Aquatic macroinvertebrate analysisAquatic macroinvertebrate sampling, analysis and interpretation is a key service, applicable to a variety of aquatic projects.


Aquatic macroinvertebrates are used to assess a range of aquatic habitats and environmental pressures. They are also a key component of WFD classification. PBA’s team of experienced samplers and taxonomists, work on a large number of projects across a wide range of sites.


Aquatic macroinvertebrates are monitored to assess the effects of pollution on water quality. They can be used to identify diffuse and point source pollution including sewage treatment works and agricultural runoff. Once sources of pollution are identified, pollution control and prevention schemes can be put in place and macroinvertebrates used to monitor improvements.



     PBA can deploy a wide range of sampling techniques to best suit the each site including:

     Standard 3-minute kick sampling and 1-minute hand search

     Deep water sweep and substrate sampling

     Drift and Surber sampling

     Artificial substrate setting and sampling



Macroinvertebrate identification takes place in PBA’s fresh water lab and can be completed to specified taxonomic levels. Standard sampling involves family level identification, though some projects require species level identification. Family level identification can be completed for all taxa. Species level identification can include; triclad flatworms, leeches, molluscs, isopod and amphipod crustaceans, and both juvenile and adult insects of many groups including mayflies, stoneflies, caddis flies, Odonata, bugs and beetles.



The family and species lists can then be analysed using standard suits of indices. For flowing waters these include BMWP, NTAXA, ASPT, LIFE and PSI which can intern be analysed using the River Invertebrate Classification Tool (RICT) to monitor the ecological quality. In ponds and canals, PYSM and NPS are used to assess the ecological quality.


If you have any queries or think you require the services above, please contact us.