Research and analysis

Assessing reference conditions and ecological status for lakes using subfossil diatoms

This palaeoecological study focuses on the analysis of diatom remains in sediment core samples from a set of lakes across England, Wales and Scotland.

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Diatoms are sensitive to water quality changes and shifts in the diatom community often correspond to changes in water quality and other biological elements. In the summer of 2004, short sediment cores were collected by the Environmental Change Research Centre (ECRC) on behalf of the Environment Agency from 100 lakes in England and Wales as part of the WFD Lake Monitoring Phase 2 programme, and by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) from 27 Scottish lochs. Surface sediment samples from many of these cores have been analysed as part of DALES; however, this study provides further analysis of core bottom material from around 50 lakes.