7. Selection of appropriate techniques and methodologies

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7.1 What techniques should I use

This section focuses on what level of monitoring is appropriate for your project having set your specific and measurable objectives and determined your time frames and budget. Nearly all monitoring is useful, but it is essential that you use the right, "tools for the job‟ and choose these based on your monitoring objectives.

The following section explains the different monitoring techniques and where and when they are appropriate to use. Methods have been divided into a number of different "Functional Groupings‟ i.e. Ecology, Fisheries, Macrophytes, Hydromorphology and Hydrology. Which elements you select from each of these groups will depend on your SMART objectives i.e. what you are trying to achieve will determine what it is you should measure.

The sections below provide a short summary of the scientific best practice approach for each "Functional Group". Your project may be constrained by budget or time constraints, meaning that the application of best practice scientific methods is not possible, in which case it is possible to apply simpler methodologies such as fixed point photography or Citizen Science. A fuller explanation of all these methods with examples can be seen in Appendices 8-13 using the links in the titles below.

7.2 Macroinvertebrate Surveys (see Appendix 9. Macroinvertebrate Surveys)

Scientific best practice

See England et al. (2021) [1]

Techniques

+ 5 more

7.3 Fisheries Surveys (see Appendix 10. Fisheries Surveys)

Scientific best practice

See England et al. (2021) [1]

Techniques

+ 19 more

7.4 Vegetation Surveys (see Appendix 11. Vegetation Surveys)

In-channel vegetation

  • Assess species as well as morphotypes.
  • Consider vegetation succession when setting expectations and creating a monitoring strategy.
  • Use aerial photography, hydroacoustic methods, remote sensing, and modelling alongside more traditional approaches.
  • Consider geomorphological interactions as well as external factors such as shading and grazing.
  • Use the BACI approach (before-after-control-impact) with both positive and negative controls.

See England et al. (2021) [1]

Riparian vegetation

  • The monitoring strategy should reflect and account for the timesecale of the expected response.
  • Assess ground beetle response to restoration using pit-fall traps and hand searches.

See England et al. (2021) [1]

Techniques

+ 1 more

7.5 Geomorphology Surveys (see Appendix 12. Hydromorphology – Geomorphological Surveys)

Scientific best practice

  • Consult a fluvial geomorphologist to identify the likely change in processes and physical forms following restoration for your river type.
  • Consult with a fluvial geomorphologist to select methods that will best record changes in physical forms.
  • Use habitat survey methods and species survey methods (macroinvertebrates, fish) to link geomorphological changes to biological and ecological changes.
  • Use the BACI approach (before-after-control-impact) with both positive and negative controls.
  • Sample before, after and controls in the same one month window and with similar flow regime conditions.

Techniques

+ 9 more

7.6 Hydrology Surveys (see Appendix 13. Hydromorphology – Hydrological Surveys)

Techniques

+ 2 more