From Make Water Famous

A study in England has found that freshwater macro-invertebrate richness has increased over the past 30 years, indicating a positive trend in biodiversity.

Aquatic macro-invertebrates are insects in their nymph and larval stages, that spend at least part of their lives in water. They play a large role in freshwater ecosystems by recycling nutrients as well as providing food for other species.

According to researchers, the recovery of pollution-sensitive macro-invertebrates, such as Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera families, suggests water quality is improving. The study, a three-year £2 million project using data gathered by the Environment Agency, analysed a dataset of over 220,000 macro-invertebrate records from 1989 to 2018 and matched them with factors such as wastewater exposure and land cover.

The study found an improvement in macro-invertebrate diversity and sensitivity across all regions, river types, land covers, and levels of wastewater exposure. However, the rate of improvement has slowed in some cases post-2003.

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