Monitoring the Ranunculion Habitat of the Western Cleddau: A Case Study
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The Western Cleddau is a short river in the county of Pembrokeshire in south-west Wales. The main stem of the river extends for only 37.8 km, and has a catchment area of 294.5 km2. This chapter describes the development of site-specific targets for monitoring the Ranunculion habitat (H3620) of the river.
After analysing the results of a baseline sampling exercise, we developed a suite of indicators for assessing the condition of the Ranunculion habitat. These condition indicators state that the Ranunculion habitat of the Western Cleddau will in favourable condition if (a) there is sufficient channel cover of ‘Ranunculion’ macrophytes; (b) the macrophyte species present are typical of a mesotrophic lowland river; (c) enough families of ‘clean-water’ benthic invertebrates are present along the length of the river; and (d) the fauna that we expect to be associated with the vegetation is present, e.g. otters Lutra lutra, brown trout Salmo trutta, banded demoiselle Calopteryx splendens and beautiful demoiselle C. virgo damselflies.
The condition indicators are set out in objective terms that will minimise the scope for observer variation. The monitoring will be carried out at five locations distributed along the length of the river, with the data collected from 100 m sections of shallow riffle habitat.
KeywordsWestern Cleddau Ranunculion site-specific condition indicators habitat monitoring typical species
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