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Regional guidelines for ecological assessments of freshwater environments: Macroinvertebrate sampling in wadeable streams


Report: TR05/02
Author: Kevin Collier, Johlene Kelly


Environment Waikato is developing a series of guidelines to assist those involved in assessment and monitoring of freshwater ecosystems. The guidelines are intended to establish a regionally consistent set of approaches for sample collection, analysis and reporting. These guidelines should not constrain the scope of work that is carried out but should be used to ensure that, where appropriate, the approaches applied are consistent with recommended methods and meet or exceed the minimum level of effort.

This guideline covers macroinvertebrate sampling of perennial wadeable streams. We define wadeable stream sites as those where more than half of the sampling reach can be safely accessed at low flow so that representative samples can be collected from benthic and/or other stable, productive habitats. In addition to guidance on macroinvertebrate sample collection and processing methods for wadeable streams, this guideline offers advice on approaches to study design and provides details of Environment Waikato’s qualitative habitat assessment procedure which we recommend is used as part of site characterisation.

Regional Guidelines for Ecological Assessments of Freshwater Environments : Macroinvertebrate Sampling in Wadeable Streams
(612 kb, 87 seconds to download, 56k modem)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements i
1 Introduction 1
2 Study design 1
3 Habitats 3
4 Sample Collection 4
4.1 Quantitative sampling 4
4.2 Semi-quantitative or qualitative sampling (see Figure 1) 5
5 Sample Processing and Quality Assurance 7
6 Reporting 10
7 References 11
Appendix 1 Qualitative Habitat Assessment Procedure 12
1.1 Field Assessment Cover Form 12
1.2 Habitat Assessment Field Data Sheet 13
Field Assessment Cover Form 16
Wadeable Hard-Bottomed and Soft-Bottomed Streams 16
Appendix 2 Minimum level of taxonomic resolution required for calculation of macroinvertebrate metrics in streams and rivers. 21
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