South African Diatom Taxonomy launched on the internet!

11 May 2011

South Africa's diatom key launched this week!

Version 2 of the taxonomic key to South African diatoms, produced by Bill Harding and Jonathan Taylor,  was launched this week on the LucidCentral website.  This is the first diatom key to be launched on the web.  Using diatoms to assess water quality and ecological condition of aquatic environments is probably the most powerful biomonitoring tool available for this purpose.  Because of the cosmopolitan nature of many diatoms, making this key available on the internet was the logical choice to make it available to as many users as possible.  Stand-alone copies can also be sourced from DH Environmental Consulting.  The earlier version of the key, plus the supporting manuals, are now in use around the world!

Readers of this blog will recall the strange and controversial decision by Water Affairs and the Water Resource Commission to not continue funding of this initiative (see here and here and here).  The project remains stalled at a critical stage and we continue to seek alternative forms of funding in order to continue the research and the upgrading of the taxonomic key.

See here for some earlier reporting on the development of the South African Diatom Assessment Protocol by Bill Harding and Jonathan Taylor.

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