Aquatic Ecology

We offer aquatic ecology and aquatic ecological monitoring services for a range of freshwater environments across the United Kingdom. Our ecologists are highly experienced in collection and analysis of ecological data, and we can advise on the most appropriate survey methods to fit in with your requirements. We currently offer:

macroinvertebrate sample analysis

Emphemeridae, or burrowing mayflies

Macroinvertebrate Sampling and Analysis

Freshwater macroinvertebrates are useful indicators of waterbody health and biological water quality. They have a range of sensitivities and tolerances to different environmental disturbances. Classifications based on macroinvertebrate community structure and relative abundances are a key part of Water Framework Directive (WFD) targets. We provide macroinvertebrate sampling and analysis services in standing and running water habitats. Our services include standard methodologies, such as kick and sweep sampling, to more bespoke options such as Surber and dredge sampling. Our taxonomists can analyse the samples to family and species level.

Macrophyte Survey

macrophyte survey

Our macrophyte surveyors are Environment Agency accredited

Our macrophyte surveyors are Environment Agency accredited

We provide specialist macrophyte surveys for a range of clients for a variety of purposes. These include Water Framework Directive (WFD) monitoring, condition assessment of designated sites (SSSI/SPA/SAC/RAMSAR) using the Common Standard Monitoring (CSM) method, Mean Trophic Rank (MTR) and bespoke surveys.

Macrophytes can indicate the impact of increased nutrients in rivers and standing waterbodies. They are also affected by a range of pressures which include water abstraction, flow impoundment channel modification and acidification. The types and amount of macrophytes present in a river can indicate how well that river is working. Different macrophytes are associated with different levels of nutrients and flow conditions. Different combinations, quantity and numbers of macrophytes are expected to be present depending on the waterbody type and its water quality.

Macrophyte communities can form important components of many statutory designated sites and surveys will inform condition assessments. Surveys can also identify rare and protected plant species that may be of particular conservation concern.

River Corridor Survey

River Corridor Survey (RCS) is a method of mapping the ecological and physical characteristics of a stretch of river, its banks and the land close by. RCS is designed to map and evaluate the river corridor. It can be used for a variety of reasons including: determining the impacts of works in or near rivers, assessing the conservation value of a river and identifying opportunities to rehabilitate and enhance degraded habitats.

Data quality is of the utmost importance to us, and consequently we ensure all surveyors meet the relevant technical standard for any fieldwork being carried out. When conducting fieldwork our experienced RCS surveyors follow the guidelines given in the National Rivers Authority’s Conservation Technical Handbook 1 (1992).


We would love to hear from you…

If you would like to find out more about who we are and what we do contact the team on 01722 783041 or email office@five-rivers.com