Frode Fossøy (NINA) collects a water sample from Nidelva
High-tech environmental design
In HydroCen, environmental design has been upgraded and expanded to be used for more species than salmon, and to include people's use of rivers and waterways.
Development of new environmental technology will be able to provide better and more cost-effective monitoring of the state of the environment in regulated waterways. Environmental DNA is an innovative genetic tool that can be used to map biodiversity using a water sample.
In HydroCen, Environmental DNA has been used together with more conventional methods to, among other things, map whether thresholds in the river Nea act as migration barriers and affect the benthic fauna. Genetic methods can also be used to estimate population size by using kinship analyzes to examine the number of fish that contribute genetic material to the next generation (Close-kin mark–recapture (CKMR)).
Another type of technology that is already important for cost-effective monitoring of waterways is remote sensing. By using LIDAR data in combination with sonar and aerial photography, we can map watercourses with regard to different types of habitats for fish and increase the understanding of the fish's use of the watercourses and the effects of watercourse regulation.
The researchers used the river Nea as a case study to develop the method, here is the final report and here you can read more about how they combined high-tech methods such as environmental DNA, laser, satellites and drones, together with biological investigations. Cooperation with the power company and local interests also strengthened the project.