The results showed that the natural flow resulted in dynamic habitat suitability both spatially and temporally, which differs for each species. Remarkably, the five-parameter model (depth, velocity, temperature, mineral, and organic substrate) generally performed better compared to a similar model without temperature.


Original languageEnglish
JournalRiver Research and Applications
Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2022

External IDs

Scopus 85144006539
ORCID /0000-0002-3729-0166/work/142248425
ORCID /0000-0003-0986-9952/work/154739576


Research priority areas of TU Dresden

Subject groups, research areas, subject areas according to Destatis


  • aquatic habitat modeling, fuzzy logic, hydromorphology, macroinvertebrates, river restoration, water temperature

Library keywords