Introduction to Freshwater Invertebrates
Many of the flying invertebrates that you see during the Summer, spend a large proportion of their life cycle in water. When we talk about freshwater invertebrates this could therefore mean organisms that live solely in freshwater or organisms that depend on freshwater systems to complete their life cycle. As such their lifestyles are inexorably linked to many other species in a range of habitat types, as they form an important part of the food chain for fish, birds, other invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians and mammals. Furthermore many freshwater invertebrates are a good measure of the health and quality of an ecosystem such as the stonefly and mayfly larvae. The Slapton Field Studies Council site, boasts both still and running water and therefore supports a broad range of freshwater invertebrates. This one day field and laboratory based course will provide a solid introduction to a wide range of freshwater invertebrates and develop skills in the identification and taxonomy of these aquatic organisms.
Your Day at Slapton
After a brief introduction to the teaching team and the field centre we will start the day with a short presentation on the diverse roles of freshwater invertebrates with respect to the ecosystems found at Slapton. We will then take a walk to 2 different sites - a stream in Slapton Woods, and the Lower Ley - to collect samples using techniques such as kick-sampling and dipping, and we will carry out a brief diversity assessment on site to start familiarising ourselves with the specimens. We will then take these back to the lab at the field centre where you will have an opportunity to identify and draw samples of the invertebrates we have collected, plus you can start to develop an invertebrate portfolio. You will also get the opportunity to use a microscope-cam to take images of the invertebrates that you have collected. Further specimens will be provided for the sake of diversity and comparison.
Participants should have sturdy footwear, and suitable clothing for a full day out and about – wet weather gear is advisable – just in case! Bring a packed lunch and plenty to drink. A camera and binoculars are well worth bringing, though not required to complete your day with us. You will be provided with a booklet and all materials that you will need to complete the course.
Health and Safety
Before the visit you will be provided with a brief medical checklist that you will need to send to us prior to the visit. A risk assessment has been prepared and will be discussed in the trip briefing. A copy will also be included in your course booklet.
Please Contact Us if you wish to sign up for this course