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Review of Environment Waikato's regional ecological monitoring of streams (REMS) programme: Past practices and future directions

Report: TR05/48
Author: Kevin Collier


Since 1994, Environment Waikato has been carrying out rapid assessments of invertebrate community composition and habitat quality annually (Regional Ecological Monitoring of Streams - REMS) as part of its Environmental Indicators Programme to document the condition of streams and rivers in the region. Monitoring the composition of aquatic invertebrate communities provides a measure of the ecological condition of their habitats. This condition reflects a range of interacting factors thereby providing an holistic and cumulative understanding of ecosystem health that augments non-integrative measures such as water quality.

A number of changes in habitat assessment and invertebrate sampling protocols have occurred over the years, and various reviews have highlighted issues in the REMS programme that need addressing. This report (i) reviews the history of the REMS programme, (ii) details the background and timing to the various changes made, (iii) re-defines the objectives of the REMS programme based on past recommendations and planned future directions, (iv) evaluates the suitability of data for assessment of trends, and (iv) recommends changes to refine and refocus the programme culminating in a new sampling design for wadeable streams implemented in 2005.

Review of Environment Waikato's Regional Ecological Monitoring of Streams (REMS) Programme : Past Practices and Future Directions
(264 kb, 37 seconds to download, 56k modem)

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1
2 Scope and objectives of REMS 1
2.1 Scope 1
2.2 Objectives 2
2.3 Relevance to the Regional Policy Statement and Regional Plan 3
3 Sampling sites 4
4 Methodologies 6
4.1 Inverterbrate sampling 6
4.2 Assessing habitat quality 11
4.3 Data storage and analysis 12
5 A new study design 13
5 A new study design 13
5.1 The GIS process used to identify impact sites 13
5.2 Additional sites 14
6 Future sampling 15
References 17
Appendix 1 - Locations and REC class of sampling sites 19
Appendix 2 - Numbers of macroinvertebrates identified in each sample, and total number of years sampled 36
Appendix 3 - Details of sites sampled in 2005 46
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