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Title: Testing and Further Development of RIVPACS Phase 3. Development of New RIVPACS Methodologies - Stage 1
Author: J F Wright
Author: R T Clarke
Author: R J M Gunn
Author: J H Blackburn
Author: J Davy-Bowker
Author: Environment Agency
Document Type: Monograph
Annotation: Environment Agency Project ID:EAPRJOUT_340, Representation ID: 81, Object ID: 1684
This three-year project (January 1998 - December 2000) for the development of new RIVPACS methodologies includes a total of ten separate work packages. of which four have received attention in year 1 (January - December 1998). The four packages are: 1. The editing of a book resulting from an International Workshop on RIVPACS research,held at Jesus College, Oxford in September 1997. The book, which includes nineteen edited papers based on oral presentations made at the International Workshop plus the main findings and conclusions from five Workshop discussion groups, is to be published by the Freshwater Biological Association. 2. Development of the use of abundance data for biological quality assessment. (Year one of a two year study). The current version of RIVPACS III+ includes a single abundance index (Q14) designed to indicate the first signs of environmental stress prior to major loss of BMWP families. Several additional indices (Q15-Q19) are currently under consideration. To date, Indices Q14-Q17 have been coded directly into a modified version of RIVPACS III+. Critical lower limits for these indices have recently been calculated based on the 614 RIVPACS III+ reference sites. Previously, the critical limit for the Q14 index was based on the 438 sites from RIVPACS II, and was a less sensitive measure of stress. A new computer program (EXCLRIVP) has been written to convert EXCEL data files into RIVPACS format. This will simplify the task of getting biological and environmental data files into the correct format for RIVPACS. 3. Scoping study to re-evaluate methods for collecting RIVPACS samples from deep waters. A review of recent literature on deep-water samplers indicated that there were no new devices that were suitable for use in RIVPACS assessments in deep rivers. After careful consideration of the current field protocols used in RIVPACS, it was concluded that the procedures required for the appraisal of deep-water sites should be different from the standard protocol used in shallow waters. Essentially, the margins and the benthos should have their own separate field sampling protocols. In order to have standardised procedures in place for the sampling of deep-water sites during the GQA survey in 2000, it will be necessary to undertake field trials in 1999. Three devices for sampling the benthos (long-handled pond-net, Medium Naturalistas dredge and Mackey/Yorkshire pattern Air-lift) will be compared at a variety of deep-water sites in order to establish clear guidelines on the method to be used at any given site with stated environmental characteristics. The detailed protocol for pond-netting the margins must also be clarified. The consequences, for the next version of RIVPACS, of standardising the sampling protocol for the margins and benthos at deep-water sites are considered. 4. Scoping study to consider the development of a RWPACS methodology for canals. A brief review of canals and their macroinvertebrate fauna was undertaken with the emphasis on the BMWP families that characterise canals in England and Wales. A questionnaire was used to obtain information on the types of canals within each area of the Environment Agency and the procedures used in current biological sampling programmes. In general, long-handled pond-nets are used from the bank, although some areas also use dredges. There is no standard protocol at present. It is now apparent that a fully-fledged system cannot be in place prior to the GQA Survey in 2000. However, the field protocols developed by Pond Action could be formalised in consultation with the Environment Agency and used as the basis of the sampling programme for canals during the GQA Survey in 2000.
Publisher: Environment Agency
Subject Keywords: RiversCanalsInvertebratesWater qualityFreshwater ecology
Extent: 154
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