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Mapping the combined risk of agricultural fine sediment input and accumulation for riverine ecosystems across England and Wales

Naura, M.; Hornby, D.D.; Collins, A.L.; Sear, D.A.; Hill, C.; Jones, J.I.; Naden, P.S.. 2016 Mapping the combined risk of agricultural fine sediment input and accumulation for riverine ecosystems across England and Wales. Ecological Indicators, 70. 209-221. 10.1016/j.ecolind.2016.03.055

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Abstract/Summary

Fine sediment inputs from agricultural sources are a potential threat to freshwater ecosystems and may impact on the ability of EU members’ states to achieve environmental targets under the Water Framework Directive (WFD). An index (the Agricultural Sediment Risk index or ASR) representing the risk of agricultural fine sediment accumulation in rivers was produced using estimates of sediment inputs from the process-based PSYCHIC model and predictions of fine sediment accumulation using River Habitat Survey data. The ASR was mapped across the entire river network of England and Wales. The ASR map and index were combined with a national dataset of fisheries surveys using logistic regression to test its relevance to freshwater biota. The ASR was strongly associated with a group of species sensitive to fine sediment inputs including salmon and trout. Another group of species including roach and perch showed a positive association with low levels of agricultural sediment inputs potentially due to their impacts on predators and competitors. The proposed approach demonstrates how existing national monitoring data and sediment pressure models can be combined to produce an assessment of risk to aquatic ecosystems from agricultural fine sediment sources at a national scale that can be used alongside WFD classification tools to identify potential causative pressures and design remedial actions.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.ecolind.2016.03.055
CEH Sections: CEH fellows
ISSN: 1470-160X
Additional Keywords: fine sediment, agricultural source, diffuse pollution, risk assessment, geostatistics, fish habitat, river habitat survey
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 21 Jul 2016 12:43 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/514006

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