Melbourne Water macroinvertebrate database: user’s manual

Version 2

Christopher J Walsh

Melbourne Waterway Research Practice Partnership, Waterway Ecosystem Research Group, School of Agriculture, Food, and Ecosystem Sciences, The University of Melbourne


August 1, 2023


Melbourne Water’s investment in biological monitoring and ecological research since 1994 has generated a large set macroinvertebrate assemblage records from streams of the Greater Melbourne region. This rich resource of biological information has been used in many ecological studies and has underpinned the management of Melbourne’s streams. The data are now collated into a database with an open-access web interface (See the database home page, it will be updated as new data are generated, so that the data can be used to further advance ecological understanding and stream management strategies.

This document describes the structure of the database and its web interface; how to use them; and quality control protocols for adding data to the database. We have also developed a data-entry app for preparation of biological data for the database. This document (user’s manual version 2) supercedes the original database user’s guide (Walsh, Sammonds, and Kunapo 2020), following updates to the database structure and of the web interface Appendix A, in addition to regular (and ongoing) addition of new data since 2020.

The database advances on previous versions by being publicly available and searchable. It includes new data and corrects errors. It uses new site and sample-coding that integrates the data with new stream and catchment data, and more effectively captures differences in collection and processing methods.

The structure of taxonomic tables have been completely revised, allowing for easier adaptation to taxonomic revisions, and for integration of data using identifications from genetic analyses.

Citation (for this report and for the any data downloaded from the database home page):

Walsh, C.J. (2023) The Melbourne Water macroinvertebrate database: user’s manual. Version 2. Melbourne Waterway Research-Practice Partnership Report 20.1a. School of Agriculture, Forest and Ecosystem Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne. URL:

Walsh, C J, M J Sammonds, and J Kunapo. 2020. “The Melbourne Water Macroinvertebrate Database.” Melbourne {{Waterway Research-Practice Partnership Report}} 20.1. School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne.