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Case Studies

Local Authority & Governmental

Project Name:
Regent’s Canal, Islington
Client:
Islington Borough Council
Year:
Sep 01, 2008
Keywords:
Freshwater Invertebrates
Summary:
Our role: Ecosulis was commissioned to carry out an assessment of freshwater invertebrates within Regent’s Canal, Islington. A previous attempt had been made to ...

Our role: Ecosulis was commissioned to carry out an assessment of freshwater invertebrates within Regent’s Canal, Islington. A previous attempt had been made to improve conditions for aquatic invertebrates by installing floating rafts. The aim of the survey was to survey the rafts and surrounding areas for aquatic invertebrates, and compare the results to areas in which no rafts are present. Specimens are currently being identified, however it was quickly apparent that the rafts have had little, if any, impact on the aquatic invertebrate fauna, due to being too shallow (approximately 3cm). The areas with higher diversity and rarer species appear to be in the shallow areas of the canal or where there is naturally-established vegetation growing from the canal walls. The forthcoming report will detail a new design for the rafts, which will contain both deep and shallow areas, up to 50cm deep, and allow sediment to build up. This should provide additional habitats for aquatic invertebrate species and is likely to result in an increase in the number of species present.

The survey method involved benthic sampling and trawling, and once species have been identified BMWP scores will be calculated for each sampling point. Additionally, terrestrial invertebrates were recorded on the rafts and on the banks of the canal where no rafts were present. The rafts appeared to benefit nectar-feeding invertebrates, such as bees and hoverflies, as well as providing cover for a number of terrestrial invertebrate species, many with aquatic larval stages such as damselflies, and structures suitable for web-building spiders. Improvements to the planting on the canal banks will also be recommended.

 

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