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Title: The vegetation of the River Tweed
Author: Holmes, N. T. H.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3580 8075
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 1975
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A detailed account is given of the macrophytic vegetation of the major rivers within the Tweed Basin. Of these rivers, the Tweed and its largest tributary, the Teviot, tare been studied in most detail, both being surveyed from source to mouth. Information brought together on the history and physiography of the Tweed Basin are summarized in this account, together with physical and water chemical data collected during the survey. The distribution of species is discussed in relation to changes in such parameters. The method of survey involved recording the presence or absence of all macrophytic species within 0.5 km lengths of river, together with a subjective evaluation of their abundance. 570 such 0.5 km lengths were surveyed. All macroscopically visable species were recorded which were found completely submerged or at the immediate edge of the river. A total of 180 different macrophytic growths (usually species, but occasionally identified only to genus level ) were present in the basin, including: 31 algae, 5 lichens, 83 bryophytes, 59 angiosperms, 2 macroscopic microbial communities. The identification and taxonomy of all species were studied critically. Environmental parameters collected in most detail were the physical characteristics of each river, such as altitude, features of the substratum and flow regime. A water sampling programme was undertaken which involved the collection of 5 duplicate samples from sites in the main river and tributaries, and subsequent analysis for optical density, pH, conductivity, 10 cations and 6 anions. The final discussion includes an appraisal of literature concerned with macrophytes in rivers, methods of study, and results obtained. Particular attention is paid to floristic accounts, especially those from the neighbourhood of the Tweed, the floras of these rivers being compared with the flora of the Tweed Basin. Comparison with data from these surveys would suggest that the Tweed is a river which is especially rich in macrophyte species. The presence of historical data and herbarium specimens collected over the past two centuries has made it possible to suggest tentatively that the distribution of some species has changed markedly, whereas others appear to have changed little over 150 years. Cladophora, glomerata is an example of a species which in recent years has become much less abundant. This is most probably due to a decrease in total phosphate content ±n. the water, this in turn being due to a reduction in the use of synthetic detergents by the textile industry.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available