DARES Project
DALES Project
Diatom CD-ROM



CD-ROM project

The UK Environment Agency has funded the development of three interactive CD-ROMs to help users to identify freshwater algae from Britain and Ireland. The CD-ROMs are based on the Lucid software, developed by the University of Queensland in Australia. The latest of these CD-ROMs is the outcome of collaboration between the Environment Agency and five partners, and makes extensive use of images collected as part of the European Union projects ADIAC (Automatic Diatom Identification and Classification) and EDDI (European Diatom Database Initiative). No attempt is being made to include all freshwater diatoms recorded from Britain and Ireland; instead, a modular approach has been adopted, with the present project providing a core structure plus comprehensive coverage of riverine habitats, with the hope that modules covering freshwater plankton and upland / more acidophilic taxa can be added in the future. The key itself is multi-access, rather than dichotomous. An important benefit of this approach is that the set of attributes can be much broader than is the case for a traditional key. For diatoms, it is possible to include information on the characteristics of “live” diatoms alongside attributes seen only in “cleaned” material, allowing the key to work in a wider range of situations than was the case in previous keys.


The key is published by the Environment Agency and available to purchase via the Environment Agency's publication catalogue.

Click here to view images from the key.

A pdf of the poster shown below is available here.


                     Last updated on: 30 Mar 2012 © Copyright 2012 The DARES Consortium.