Developing a macroinvertebrate trait-based approach for assessing and managing ecosystem health in South Africa
This project is investigating the potential use of macroinvertebrate traits in assessing ecosystem health. The project is being led by the Unilever Centre for Environmental Water Quality, Institute for Water Research, Rhodes University. The incorporation of traits into biomonitoring approaches, methods and tools has the potential to complement current tools and approaches and to address some of the pitfalls of methods based chiefly on taxonomic identities of resident biota. It is increasingly being recognised that certain traits of aquatic macroinvertebrate are linked to ecosystem function, and their careful analysis can provide an indication of the functional health of the ecosystem. A key output of the project will be a database of macroinvertebrate traits for South Africa. The trait categories include biological and behavioural traits as well as relevant information on ecological preferences of taxa.
Watch this space