DAERA Macroalgae Rocky Shore Surveys

The rocky shore macroalgae survey is annual assessment of the proportions of rhodophyta (red algae), chlorophyta (green algae), and opportunistic macroalgae communities at fixed sites around the Northern Irish coast. Algal populations can alter in numbers and species composition due to external environmental influence, hence they are a useful indicator of anthropogenic disturbances and pollution. Shores are surveyed for presence of specimens against a prescribed list of species (Reduced Species List).Certain sites are also surveyed for a complete list of species present (Full Species List). Data is recorded as presence (1), or absence (""). Data collected contributes to the classification of Northern Irish water bodies under the Rocky Shore Macroalgae quality element of the EU Water Framework Directive. Within DAERA, this work forms part of the Intertidal Rocky Shore work programme (MM(YY)-12).

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Creation Date February 20, 2020, 11:38 (UTC)
Topic Category
  • Biota
  • Environment
  • Oceans

Data is collected by competent staff carrying out field shore surveys of macroalgal communities. Data in this dataset is used to calculate the Rocky Shore Macroalgal Index. The rocky shore macroalgal index is composed of five metrics: (i) Species richness (normalised using a shore factor) (ii) Proportion of Chlorophyta (green) species (iii) Proportion of Rhodophyta (red) species (iv) Proportion of opportunists (fast-growing nuisance algae) (v) Ratio of ecological status groups (ESG). Individual metrics are weighted equally and combined within a multi-metric index to assess the structure and composition of intertidal rocky shore macroalgae communities. The species richness component is normalised against a shore factor to enable different shore types to be directly comparable regardless of localised natural environmental factors such as diversity of sub-habitats. Data quality is ensured by participation in annual NMBAQC ring tests. All staff involved in taxonomic identification of specimens must achieve the required standard of the scheme.

Frequency of Update Annually
Contact Name Intertidal Ecology Team
Contact Email mariner.inforequests@daera-ni.gov.uk
Additional Information

Background to Assessment Tool: https://wfduk.org/sites/default/files/Media/Characterisation%20of%20the%20water%20environment/Biological%20Method%20Statements/CW%20Intertidal%20Rocky%20Shore%20Macroalgal%20Index%20UKTAG%20Method%20Statement.PDF

Discovery Metadata: https://portal.medin.org.uk/portal/start.php#details?tpc=010_ad9d6383a1092a8b27f1a9b3e1468343

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