Corridors: The Scientific Basis for
This project is examining the dependence of urban river ecosystems on flow, water quality and physical habitat. The precise nature of the dependence upon these boundary conditions is far from clear and may vary throughout the river system. The contention is that even in highly polluted urban river systems, the flow regime and the nature and diversity of the physical habitat also significantly influence the river ecosystem. Therefore, all three boundary conditions and their interactions are being investigated. There are five principle research tasks:
The studies are being focused on the River Tame, upstream of Water Orton (407 km2) which drains substantial portions of Birmingham, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton.
Tasks 1 and 2 will produce flow, water depth, shear stress and water quality time series (based on observed data and some output from Task 3) for representative channel reaches for historic and current conditions. Task 3 will provide a physical classification to meso-habitat level that is suitable for urban rivers by using observed data and output from Task 1.
Task 4 will provide information on the invertebrate fauna associated with the defined physical classes (from Task 3) in combination with summary water quality indices (from Task 2), to define sensitive physical and chemical habitat relationships for invertebrates in urban rivers. Task 5 will lead to the development of a predictive model that reflects the relative importance of the boundary conditions upon the river ecosystem.
January 1998 four years
University of Birmingham
The main deliverables of the project will be a generic methodology appropriate for urban areas for:
Severn Trent Water
Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
Birmingham City Council
Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council
Further information is available from the following contacts:
Lead Researcher: Dr J R West
Tel: 0121 414 5089, Fax: 0121 414 5051, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
URGENT Programme Manager: Graham Leeks
Tel: 01491 692203, Fax: 01491 692313, e-mail: email@example.com