The requirements for proper diatom identification are high and taxa should be preferably identified to species level and lower. Therefore, the microscopic examination and taxonomic identification is somewhat demanding and the necessary level and experience can be only acquired after some time of practice. A strong background knowledge of diatom morphology and terminology together with good awareness of most important diatom identification sources is a basic prerequisite to advance.
In the EU, a method for microscopic analysis is established by the EN 13946:2014 standard and provides instructions for identification and enumeration of diatoms for purposes of ecological status assessment. Following these instructions results in diatom taxalists with taxa quantified in relative numbers ensuring comparability and applicability of the diatom samples for ecological studies. The current training will cover all these elementary aspects.
The main objective of the training is that participants understand the essential and correct routine of diatom analysis, identification and, especially, get familiar with diatom morphology, terminology, and identification literature. The training programme is mainly adapted for beginners’ level of knowledge of diatom identification, but it is also intended to provide useful reference guide for diatom identification for more advanced levels.