Ponds, Pools and Lochans

3.7 Future method developments - PSYM

In recent years a new method for assessing pond ecological quality (PSYM: the Predictive SYstem for Multimetrics) has been developed by the Environment Agency and Pond Action. At present the PSYM method is not available in Scotland as the relevant baseline datasets have not been collected. The PSYM method enables a surveyor to assess the overall quality of a waterbody using a number of aquatic plant and invertebrate measures (metrics)7, which are combined together to give an overall waterbody quality value. The method is expected to be released for general use in England and Wales in 2000. Discussions are currently in progress to establish the databases needed to extend the technique to Scotland (Williams et al. 1996, 1998b; Biggs et al., 2000).

7Metrics are measures such as species richness or rarity which can be used to help identify how damaged a waterbodys community is.

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