Monitoring the Ranunculion Habitat of the Western Cleddau: A Case Study



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.


Western Cleddau Ranunculion site-specific condition indicators habitat monitoring typical species 


  1. Brooks S, Lewington R (1997) Field guide to the dragonflies and damselflies of Great Britain and Ireland. British Wildlife Publishing, HookGoogle Scholar
  2. Davies CE, Shelley J, Harding PT, McClean IFG, Gardiner R, Pierson G (2004) Freshwater fishes in Britain: The species and their distribution. Harley Books, ColchesterGoogle Scholar
  3. European Commission (1999) Interpretation manual of European habitats. Eur 15/2. European Commission DG Environment, BrusselsGoogle Scholar
  4. Holmes NT, Newman JR, Chadd S, Rouen KJ, Saint L, Dawson FH (1999) Mean trophic rank: A user’s manual. Environment Agency, BristolGoogle Scholar
  5. Hynes HBN (1997) Adults and nymphs of British stoneflies (plecoptera): A key. Scientific Publication No 17. Freshwater Biological AssociationGoogle Scholar
  6. Wallace ID, Wallace B, Philipson GN (2003) Keys to the case-bearing Caddis larvae of Britain and Ireland. Scientific Publication No 61. Freshwater Biological AssociationGoogle Scholar
  7. Ward D, Holmes N, José P (eds) (1994) The new rivers and wildlife handbook. Sandy, RSPB, NRA, WTGoogle Scholar
  8. Wright JF (2000) An introduction to RIVPACS. In: Wright JF, Sutcliffe DW, Furse MT (eds) Assessing the biological quality of fresh waters. Freshwater Biological Association, Ambleside, pp 1–24Google Scholar
  9. Wright JF, Moss D, Armitage PD, Furse MT (1984) A preliminary classification of running water sites in Great Britain based on macro-invertebrate species and prediction of community type using environmental data. Freshwater Biol 14:221–256CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Countryside Council for WalesPembrokeUK
  2. 2.Countryside Council for WalesSwanseaUK

Personalised recommendations