The book presents approaches and methodologies for predicting the structure and diversity of key aquatic communities (namely diatoms, benthic macroinvertebrates and fish), under natural conditions and under man-made disturbance. Such an approach will make it possible to: 1) set up procedures for robust and sensitive ecosystem evaluation, based on the prediction of the expected community structure; 2) model community structure in disturbed ecosystems, taking into account all the relevant ecological variables; 3) test ecosystem sensitivity to natural and anthropic disturbance; and 4) explore specific actions to be taken for the restoration of ecosystem integrity.

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