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A rationale for the use of artificial substrata to enhance diatom-based monitoring of eutrophication in lowland rivers

Goldsmith, B; (1996) A rationale for the use of artificial substrata to enhance diatom-based monitoring of eutrophication in lowland rivers. (ECRC Research Paper 13 ). UCL Environmental Change Research Centre: London, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

With the introduction of new European directives governing water quality, the need to monitor eutrophication in rivers has been recognized. The inclusion of a reliable biotic component in any such monitoring scheme is considered necessary. Diatoms have been shown to display a direct response to trophic status and are therefore being used in preliminary work in this field. The sampling of river diatoms has relied on the river site having clean cobbles, or other solid substrata, from which to collect the epilithon. From a total of 58 lowland river sites visited only 31 had a good epilithic community . The need therefore exists for a more reliable sampling method in these systems. Artificial substrata have a number of reported advantages over the natural communities : lower sample variability, consistency between sites, placement at the point of interest and ease of use. Data are presented here to compare three different types of artificial substrata (rough tile, smooth tile and rope) with the natural communities (epilithon epipelon and epiphyton) at two eutrophic river sites. Within sample variation is shown to be lower on the artificial substrata while a high diversity is maintained on the rope and rough tiles. Further ad vantages of using artificial substrata are described and the logistics of their applied use are discussed.

Type: Report
Title: A rationale for the use of artificial substrata to enhance diatom-based monitoring of eutrophication in lowland rivers
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://www.geog.ucl.ac.uk/research/research-centr...
Language: English
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10110149
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