Material & Methods

In the framework of the countywide survey of the Hesse Federation for Cave and Karst Research, springs are examined and recorded according to a standard examination sheet. Required measurements are among others exact GPS coordinates, water and air temperature, ph-value and electric conductivity. For the surrounding, the geographic setting and vegetation are recorded, as are ground substrate in the spring and the flow pattern. A photodocumentation is part of the description, possible threads to the site are noted and measurements for protection or improvement formulated. Since 2014, the recording has been carried out computer-aided with the help of a waterproof tablet PC and since 2020 with the help of a small mobile server and a specially developed app via the smartphones of the participating surveyors.

The faunistic survey is done in three steps. Animals living in the water are caught with a very fine hand net and transfered into preservation liquid. The semiaquatic habitat (i.e. the wet margins of the spring) is searched by hand, animals found are collected with soft forceps. Flying insects above the spring are caught with a butterfly net. All samples are sorted under a high-quality stereo microscope and ordered according to the different groups. The final species identification is done usually by international acknowledged specialists.