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Moss MSc
Aquilina MSc
Chaplin MSc
Chaplin BSc


Robert Aquilina

MSc Environmental Quality, Bournemouth University, 2003

Habitat Quality in Constructed Wetlands as part of a Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS)

Robert was awarded a distinction for his dissertation 


Artificial modifications to an urban stream, Bourne Stream, Dorset, as part of a Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS), were investigated for their contribution to habitat quality as measured by macroinvertebrate and macrophyte diversity. The specific objectives were to investigate the environmental conditions prevailing in the three major freshwater habitats stream, ponds and SUDS; to investigate macroinvertebrate and macrophyte species diversity within these habitats; to investigate the relationship between the environmental conditions and species diversity; to compare the stream quality over time in order to assess any changes and to assess the habitats in terms of conservation value. Diversity indices, multivariate statistics and two nationally recognised predictive methodologies (RIVPACS and PSYM) were used to categorise the habitats.

Species richness and diversity were not found to differ significantly between the stream itself, the existing ponds and the constructed wetlands. Habitat quality as measured by macroinvertebrate diversity was related to the pH of the water and the emergent vegetation. RIVPACS analysis showed the condition of the stream to be grade B, good, in the upper reaches. This shows an improvement in the uppermost sample point immediately below the constructed wetlands compared with previous published analysis. The lower sample point showed a slight degradation, factors which may account for this are discussed. It is concluded that the conservation value of constructed wetlands can be high, this site having several Notable water beetle species and uncommon dragonflies.

Download paper (PDF 1.9MB)

Robert can be contacted via his web site at


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