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MESL Taxonomists Undertake Freshwater Identification Training
16th August 2017
Two of our lab team, Pam and Jason, were recently visited Flatford Mill in Suffolk for a week of developiong their knowledge on freshwater invertebrates and fieldwork. The field centre is run by the Field Studies Council in the picturesque landscape along the River Stour. After taking in the surroundings and getting to grips with some specimens, the class headed out to do some ‘professional pond dipping’ at a local farm. Along with the recently emerged dragonflies and damselflies flitting around the reeds there was plenty to catch under the water, including leeches, water boatmen, amphipods, isopods, fly larvae, caddis flies, mayflies and water beetles.
The course also introduced many different recording strategies and ways to use freshwater invertebrate data to determine physical and chemical properties of survey sites. Invertebrates can be used to indicate pollution levels, acidity, sedimentation, flow rate, and conservation value by giving each taxon a score based on existing systems.