Euro-limpacs Deliverables

ABSTRACT - DELIVERABLE 91

Hypotheses, experimental design, and analytical methods for artificial stream experiments

Key taxa or functional groups reflecting discharge dynamics will be selected following a desk study and from field data. Gravel bed or riffle inhabiting taxa will be used as responses in factorial−designed experiments in artificial streams. Species? response to discharge dynamics will be classified and become part of the indicator species database developed in WP 7. Laboratory experiments will commence in Year 3. Task 3.2 Deliverable 55, ?Data on species response to discharge dynamics ? transfer to indicators species database in WP 7? provided a targeted review of the literature and existing datasets held by NERC−CEH on mesohabitat and flow preferences of macroinvertebrates in UK streams. This was supplemented by Euro−limpacs Deliverable 13, in which ALTERRA provided similar detailed information from the Netherlands. Using Deliverables 13 and 55, a short−list of gravel and riffle inhabiting taxa was compiled that are potentially the best indicators of discharge disturbance for the laboratory experiments planned for Year 3.
During months 21−24 we have been preparing the artificial stream channels at the FBA River Laboratory (UK) for the beginning of the experiments (Figs. 1 and 2). The UK channels are an open−air, flow−through facility with water coming directly from an adjacent side−branch of the River Frome. The ALTERRA facilities are indoor, re−circulating channels in a temperature and light controlled environment. The River Lab channels will require a stable lead−in time to allow natural colonisation processes to occur while the ALTERRA channels will need to be refreshed with substrate and re−seeded with the relevant macroinvertebrate species.

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