Virtual Cabinet of Curiosities

33. Ecohydrology experimental apparatus, Atish Vadher, Postgraduate Researcher

Many rivers, in all climates, dry up for some part of the year. Since the 1960s scientists have proposed that the insects and other invertebrates that live in rivers migrate into the moist river bed when this happens. Understanding what happens to these animals is important because they are the major source of food for fish and are used widely as indicators of river health. Field studies have produced inconsistent evidence and it remains debatable whether the river bed provides a refuge for these animals.

My innovative experiments, using these transparent migration columns, allowed direct measurement of how invertebrates move vertically through different sediment sizes in response to reductions in water level. This experiment contributes to a larger ‘temporary stream ecology’ PhD project that uses flume and field experiments to investigate the response of river animals to drought and climate change.

More about Atish's research