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The Saprobie or Saprobität is a measure of the content of organic substances easily degradable by oxygen consumption in the water. A common definition is: “In the context of the bioactivity of the water body, saprobic is the sum of all sales processes that oppose primary production, that is, the processes associated with a loss of potential energy. (…) In combination with the biogenic and physical oxygen input, this results in the degree of saprobicity of the water. This can be determined both by means of metabolic dynamic measurements and by analyzing the communities. ”The approach is called (after a hydrobiological conference) the“ Prague Convention ”. The saprobicity of the water is inversely related to the oxygen saturation, because oxygen is consumed by the breakdown (oxidation) of organic matter. A common measure for saprobia is the BOD . If organic substances such. B. with sewage, in a body of water, its increased saprobicity is gradually reduced by the biological degradation. This is known as biological self-cleaning . In addition, the nutrient content (phosphate, nitrogen compounds) increases from the mineralized biomass. The content of these nutrients defines the trophy of the water.

Sometimes a distinction is made between "autosaprobicity" (also "autosaprobia") as a measure of the degradable organic substance formed in the water itself and "allosaprobicity" (also "allosaprobia") for that which has come in from outside. Increased autosaprobicity is typical for waters with increased trophies when there is enough light.

Usually the saprobia of a river is measured using indicator organisms (saprobians, plural saprobias). Different levels of saprobial pollution define the biological water quality , they are referred to as water quality classes . The procedure for determining saprobia using indicator organisms is known as the saprobic system.

Individual evidence

  1. Caspers, H. & L. Karbe (1967): Proposals for a saprobiological typification of waters. International Review of All Hydrobiology 52: 145–162.
  2. ^ Karl Höll: Water. Use in the cycle: hygiene, analysis and evaluation. De Gruyter Verlag, Berlin, 2011. ISBN 978-3-11-022678-2 , p. 476.
  3. DIN 38410. German standard methods for water, waste water and sludge examination - Biological-ecological water examination (group M) - Part 1: Determination of the saprobic index in flowing waters (M 1) (2004). Explanation of terms: see 3.22, p. 9