Aquatic habitat

We collect information in the field to characterise physical and biological habitat.

This includes documenting the variety, density and cover of features such detritus, woody debris, aquatic plants, algae, riverbed composition (substrate), and the channel depth, width, slope and shape.

While the SWIRC does not currently include condition indicators based on habitat, this information is vital for interpreting data about aquatic animals.

It helps in predicting if a species is likely to be present in an area when historic data is not available (based on suitability of habitat), and likewise, whether the absence of a species could be explained by habitat change (versus, for example, water quality).

More about SWIRC condition indicators
Download SWIRC field sheets