UHI Inverness research confirms success of reconnecting River Severn

Environmental DNA research by UHI Inverness academics that confirms the positive impact of the reconnection of the River Severn has been published.

see full size image
Dr Nathan Griffiths

The report by Dr Nathan Griffiths and Dr Barbara Morrissey of the Institute of Biodiversity and Freshwater Conservation based at UHI Inverness can be accessed on Natural England’s website.

The ‘Unlocking the Severn’ LIFE project has reconnected 158 miles of habitat for endangered migratory fish such as shad and sea lamprey through the creation of fish passes at four weirs on the River Severn.

Reconnection schemes in river systems can improve conditions for a number of fish species and lead to changes in the fish community.

This research generated biodiversity data using eDNA metabarcoding to investigate the wider ecological effects of restoring river connectivity in the River Severn and to map the distribution of the shad.

The key findings confirmed that shad were able to access the full reconnected habitat in their first spawning event following the reconnection scheme.