Groundwater ecology and biodiversity


Groundwater contains distinctive animals that are adapted to live in the dark and are known as stygobites.

Stygobites have not been well investigated in the UK. Their occurrence and controls on their distribution are poorly understood. In addition, their role in providing ecosystem services, and their sensitivity to environmental change are still a matter of speculation.

BGS scientists are working with a range of partners to address these and related issues.

Distribution and controls on stygobites

The BGS, with the help of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and Roehampton University, have started the first systematic UK-wide survey of stygobites.

In addition, we are helping Roehampton University with a more focused investigation of the distribution and habitat requirements of stygobites in Devon and Dorset.

We are also undertaking intensive sampling for stygobites at a few localities in the Berkshire Downs to better understand the factors controlling the distribution of groundwater species.

Further information about groundwater ecology


Contact Dr Louise Maurice for further information.