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Title: The effects and efficacy of weed-cutting management in lowland rivers
Author: Carr, K. L.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2011
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Experiments were conducted in the Somerset Levels UK on a river historically managed using a weed bucket. Three main areas of enquiry were identified: 1. the efficacy and impacts of weed-cutting using a weed bucket and a weedboat compared to each other and to uncut sections of river; 2. the difference in macroinvertebrates removed from the river on weed cut by the weedboat or weed bucket; 3. the inter-operator variability of weed bucket operators and its effect upon management and biodiversity outcomes. 1. Both machines were efficient at clearing weed, sections cut by weed bucket contained less vegetation three months after management than the sections cut by boat or left uncut although the percentage differences were very small. All sections were similarly vegetated by the next cutting season.  2. There was a significant difference in the community of macroinvertebrates removed by the two kinds of management. Also, more molluscs were removed in weed bucket cut weed and more insects removed in weedboat cut weed. 3. All five weed bucket drivers had a similar effect on vegetation, with no noteworthy difference in the proportion removed or the recovery of macrophytes; although there was a brief difference in the regrowth of vegetation immediately after management. Different drivers brought out significantly different numbers of mussels and there was a significant difference in the number of mussels found in the river after management; significantly different proportions of mussel species were also found in different drivers’ sections. There were significantly different numbers of mussels in each of the drivers’ sections one year after management and there was a significant negative relationship between the number of mussels removed and the number left in the river.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available