Aquatic benthic invertebrates, of which chironomids are the largest family, are good indicators of nutrient enrichment and can be used to assess lake water quality. Passively drifting pupal skins accumulating at the lake leeward shore are easily collected.
Benthic invertebrate communities are good indicators of acidification which is caused by acidic pollution from precipitation and acids leaching from the surrounding soils. Benthic invertebrates are easily suited to biological monitoring as they are common, widespread and easily sampled.
Macrophytes provide habitats for fish and smaller animals; they bind sediments, protect banks, absorb nutrients and provide oxygenation. Macrophytes can indicate the impact of increased nutrients in lakes and are also influenced by other pressures such as water level change or acidification.