Scientists from the University of Portsmouth have been investigating nutrient concentrations in the Upper River Itchen, in Hampshire, UK, on behalf of Salmon & Trout Conservation (S&TC) to better understand where phosphorus is coming from and how it is impacting river ecology. The work has been ongoing for over three years and Lauren Mattingley, Science Officer for S&TC says: “Continuous monitoring of phosphorus has improved our understanding of nutrient dynamics in the Itchen. So far, the results from this monitoring have influenced the lowering of discharge limits from watercress companies and trout breeding farms.
“The behaviour of phosphorus in our rivers is relatively poorly understood, and this is often reflected in water quality standards that, in our opinion, lack the scientific evidence to adequately protect the ecology of the UK’s diverse water resources. Research like that which we have commissioned on the Itchen is essential to set informed phosphorus permits to protect our water life.”
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