OR/19/054 Methodology

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Gareth Farr1, Jonathan Graham2, Andy Marriott1 & Elliott Hamilton1. 2019. Survey of selected tufa forming sites in Staffordshire, UK. British Geological Survey Internal Report, OR/19/054.

1  British Geological Survey
2  Fenland Botanical Surveys

Site survey[edit]

Seven sites were selected by Nick Mott (Staffordshire Wildlife Trust) and surveys were commissioned and undertaken on 17 and 18th June 2019. Site vegetation (flowering plants and bryophytes) was recorded using nomenclature adopted follows Stace (2010)[1] for most flowering plants; Cope & Gray (2009)[2] for grasses; Atherton, Bosanquet & Lawley (2010) for bryophytes.

Water analysis[edit]

Water samples were collected from drip water directly below areas of tufa formation that has both active tufa formation and contained the target moss species P. commutata. pH, electrical conductivity, temperature and alkalinity were measured in the field. pH and electrical conductivity were measured on a hand held Hanna meter and temperature on a digital thermometer. Field alkalinity was measure using a digital titrator, with three measurements made for each inorganic water sample sent to the laboratory. Each water sample was filtered using a 0.45 µm filter into two separate 35 ml plastic bottles. The water samples were chilled and sent to the UKAS accredited British Geological Survey Inorganic Geochemistry Laboratory (Nottingham) for ICP-MS and IC analysis of major ions, nutrients, alkalinity and trace elements. The same method and laboratories were used for studies in Wales and Gloucestershire (e.g. Farr et al., 2014[3]; Farr & Graham, 2017[4], Graham et al., 2019[5]). Full chemical analysis of major and minor ions are included in Appendix 3 - Water chemistry.


  1. STACE, C. 2010. New Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  2. COPE, T, and GRAY, A. 2009. Grasses of the British Isles (BSBI Handbook No. 13). Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland.
  3. FARR, G, GRAHAM, J, and STRATFORD, C. 2014. Survey, characterisation and condition assessment of Palustriella dominated springs 'H7220 petrifying springs with tufa formation (Cratoneurion) in Wales. NERC, 211pp. (Natural Resources Wales Evidence Report No. 136, WL/NEC03832/13_14/T6, OR/14/043) (Unpublished)
  4. FARR, G, and GRAHAM, J. 2017. Survey, characterisation and condition assessment of Palustriella dominated springs 'H7220 Petrifying springs with tufa formation (Cratoneurion)' in Gloucestershire, England. British Geological Survey, 141pp. (OR/17/020) (Unpublished)
  5. GRAHAM, J, FARR, G, HEDENÄS, L, DEVEZ, A, and WATTS, M J. 2019. Using water chemistry to define ecological preferences within the moss genus Scorpidium, from Wales, UK, Journal of Bryology, 41:3, 197–204, DOI: 10.1080/03736687.2019.1603416