Biological Standard Methods
Phytobenthos are good indicators of nutrient enrichment and other pressures, and can be used to assess river water quality. Diatoms are the main plant groups that we use because their silica shells are easy to identify under the microscope.
This method statement describes a system for assessing and classifying surface water bodies (rivers, lakes, transitional and coastal) based on the presence of high impact alien species.
Estuarine fish communities are good indicators of a range of man-made disturbances. They are mobile, relatively long lived, found near to the top of the food chain (so are affected by other parts of the chain and prone to bioaccumulation effects) and are easy to identify and return to the water: all of these characteristics make them ideal for the monitoring of estuaries. This method is based on the principle that the abundance of fish and the number of individual species found can change depending on the pressures on the estuary.
Benthic invertebrate communities are good indicators of acidification which is caused by acidic pollution from precipitation and acids leaching from the surrounding soils. They are easily suited to biological monitoring as they are common, widespread and easily sampled. This method is based on
This classification method enables the assessment of invertebrates in rivers in relation to general degradation, including organic pollution.
This method statement covers a number of physical and biological indicators that could be used individually, or in combination, to help assess whether there is major or severe impact on river ecology due to altered flows arising from water resource activities.
Phytoplankton form the base of many food webs in lakes. This method uses the principle that an increase in nutrients (particularly phosphorus) leads to an increase in phytoplankton biomass and a change in the taxonomic composition, often leading to an increased occurrence of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae).
Phytobenthos are good indicators of nutrient enrichment and can be used to assess lake water quality. Diatoms are the main plant groups that we use because their silica cell walls make them easy to identify under the microscope.
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