Issue: Response of biota - Macroinvertebrates
This is an issue under the Inland waters theme of the Data Reporting System.
Aquatic macroinvertebrates are a diverse group of animals that include a range of insect, crustacean and molluscan groups such as snails, water boatmen, dragonflies, stoneflies, mayflies and aquatic worms. Macroinvertebrate populations are an important aspect of freshwater biodiversity and ecological communities in their own right but are also routinely used as indicators of river health. It is believed that there is a causal link between river modification, physical habitat features and river health that is reflected in macroinvertebrate populations.
- IW-10 Assessment of river condition indices
The component parts of this indicator provide a broad insight into the condition of river systems in respect to several aspects of flow regimes, and therefore indirectly into the condition of macroinvertebrates.
- IW-30 Macroinvertebrate condition
As well as being an indicator of river condition, macroinvertebrate populations are an important aspect of freshwater biodiversity in their own right. Their condition is readily measured because they are widespread, easy to sample and relatively immobile.