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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


In March activities at our terrestrial sites pick up after the winter. We start monitoring frog pools, moths and spiders, and prepare for ground beetle recording in April. At freshwater sites the winter measurements continue.

See all this month's field measurements...

A moth light trap © CEH
[Photo © CEH]