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River Macrophytes Database 2019

Freshwater Terrestrial UK Biodiversity

Abstract

The JNCC River Macrophytes Database (RMD) is a Microsoft Access database constructed to house data on the plant communities of rivers in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. An extract in Excel format is also provided. The RMD includes data from over 7,000 survey sites and is the most comprehensive database of its kind. Data have been collected from all over the UK between 1977 and the present day, following the methods of Holmes et al. (1999).

The macrophyte survey method records aquatic and marginal plants in a 500 m-long survey section of river. Species from the river channel and the margins/base of the bank are recorded separately on a three-point scale of relative abundance and percentage cover. A standard check-list of species is used to aid recording. The field data can be used to classify the plant community as described by Holmes et al. (1999), and the database has a facility that allows keying-out of the community to sub-type level. This plant community classification has been used as the basis of river SSSI selection (see chapter 6 of Guidelines for Selection of Biological SSSIs). The database also holds a small amount of fish data.

The RMD is an ‘active’ database (i.e. survey records can still be added). However, with a new standard method of river plant survey now being adopted by the UK conservation agencies (i.e. the LEAFPACS method), it is likely that less surveys will be added in future, and it may develop into more of a 'legacy' database.

In 2011 the RMD was made available through the JNCC website with some restrictions on re-use. In June 2018, JNCC re-published the RMD as open data under the Open Government Licence. In November 2019 the invertebrate survey records were removed whilst some of these records underwent further validity checks.

Background information on the classification system:

Holmes, N.T, Boon, P.J., & Rowell, T.A. Vegetation communities of British rivers - a revised classification (1999) Link to the Vegetation communities of British rivers on the JNCC Resource hub: https://hub.jncc.gov.uk/assets/a974944a-3cd4-4574-9c1a-c977d482c0ed

Resource type Dataset

Topic category InlandWaters

Reference date 2019·11·04

Lineage
The macrophyte survey method records aquatic and marginal plants in a 500m long survey section of river. Species from the river channel and the margins/base of the bank are recorded separately on a three-point scale of relative abundance and percentage cover. A standard check-list of species is used to aid recording. The field data can be used to classify the plant community as described by Holmes et al. (1999), and the database has a facility that allows keying-out of the community to sub-type level. This plant community classification has been used as the basis of river SSSI selection. The grid reference of the species observation is the lower grid reference of the river section (the upper grid reference included as an attribute) and the precision of the record provided reflects this lower grid reference rather than the 500m long survey section. Confidence in the data = high. All surveys were collated by very experienced and qualified specialists in the field of aquatic macrophytes. Much of the data were collated from one or two large survey programmes and so data processing and validation were standardised and consistent throughout. More recent data have been input by a standardised data capture field form, thus minimising the possibility of introducing any errors during the data input process.

Responsible organisation
Digital and Data Solutions, JNCC owner

Limitations on public access No limitations

Use constraints Released under the Open Government Licence v3.0 http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3/ Attribution statement: "River Macrophytes Database published by JNCC. Contains Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), Natural England (NE), Natural Resources Wales (NRW), and Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) data © copyright and database right 2011."

Metadata date 2019·11·05

Metadata point of contact
Digital and Data Solutions, JNCC

Temporal extent 1976·· 2010··

Spatial extent
North 61
South 49.77
East 2
West -8.65
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