A global model for aquatic biodiversity, GLOBIO-aquatic, is currently being developed to complement the GLOBIO model for terrestrial ecosystems. GLOBIO-aquatic aims to assess the combined impacts of environmental drivers on aquatic biodiversity. The first version of GLOBIO-aquatic became ready in 2009.

First results from GLOBIO-aquatic: biodiversity in lakes as a result of eutrophication, for the year 2000.

Cause-effect relationships

Analogous to the terrestrial model, in GLOBIO-aquatic relationships between environmental drivers and biodiversity are based on meta-analysis of literature data. Pressures included are land use and eutrophication in catchments, and damming of rivers for hydropower or water extraction. In a later stage also climate change and fisheries will be included.


Impacts on biodiversity are captured in terms of the mean abundance of original species relative to their abundance in undisturbed ecosystems (MSA). This is the same indicator as used for the terrestrial ecosystems. GLOBIO-aquatic currently covers the following freshwater ecosystem types: rivers, lakes and wetlands.

In 2010 the first version of GLOBIO aquatic became operational to contribute to global and regional environmental assessments.