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Based on data from monitoring in north-east Germany (Land Brandenburg) over a decade, chironomid taxa and their abundances were analysed for their preferences for certain running water types and degradation levels. A detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) revealed that the distribution of the taxa was determined by both, degradation level and water body type. A series of taxa was positively or negatively correlated to degradation, however, frequently only in certain water body types. In other types, they played no major role or were evenly distributed along the degradation gradient. Higher correlations were found for taxa favouring ‘good’ and 'poor' or 'bad' conditions than for preferers of ‘moderate’ status. The results allow to validate indices and weigths of indicators derived from high frequencies of the taxa in certain one or more quality class(es). The preferred ocurrencies elaborated have to be discussed or tested for plausiblity before using or evaluating powerful indicator taxa for classifications or revisions in assessment practice. A reduction of the taxonomical precision to genus level lowered the statistical significance and requires careful examination of the species preferences of the genus.