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Vegetation communities of British lakes: a revised classification 2006


The first comprehensive classification scheme for standing waters in Britain (Palmer 1992, Palmer et al. 1993) was based on macrophyte surveys carried out by the Nature Conservancy Council from 1,124 standing waters throughout England, Scotland and Wales between 1975 and 1988. This dataset became an important source of information used for a variety of purposes including conservation site selection and the identification of aquatic communities in the National Vegetation Classification (NVC).

Following publication of the original scheme, the NCC and its successor organisations commissioned a substantial number of additional lake surveys, leading to the establishment of a much larger dataset with records from 3,447 sites (310 England, 38 Wales and 3,099 Scotland). Drivers such as the Habitats Directive and the Water Framework Directive provided the incentive for the production of a revised classification, using this larger dataset,and supplemented by environmental data.

This report presents the results of the statistical analysis of the revised dataset. Differences from the previous classification are highlighted. The important components of this report include:

  • separate ecological descriptions of 11 distinct lake groups (A–J);
  • a revised key for the classification of newly surveyed sites;
  • updated distribution maps showing the distribution of sites within each lake group, supported by summary environmental data and macrophyte constancy tables;
  • the earlier Trophic Ranking Scheme (TRS) is replaced by a Plant Lake Ecotype Index (PLEX), which reflects the fit with the new classification scheme rather than a perceived simple trophic relationship.

Resource type Publication

Topic category Environment

Reference date 2006··

Duigan, C.A., Kovach, W.L. & Palmer, M. (2006) Vegetation communities of British lakes: a revised classification, JNCC, Peterborough, ISBN 1 86107 575 8.

This report presents a description of the results of a new classification scheme for British Lakes.

Responsible organisation
Communications, JNCC publisher

Limitations on public access No limitations

Use constraints Available under the Open Government Licence 3.0

Metadata date 2019·12·06

Metadata point of contact
Communications, JNCC

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