DARES Project
DALES Project
Diatom CD-ROM



DARES: Project description

The objective of DARES is to develop a statistically-robust monitoring tool for the assessment of river ecological status using benthic diatoms.

The work programme for DARES falls into two broad stages: the compilation of a comprehensive database of diatom counts and associated chemical information, and the analysis of these data to develop a predictive tool. The project started in Summer 2004 and ends with the delivery of a viable model, in a form ready for "beta-testing" by end-users in July 2006.

DARES has been divided into a number of work packages:

Work package


0. Project co-ordination and management

Bowburn Consultancy


University of Newcastle

2. Acquisition of new data

Bowburn Consultancy

3. Harmonisation of data

University of Bristol

4. Data analysis and development of prototype predictive system(s)

4.1  Develop concepts
4.2  Validate concepts
4.3  Apply concepts to harmonised dataset

University of Newcastle


5. Further development of predictive/classification tool(s)

Bowburn Consultancy

WP 2 will involve sampling over 450 new sites in Spring and Autumn 2004. These will be combined with existing data, collated during WP1, and linked to other environmental databases, to provide a comprehensive database of stream diatoms and associated environmental conditions which will be used to develop a concept of 'good ecological status' during WP4. WP3 will concentrate on ensuring that a consistent quality of data is maintained throughout WPs 1 and 2. In addition, WP4 will involve validating the diatom-derived concept of 'good ecological status' against other components of the phytobenthos, and will also involve comparing contemporary concepts of good ecological status against historical baselines, obtained from herbaria.

The interrelationships between these work packages is illustrated by the diagram below:


                     Last updated on: 26 Oct 2005  Copyright 2012 The DARES Consortium.