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surber sampling

Aquatic surveys

Freshwater ecological surveys are undertaken, for example for conservation assessment, to monitor or identify a discharge or impact, assess damage or recovery, or to assess flow requirements or nutrient enrichment. Biological water quality is assessed as defined by macroinvertebrate, riparian and in-channel macrophyte communities. Surveys support environmental statements and ecological impact assessments of aquatic habitats.

Sampling methodology
Surveys utilise techniques monitoring benthic, pelagic and emergent macroinvertebrate communities in still and flowing freshwater habitats.

Ponds and canals are surveyed using National Pond Survey or PSYM methodology; and assessed using UK BAP Priority Pond Criteria. Streams and rivers are surveyed using Environment Agency RIVPACS protocol where appropriate. The Chironomid Pupal Exuvial Technique or CPET may be used to assess the quality of lakes (or any other type of waterbody). Quantitative,experimentation and biomanipulation techniques may be utilised where required.

Taxonomy and biotic indices
Macroinvertebrate taxonomy is to species level for major macroinvertebrate groups, to identify species of conservation interest. Biotic scores, such as BMWP, ASPT and diversity indices are used in biological water quality monitoring. The conservation value of waterbodies and wetlands is assessed using wetland plant and invertebrate Species Rarity Indices, water beetle fidelity and Species Quality Scores, and the Community Conservation Index. Water quantity is assessed using LIFE methodology.

Protected species and special groups
Protected species surveys such as the Desmoulin's Whorl Snail; are undertaken following Life in UK Rivers monitoring protocol.

Larval and pupal Chironomidae surveys may be undertaken; with identification either specific or generic.

Estuarine and marine habitats
Estuarine and marine habitats are surveyed in collaboration with Aquatonics Ltd.

drift netting
kick net sampling
deep water sampling
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