Edwards, F.K.; Scarlett, P.; Vincent, H.; Webb, G.P.

Macroinvertebrates of two abstracted streams: taxon data

The data consist of species level descriptions of macroinvertebrate communities from two abstracted streams in the Lowther catchment, UK, upstream and downstream of abstraction points. Supporting habitat and geographical data are included.

Publication date: 2016-06-22

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Supporting documentation

Format of the dataset : Comma-separated values (CSV)

Access and use conditions

This resource is made available under the terms of the Open Government Licence

You must cite: Edwards, F.K.; Scarlett, P.; Vincent, H.; Webb, G.P. (2016). Macroinvertebrates of two abstracted streams: taxon data. NERC Environmental Information Data Centre. https://doi.org/10.5285/df65085c-d376-413e-9fbc-984f7b332878


© Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (Natural Environment Research Council)


Study area
Temporal extent
2012-01-01    to    2012-12-31

Provenance & quality

Method description:
The waterbodies studied are both tributaries of the Lowther, a sub-catchment of the Eden (Cumbria) catchment. The Heltondale Beck has a total length of 25.1 km and a catchment area of 11.8 square kilometres. The Howes Beck (also known as the Cawdale Beck) has a total length of 17.5 km and a catchment area of 9.1 square kilometres.
Sampling took place on the 23rd and 24th September 2010. Sampling reaches were selected approximately 100 metres upstream and downstream of water abstraction points in two streams, the Howes Beck and the Heltondale Beck. Location was recorded on Global Positioning System and a 100 metres sampling reach established around these locations within which the survey was carried out (50 meters upstream and 50 meters downstream). Water depth (centimetres) and wetted width (meters) were recorded at the centre of the 100m reaches as a mean of three readings. Map variables and geology were derived for those point locations using the Intelligent River Network (Version 17), which was first described in: Dawson, F.H., Hornby, D.D. and Hilton, J. (2002), A method for the automated extraction of environmental variables to help the classification of rivers in Britain. Aquatic Conserv: Mar. Freshwater Ecosyst., 12: 391*403. doi: 10.1002/aqc.534
The habitats in the100 metre reaches were assessed using the River Habitat Survey (RHS) method, for which the standard protocol is described in: Environment Agency. (2003) River Habitat Survey in Britain and Ireland. Field Survey Guidance Manual: 2003 version Environment Agency, Bristol , UK.
For macroinvertebrate sampling, five riffles were chosen at random within the 100 metre sampling reaches. Macroinvertebrate samples were collected from each of the five riffles using a Surber sample with a mesh size of 250 micrometer and sampling area of 0.0625 square meteres, disturbing the substrate by hand in the sample area to a depth of approximately 5 cm. Samples were then washed into plastic sample bags, labelled and were preserved with a 4 percent formaldehyde solution in the field. In the laboratory, samples were washed through a 250 micormenter sieve and all macroinvertebrates were picked from the samples and identified to the lowest taxonomic level possible, usually species. Valid taxonomic names and unique taxon identification codes were provided in: Davies, C. and Edwards, F.K. (2011) Code list for recording the macroinvertebrates in freshwater in the British Isles. Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford.
Data entry was validated by crosschecking data print outs with laboratory sheets.

Correspondence/contact details

Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Maclean Building, Benson Lane, Crowmarsh Gifford
OX10 8BB
United Kingdom


Edwards, F.K.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Scarlett, P.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Vincent, H.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Webb, G.P.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Other contacts

Environmental Information Data Centre
NERC Environmental Information Data Centre


Spatial representation type
Tabular (text)
Spatial reference system
OSGB 1936 / British National Grid


Topic categories
Biota , Utilities / Communication , Environment
Species Distribution
Alainites muticus Amphinemura sulcicollis Ancylus fluviatilis Baetis rhodani Baetis scambus Baetis vernus Biodiversity Caenis rivulorum Chloroperla tripunctata Crenobia alpina Dinocras cephalotes Dixa dilatata Drusus annulatus Eiseniella tetraedra Electrogena lateralis Elmis aenea Environmental risk Environmental survey Esolus parallelepipedus Gammarus pulex Hydraena gracilis Hydropsyche instabilis Hydropsyche siltalai Isoperla grammatica Land use Leuctra hippopus Leuctra inermis Limnius volckmari Odontocerum albicorne Oreodytes sanmarkii Paraleptophlebia submarginata Perla bipunctata Philopotamus montanus Planaria torva Plea minutissima Plectrocnemia conspersa Polycelis felina Polycentropus flavomaculatus Potamophylax cingulatus Potamopyrgus antipodarum Radix balthica Rhyacophila dorsalis Rhyacophila fasciata Sericostoma personatum Serratella ignita Silo pallipes Siphonoperla torrentium Stylodrilus heringianus