Recent Submissions

  • Simulations of phytoplankton dynamics in El Gergal Reservoir, Southern Spain (PROTECH)

    Elliott, Alex; Escot, Carmelo; Basanta-Alves, Ana; Cruz-Pizarro, Luis (2005)
    Freshwater Forum
    The Mediterranean region is characterised by a variable climate with most of the rain falling during the winter and frequent summer droughts. Such warm, dry periods are ideal for the growth of large algal blooms that often consist of potentially toxic Cyanobacteria. This makes the management of water for human use particularly challenging in such a climate and it is important to understand how such blooms can be avoided or at least be reduced in size. PROTECH (Phytoplankton RespOnses To Environmental CHange) is a model that simulates the dynamics of different species of phytoplankton populations in lakes and reservoirs. Its distinct advantage over similar models is its ability to simulate the relative composition of the algal flora, allowing both quantitative and qualitative conclusions to be drawn e.g. whether Cyanobacteria could be a potential problem. PROTECH has been applied primarily to lakes and reservoirs in northern Europe. Recently, however, the model has been applied to water bodies in lower latitudes, including Australia to a water supply reservoir in the south of Spain, El Gergal. El Gergal is the last in a chain of reservoirs that supply water to the city of Seville. It was brought into service in April 1979 and has a maximum storage volume of 35 000 000 m3. This article summarises the application of PROTECH in order to simulate the following problems: • the effect of a large influx of Ceratium biomass into El Gergal from another reservoir • the effect of using alternative water sources instead of the Guadalquivir River (used occasionally to raise water levels in El Gergal) • the effect of installing tertiary sewage treatment on the Cala River • the effect of simulated drought conditions on phytoplankton in the reservoir.
  • The current distribution of signal and native crayfish in the Broadmead Brook, Wiltshire

    Spink, Joanna; Rowe, Joanna (2002)
    Freshwater Forum
    Signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus) have existed in the upper reaches of Broadmead Brook in Wiltshire since 200 individuals were introduced at West Kington in 1981. The population has expanded upstream and downstream since this introduction, however, giving rise to concerns that it may potentially threaten the native crayfish population further downstream. Signal crayfish can act as a vector of crayfish plague - a disease caused by the fungus Aphanomyces astaci Schikora which results in almost complete mortality to the native, white-clawed crayfish Austropotamobius pallipes. The native crayfish in Broadmead Brook have not yet succumbed to crayfish plague and are currently free of the disease. However, as signal crayfish appear to out-compete the native species, the native population could still be under threat. In this article, we highlight the findings of previous crayfish surveys on Broadmead Brook and describe work undertaken in summer 2001 to map the current distribution of native and signal crayfish. Finally, options for controlling the spread of signal crayfish are discussed.
  • Different patterns of uptake and depuration of cadmium by periphyton community and a grazer species (Physa sp.): A mesocosm evalution

    Sharifi, Mozafar; Nezhad, Masoumeh Esmaeili; Zereshki, Sina (2007)
    Freshwater Forum
    Widespread pollution by heavy metals generated by various industries has serious adverse effects on human health and the environment. Cadmium is a heavy metal recognised as one of the most hazardous environmental pollutants. It is a non-essential and non-beneficial element to organisms, causing toxicity and other deleterious effects on various components of the aquatic environment. The ability of algal periphyton to concentrate cadmium from fresh water is well known. Moreover, periphyton communities are able to accumulate large amounts of cadmium despite its low concentration in fresh water. Many researchers use algal periphyton as an indicator of water quality in aquatic environments. In the present study, the authors ask two basic questions: Does cadmium accumulate along a food chain consisting of the periphyton community and a grazer species (Physa sp.) under semi-natural conditions provided by artificial streams? If not, which one can better indicate the water quality?
  • Interrelated contributions to freshwater science over 78 years: A guide to published work from the Freshwater Biological Association, Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, 1929-2006

    McCulloch, Ian; Pettman, Ian; Talling, Jack (2007)
    Freshwater Forum
    This article introduces a new listing of published scientific contributions from the Freshwater Biological Association (FBA) and its later Research Council associates – the Institute of Freshwater Ecology (1989–2000) and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (2000+). The period 1929–2006 is covered. The authors offer also information on specific features of the listing; also an outline of influences that underlay the research, and its scientific scope.
  • A seven year study of the life cycle of the Mayfly Ephemera danica

    Bennett, Cyril (2007)
    Freshwater Forum
    Ephemera danica Müller, 1764 (Ephemeroptera) is one of the largest mayflies found in the British Isles with some females reaching over 30 mm. It is a common and widespread species found in rivers, lakes and streams throughout Europe and is particularly abundant in many of the lowland rivers of the British Isles. The larvae are burrowers – mainly found where silt accumulates below macrophytes. This article gives a general overview of research work on the factors affecting the life cycle of Ephemera danica over a seven year period (1995–2002) on two rivers, the River Test at Leckford in Hampshire and the North Wey at Tilford in Surrey.
  • Worsening water quality conditions at Inner Puno Bay, Lake Titicaca, Peru, and their effect on Lemna spp. biomass

    Cruz, Maris Asuncion Ramos; Terrazas, Edmundo Moreno; Northcote, Tom (2006)
    Freshwater Forum
    Although there have been a number of studies on aquatic conditions and the flora and fauna of Lake Titicaca over many decades, most of this work has been centred on the offshore regions of the main lake. Water quality there has been degrading and abundant growth of Lemna spp. has been developing. Lemna spp., commonly called floating duck-weed or ‘lenteja de agua’ in Puno, occurs perennially in most parts of the inner Puno Bay shore-line. In this article, the authors compare water quality changes over recent decades in shore-line regions of Inner Puno Bay and their possible effects on the distribution, abundance and biomass of Lemna spp..
  • Life history tactics of Atlantic salmon in Newfoundland

    Gibson, John; Haedrich, Richard (2006)
    Freshwater Forum
    Popular articles about the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) usually state that ‘the Atlantic salmon is an anadromous species’, e.g. publications by the Atlantic Salmon Federation (North America), Atlantic Salmon Trust (UK), and WWF (World Wildlife Fund), and the life history is depicted as migration of juveniles from fresh water to the marine environment, with a return to where the fish were born as spawning adults. This article reviews the life history tactics of Atlantic salmon in Newfoundland.
  • The ecology of Bassenthwaite Lake (English Lake District)

    Thackeray, Stephen; Maberly, Stephen; Winfield, Ian (2005)
    Freshwater Forum
    Bassenthwaite Lake is, in many ways, different from the other major lakes in the English Lake District: it is the most northerly, the shallowest, has the largest catchment and the shortest mean retention time. There is also considerable temporal variation in lake level. This article summarises the limnological features of Bassenthwaite Lake, the catchment and physical characteristics before describing the water chemistry, phytoplankton, macrophytes, zooplankton, invertebrates, fish, mammal and invertebrate population. The authors then describe the ecological pressures faced by Bassenthwaite Lake such as nutrients, sediments and introduced species.
  • Fish communities and fisheries in Wales's National Nature Reserves: a review

    Hatton-Ellis, Tristan (2005)
    Freshwater Forum
    Wales is important for fish conservation in Britain. In much of Wales, atchments are small (median catchment size = 121 km2 ) and frequently eparated by areas of upland (> 600 m altitude), creating a highly agmented habitat for freshwater fish. Consequently, fish communities onsist mainly of diadromous species such as trout, eel and sticklebacks hat were able to recolonise freshwaters via the sea following the retreat of he ice sheets ca. 10 000 years BP. This review aims to (i) update the former work of Lyle and Maitland, taking into account new National Nature Reserves (NNRs)and additional data collected since 1991; (ii) assess the different fish communities represented on Welsh NNRs with respect to their naturalness; (iii) examine the use of NNRs for angling; (iv) evaluate opportunities for expanding the NNR series to conserve fish populations of conservation importance. The paper provides a table of freshwater fish occurrence by water body in Wales.
  • Ecological change in Lough Erne: influence of catchment changes and species invasions

    Maguire,, Cathy; Gibson, Chris (2005)
    Freshwater Forum
    Lough Erne in Northern Ireland has been the subject of much research over the last 30 years by, amongst others, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD). In this article, the authors provide a summary of a workshop held on the 16–17th October 2003 in Enniskillen, on the shores of Lough Erne, which gave an opportunity to step back and take a holistic look at the Erne lakes. Ecological change has been driven by many factors, including land use changes and species invasions. The workshop consisted of five sessions which are summarised in this article: Session 1 – Invasive species, nutrients, phytoplankton and macrophytes; Session 2 – Zooplankton, benthic macroinvertebrates and fish; Session 3 – An ecosystem approach – relating the previous sessions; Session 4 – How does Lough Erne fit into lake classifications? Implications of the Water Framework Directive; Session 5 – Using new techniques to examine food webs and species invasions. Identifying a future research programme for Lough Erne.
  • Comparative limnology of waters in a coniferous forest: is a generalisation possible?

    Irfanullah, Haseeb; Moss, Brian (2005)
    Freshwater Forum
    The high density of meres and mosses in the Delamere area comes from numerous moraine-hollows formed after the melting of stranded ice-blocks following last glaciation. The main vegetation is of conifers along with some deciduous species and the area was designated as a National Forest Park in 1987. It has been managed since the beginning of the 19th century and is a popular tourist area with walking, orienteering, cycling and educational activities. In recent years this forest park has been attracting over half a million people per year. This paper studies the limnology of different aquatic habitats in the Delamere Forest area in order to give some insight into the waters of a coniferous, temperate forest area, which has so far been largely unexplored. The authors assume therefore, thought that despite apparent large variability in origin, age, surface area, morphometry, catchment size and hydraulic regime, the waters of Delamere Forest might share some revealing chemical and biological features. Seven water-bodies in the Delamere Forest Park area, namely, Black Lake, Blakemere Moss, Delamere Lake, Delamere Quarry, Hatchmere, Windyhowe Farm Spring and Fir Brook were sampled, their water chemistry and dissolved organic carbon and the occurrence of phytoplankton and zooplankton species examined. In a final chapter the authors analyse their findings for patterns.
  • Biodiversity of macrozoobenthos in a large river, the Austrian Danube, including quantitative studies in a free-flowing stretch below Vienna: a short review

    Humpesch, Uwe; Fesl, Christian (2005)
    Freshwater Forum
    The Danube is ca. 2850 km in length and is the second largest river in Europe. The Austrian part of the Danube falls 156 metres in altitude over its 351 km length and, since the early 1950s, the river has been developed into a power-generating waterway, so that the continuity of the river is now interrupted by ten impounded areas. Only two stretches of the original free-flowing river are left, the Wachau region (above river-km 2005, west of Vienna) and the region downstream from the impoundment at Vienna (river-km 1921). Most of the recent theories and concepts related to invertebrates, in the context of the ecology of running waters, are based on studies on small streams, whereas investigations of large rivers have played a minor role for a long time, mainly due to methodological difficulties. The authors' recent detailed studies on macroinvertebrates in the free-flowing section of the Danube below Vienna, provide an excellent opportunity to survey or restate scientific hypotheses on the basis of a large river. In this review the main interest focuses on the investigation of biodiversity, i.e. the number of species and their relative proportions in the whole invertebrate community, as well as major governing environmental factors. The article summarises the species composition, the important environmental variables at the river cross-section and the effect of upstream impoundment on the riverbed and its fauna.
  • Falling through the cracks: are European directives and international conventions the panacea for freshwater nature conservation?

    Boon, Philip J.; Lee, Alison (2005)
    Freshwater Forum
    There are many ways of practising freshwater nature conservation: from strict legislative protection of individual species considered rare or threatened to protecting whole lakes or long stretches of rivers; from practical conservation management at a local scale to integrated catchment management at the river basin scale; and from the encouragement of better habitat management through codes of good practice to statutory control of pollution or abstraction. Whatever the mechanism, an essential pre-requisite is a way of choosing where to put the effort, especially when resources for nature conservation are severely limited. The aim of this article is to review the contribution from four specific international measures to the task of assigning priorities for conservation. The 1990s saw the introduction of two European directives (the Habitats Directive (HD) and the Water Framework Directive (WFD)) and one international convention (the Biodiversity Convention (CBD)) each with the potential for influencing, to a greater or lesser extent, the conservation of freshwater habitats and species. This article also discusses a much older convention – the Ramsar Convention – adopted in 1971 specifically to help tackle the conservation and management of wetlands and aquatic ecosystems. Although the authors have focused mainly on the UK, the subject is relevant to other parts of Europe and beyond. The article explores the degree to which these measures help in identifying the most important fresh waters for conservation, and asks whether or not they present the right conservation message to a wide audience.
  • Modelling soil erosion and transport in the Burrishoole catchment, Newport, Co. Mayo, Ireland

    May, Linda; Place, Chris; O' Hea, Brendan; Lee, Mike; Dillane, Mary; Philip , McGinnity (2005)
    Freshwater Forum
    The Burrishoole catchment is situated in County Mayo, on the northwest coast of the Republic of Ireland. Much of the catchment is covered by blanket peat that, in many areas, has become heavily eroded in recent years. This is thought to be due, primarily, to the adverse effects of forestry and agricultural activities in the area. Such activities include ploughing, drainage, the planting and harvesting of trees, and sheep farming, all of which are potentially damaging to such a sensitive landscape if not managed carefully. This article examines the sediment yield and hydrology of the Burrishoole catchment. Flow and sediment concentrations were measured at 8-hourly intervals from 5 February 2001 to 8 November 2001 with an automatic sampler and separate flow gauge, and hourly averages were recorded between 4 July 2002 and 6 September 2002 using an automatic river monitoring system [ARMS]. The authors describe the GIS-based model of soil erosion and transport that was applied to the Burrishoole catchment during this study. The results of these analyses were compared, in a qualitative manner, with the aerial photography available for the Burrishoole catchment to see whether areas that were predicted to contribute large proportions of eroded material to the drainage network corresponded with areas where peat erosion could be identified through photo-interpretation.
  • Models in the implementation of the Water Framework Directive - benchmarking as part of the modelling proccess

    Kämäri, Juha; Rekolainen , Seppo (2005)
    Freshwater Forum
    The Water Framework Directive (WFD; European Commission 2000) is a framework for European environmental legislation that aims at improving water quality by using an integrated approach to implement the necessary societal and technical measures. Assessments to guide, support, monitor and evaluate policies, such as the WFD, require scientific approaches which integrate biophysical and human aspects of ecological systems and their interactions, as outlined by the International Council for Science (2002). These assessments need to be based on sound scientific principles and address the environmental problems in a holistic way. End-users need help to select the most appropriate methods and models. Advice on the selection and use of a wide range of water quality models has been developed within the project Benchmark Models for the Water Framework Directive (BMW). In this article, the authors summarise the role of benchmarking in the modelling process and explain how such an archive of validated models can be used to support the implementation of the WFD.
  • New challenges in lake and river monitoring

    Froebrich, Jochen (2005)
    Freshwater Forum
    Freshwater ecosystems are highly dynamic and change on time-scales that range from a few hours to several months. The development of models that simulate these processes is often hampered by the lack of sufficient data to parameterize the processes and validate the models. In this article, I review some of the challenges posed by this lack of information and suggest ways in which they can be met by using automatic monitoring systems. One of these studies is the project tempQsim (EVK1-CT2002-00112) funded by the European Commission. In this project, detailed field and model analyses have been performed at eight catchment study sites in south and south-east Europe. A number of perceptual models for the study sites have been established, and results are being used to improve selected catchment models and provide a more adequate description of pollution dynamics. Results from the extensive field studies and model tests are now being used to derive recommendations for more tailored monitoring concepts in highly dynamic, but ‘data scarce’ environments, such as are frequently found in Mediterranean river basins. The author includes implications of the EU Water Framework Directive on monitoring methods.
  • Factors influencing the downstream transport of sediment in the Lough Feeagh catchment, Burrishoole, Co. Mayo, Ireland

    Allott, Norman; McGinnity, Philip; O'Hea, Brendan (2005)
    Freshwater Forum
    Research laboratories in the Burrishoole catchment have been the focus of salmonid research since 1955. One aspect of the research has been to monitor the number of salmon and sea trout migrating to sea as smolts and returning to the catchment as adults. In the early 1990s it became clear that the smolt output from the catchment had declined over the previous two decades. At about the same time the presence of fine particles of peat silt in the hatchery became increasingly apparent and led to a higher incidence of mortality of young fry. These observations and management difficulties led to a study of silt transport in the surface waters of the catchment, which is described in this article. The authors describe geology, soils, climate and hydrology of Burrishoole before examining the sediment deposition in Lough Feeagh.
  • The impact of year-to-year changes in the weather on the seasonal dynamics of lakes

    George, Glen (2005)
    Freshwater Forum
    Year-to-year changes in the weather have a pronounced effect on the quality of the water abstracted from many reservoirs in the UK. In upland reservoirs, the most common weather-related problem is the appearance of coloured water following dry summers and the re-wetting of peat during the winter (Naden & McDonald 1989; George 2000). In lowland reservoirs, the most serious weather-related issue is the growth of bloom- forming species of algae during warm, calm summers (National Rivers Authority 1989). Both of these problems are likely to get worse as the climate becomes warmer and extreme variations in the weather become more common. In this article, the authors describe some of the ways in which recent changes in the weather have influenced the quality of the water stored in a large reservoir in the south-east of England. The reservoir selected for study is the Queen Elizabeth II (QEII), a bankside reservoir situated in the Thames valley. The quality of water stored in this reservoir is generally very good but summer blooms of algae have become increasingly common in recent years.
  • A modelling approach to the development of an active management strategy for the Queen Elizabeth II reservoir

    Reynolds, Colin; Irish, Tony; Elliott, Alex (2005)
    Freshwater Forum
    This article outlines the outcome of work that set out to provide one of the specified integral contributions to the overarching objectives of the EU- sponsored LIFE98 project described in this volume. Among others, these included a requirement to marry automatic monitoring and dynamic modelling approaches in the interests of securing better management of water quality in lakes and reservoirs. The particular task given to us was to devise the elements of an active management strategy for the Queen Elizabeth II Reservoir. This is one of the larger reservoirs supplying the population of the London area: after purification and disinfection, its water goes directly to the distribution network and to the consumers. The quality of the water in the reservoir is of primary concern, for the greater is the content of biogenic materials, including phytoplankton, then the more prolonged is the purification and the more expensive is the treatment. Whatever good that phytoplankton may do by way of oxygenation and oxidative purification, it is eventually relegated to an impurity that has to be removed from the final product. Indeed, it has been estimated that the cost of removing algae and microorganisms from water represents about one quarter of its price at the tap. In chemically fertile waters, such as those typifying the resources of the Thames Valley, there is thus a powerful and ongoing incentive to be able to minimise plankton growth in storage reservoirs. Indeed, the Thames Water company and its predecessor undertakings, have a long and impressive history of confronting and quantifying the fundamentals of phytoplankton growth in their reservoirs and of developing strategies for operation and design to combat them. The work to be described here follows in this tradition. However, the use of the model PROTECH-D to investigate present phytoplankton growth patterns in the Queen Elizabeth II Reservoir questioned the interpretation of some of the recent observations. On the other hand, it has reinforced the theories underpinning the original design of this and those Thames-Valley storage reservoirs constructed subsequently. The authors recount these experiences as an example of how simulation models can hone the theoretical base and its application to the practical problems of supplying water of good quality at economic cost, before the engineering is initiated.
  • Temporal and spatial variations in the quality of water in El Gergal Reservior, Seville, Spain

    Cruz-Pizarro, Luis; Basanta-Alves, Ana; Escot, Carmelo; Moreno-Ostos, Enrique (2004)
    Freshwater Forum
    It is often difficult to define ‘water quality’ with any degree of precision. One approach is that suggested by Battarbee (1997) and is based on the extent to which individual lakes have changed compared with their natural ‘baseline’ status. Defining the base-line status of artificial lakes and reservoirs however, is, very difficult. In ecological terms, the definition of quality must include some consideration of their functional characteristics and the extent to which these characteristics are self-sustaining. The challenge of managing lakes in a sustainable way is particularly acute in semi-arid, Mediterranean countries. Here the quality of the water is strongly influenced by the unpredictability of the rainfall as well as year-to-year variations in the seasonal averages. Wise management requires profound knowledge of how these systems function. Thus a holistic approach must be adopted and the factors influencing the seasonal dynamics of the lakes quantified over a range of spatial and temporal scales. In this article, the authors describe some of the ways in which both long-term and short-term changes in the weather have influenced the seasonal and spatial dynamics of phytoplankton in El Gergal, a water supply reservoir situated in the south of Spain. The quality of the water stored in this reservoir is typically very good but surface blooms of algae commonly appear during warm, calm periods when the water level is low. El Gergal reservoir is managed by the Empresa Municipal de Abastecimiento y Saneamiento (EMASESA) and supplies water for domestic, commercial and industrial use to an area which includes the city of Seville and twelve of its surrounding towns (ca. 1.3 million inhabitants). El Gergal is the last of two reservoirs in a chain of four situated in the Rivera de Huelva basin, a tributary of the Guadalquivir river. It was commissioned by EMASESA in 1979 and since then the company has monitored its main limnological parameters on, at least, a monthly basis and used this information to improve the management of the reservoir. As a consequence of these intensive studies the physical, chemical and biological information acquired during this period makes the El Gergal database one of the most complete in Spain. In this article the authors focus on three ‘weather-related’ effects that have had a significant impact on the composition and distribution of phytoplankton in El Gergal: (i) the changes associated with severe droughts; (ii) the spatial variations produced by short-term changes in the weather; (iii) the impact of water transfers on the seasonal dynamics of the dinoflagellate Ceratium.

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