Coastal and Freshwater

Freshwater macroinvertebrates

Freshwater macroinvertebrates (which include insects, worms and snails) play a significant role in the aquatic food chain as grazers of river algae and as a food source for fish and birds.

The species and abundances of macroinvertebrates found in a stream or river depend largely on the quality of the water and habitat.

Changes in either of these two features can influence the make up of a macroinvertebrate community in a river. Because of the sensitivity of freshwater macroinvertebrates to water quality and/or habitat change, they are very useful biological indicators for assessing the environmental status of a waterway.

Cawthron scientists can provide advice on the status of a river's health based on the composition of the communities found in rivers and streams.

Cawthron capabilities in this area include: 

  • Benthic macroinvertebrate ecology 
  • Aquatic invertebrate drift behaviour and ecology 
  • Aquatic algae/invertebrate relationships 
  • Freshwater invertebrate taxonomy 
  • Biological monitoring 
  • Freshwater ecological impact assessment 

For more information, contact Karen Shearer.

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