33. Ecohydrology experimental apparatus

Charlie Patel, Dr Atish Vadher, Dr Kate Mathers, Dr Ciara Dwyer, Prof. Paul Wood

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.

Innovative experiments, using these transparent migration columns, allow direct measurement of how invertebrates move vertically through different sediment sizes in response to reductions in water level. These experiments contribute to investigations on the response of river animals to drought and climate change.

Read the team's publication