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Epilithic Diatoms

The ECN protocol for diatoms on submerged stones (FDT)


Protocol file


Site types that use this protocol

Diatoms are a diverse group of unicellular algae and are well-established as sensitive biological indicators of surface water quality due to the narrow tolerance of individual species to environmental parameters such as pH and nutrient availability.  Diatoms grow attached to submerged stones within certain zones of lakes and streams and are easy to sample in most freshwaters in a replicable manner.  The sampling procedure adopted by ECN is simple and follows that used for the United Kingdom Acid Waters Monitoring Network .


Our field activities


Now that autumn has arrived the ECN fieldwork calendar begins to quieten down. We cease monitoring most terrestrial invertebrates apart from spiders. In rivers and lakes we make the last freshwater invertebrate survey of the year.

See all this month's field measurements...

Trees near Muir of Dinnet. Photo © A. Sier