• diatoms
  • diatoms aidgap
  • diatoms aidgap

Diatoms AIDGAP

FSC Diatoms AIDGAP is an identification guide to diatom genera of benthic habitats in rivers in Britain and Ireland. Identification goes to species level for the most common species.

Diatom identification is challenging, but with practice it becomes easier to recognise the main characters. Notes on sampling and laboratory preparation are also provided, along with comments on the ecology and environmental preferences for many of the taxa described.

This diatoms guide is part of the FSC’s AIDGAP series (Aids to Identification in Difficult Groups of Animals and Plants). The aim of AIDGAP series is to produce accessible keys suitable for non-specialists from age 16+. Although written by specialists, all AIDGAP guides go through field tests in draft form. As with all guides in the series, the Diatoms AIDGAP underwent extensive testing before publication, by beginners and specialists alike. The author has revised this, the first published version, in the light of the testers’ experience.

Accurate identification of specimens is an important part of biological fieldwork. Although popular groups such as wild flowers and butterflies are well-served, many other groups are neglected. Since 1976, the AIDGAP project has published over 40 straightforward and clearly written identification keys to many different groups of plants, animals and other taxa. In many cases a newly published AIDGAP guide has led to an immediate upsurge in the number and spread of biological records.