Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences

Marine and Freshwater Research

Marine and Freshwater Research

Marine and Freshwater Research is a multidisciplinary journal publishing original research and reviews on all aquatic environments and subject areas. Read more about the journalMore

Editor-in-Chief: Max Finlayson


Current Issue

Marine and Freshwater Research

Volume 68 Number 5 2017

Saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) have strong cultural value in Timor-Leste, yet attacks on people show the highest fatality rate of any country within the crocodile’s range (82.2%). Attack statistics are made worse by poor food security, and the demographic at highest risk is male teenagers involved in subsistence fishing. Developing a management plan is strongly recommended to reduce attacks without affecting wild crocodile populations.

MF16114Is the Kuroshio Current a strong barrier for the dispersal of the gizzard shad (Konosirus punctatus) in the East China Sea?

Na Song, Tianxiang Gao, Yiping Ying, Takashi Yanagimoto and Zhiqiang Han
pp. 810-820

The mitochondrial DNA marker was employed to analyse phylogeographical patterns of 10 populations of K. punctatus. The results showed that the climate of Pleistocene periods had played an important role in phylogeographical patterns of K. punctatus and the dispersal strategy of coastal species may be the major current physical barrier for the gene flow among populations from Chinese and Japanese coastal waters.

The Maugean skate is a listed threatened species restricted to two estuaries in Tasmania, Australia. The present study provides preliminary knowledge of life history traits essential for conservation management of this species, including movement patterns, population status, habitat use, diet, size structure and reproduction. Survival of this unique species depends on appropriate management of human impacts and environmental pressures within Macquarie Harbour, the sole stronghold of this species.

The dietary composition (including temporal and spatial variations) of the seahorse Hippocampus guttulatus from the north-western Iberian Peninsula was assessed using Bayesian stable isotope mixing models and revealed that Caprellidea were the primary source, followed by Gammaridea and Caridea. Mysidae and Annelida represented the less dominant prey. These findings improve knowledge of feeding patterns of this endangered species, providing relevant data for its conservation management.

Estuarine invertebrates may consume carbon originating from a variety of sources, including mangroves, seagrass, microphytobenthos and phytoplankton. Using stable isotope analyses, we found that the relative importance of carbon sources to a polychaete varied with latitude along the east Australian coast, following spatial variation in the nitrogen content of seagrass. Latitude may influence carbon sources of consumers by modifying producer traits.

MF16010Persistence, loss and appearance of bacteria upstream and downstream of a river system

Lisa M. Dann, Renee J. Smith, Thomas C. Jeffries, Jody C. McKerral, Peter G. Fairweather, Rod L. Oliver and James G. Mitchell
pp. 851-862

The present study describes the river microbial communities upstream and 3.3 km downstream of a small rural town. We report three patterns in microbial community composition, namely, persistence, loss and appearance. Sample dissimilarity, present as microscale hotspots of discrete species, indicated higher heterogeneity downstream, and therefore increased patchiness from downstream transport and inputs of bacterial species. These findings suggest three fates for bacterial species of fluvial systems, namely, persistence, loss and appearance, with each having different effects on system dynamics.

We investigated spatial variation of benthic diatom assemblages in reasonably undisturbed subtropical streams. The results demonstrated that diatom growth form, cell size and attachment mode can be used to create a more quantitative and predictive approach to establishing relationships between diatoms and environmental gradients. This study is a stepping stone towards further understanding of diatom ecology and the development of a diatom biological monitoring protocol that is suitable for subtropical regions.

MF15285Evaluation of a floating fish guidance structure at a hydrodynamically complex river junction in the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta, California, USA

Jason G. Romine, Russell W. Perry, Adam C. Pope, Paul Stumpner, Theresa L. Liedtke, Kevin K. Kumagai and Ryan L. Reeves
pp. 878-888

In this study we used two dimensional acoustic telemetry to evaluate a floating fish guidance structure designed to deter imperilled juvenile salmonids from a high mortality emigration route in the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta. Results suggested that the structure was successful at guiding fish away from the high mortality route under certain conditions.

MF15457Crustacean assemblages of coastal wetlands from fragmented and scarcely isolated islands compared with the mainland

Paloma Lucena-Moya, Stéphanie Gascón, Daniel Boix, Isabel Pardo, Jordi Sala and Xavier D. Quintana
pp. 889-899

Few studies have been performed in fragment (continental) islands compared with Darwinian (oceanic) islands, probably due to the expected similarity between the fragment island and landmass. However, fragment islands can develop their own assemblages through biological and biogeographical processes, and thus differentiate themselves from their continental sources, becoming important contributors to global biodiversity.

We studied the distribution and abundance of the invasive signal crayfish in northern Spain and analysed the relationships with several abiotic and biotic parameters of the aquatic ecosystems. Our analysis indicated that the habitat of signal crayfish is among salmonid (headwaters) and cyprinid (low waters) stretches. The existence of a natural environmental limiting factor in upstream reaches facilitates the conservation of aquatic ecosystems and native fauna.

MF16034Importance of the natural flow regime to an amphidromous shrimp: a case study

Peter A. Novak, Erica A. Garcia, Bradley J. Pusey and Michael M. Douglas
pp. 909-921

This research has used a mechanistic approach combining field, laboratory and modelling components to determine the importance of hydrological connectivity in the early life history of the freshwater shrimp (Macrobrachium spinipes) in northern Australia. It has confirmed that larvae are produced over 400 km from the estuary and despite this, the species is obligate amphidromous and larvae must travel this distance within 7 days of hatching. Large flood events were critical in connecting these upstream habitats to the estuary.

In situ organisms as bioindicators are essential in assessing the effects of contamination on the environment. The present study, on the intertidal gastropod Bembicium nanum, demonstrated a link between the accumulation of metals at a contaminated site and reduced health of the organisms, measured by increased lysosomal destabilisation. These results show that B. nanum has potential for use as a bioindicator of metal contamination.

MF16058Nursery areas and connectivity of the adults anadromous catfish (Genidens barbus) revealed by otolith-core microchemistry in the south-western Atlantic Ocean

Esteban Avigliano, Barbara Carvalho, Gonzalo Velasco, Pamela Tripodi, Marcelo Vianna and Alejandra Vanina Volpedo
pp. 931-940

The aim was to clarify different aspects of the population structure of Genidens barbus, such as connectivity among nursery areas and homing behaviour. For this purpose, otolith-core chemical signatures were compared among different estuaries from south-western Atlantic Ocean. These results suggested that a high level of spatial segregation exists in adult catfish life, and that catfish tend not to mix among estuaries, supporting the homing hypothesis.

Intermittently open estuaries are important fish nursery habitats and are common along microtidal coasts. The present study demonstrated that fish assemblages in these estuaries can be used as indicators of estuary condition, and that estuarine resident species are particularly tolerant to contamination and poor water quality. These findings suggest that anthropogenic activity has a negative effect on estuarine biodiversity and highlights the importance of improving management strategies and environmental monitoring of these key habitats.

MF16067Dormant propagule banks of aquatic invertebrates in ponds invaded by exotic pine species in southern Brazil

Cristina Stenert, Bruna Ehlert, Arthur Cardoso Ávila, Francisco Diogo Rocha Sousa, Fernanda Mara Esquinatti, Darold Paul Batzer and Leonardo Maltchik
pp. 954-963

Dormant stages of aquatic invertebrates are vital to identify the resilience of communities in ponds invaded by exotic pine species. Pine invasion decreased the richness and affected the composition and β diversity of drought-resistant aquatic invertebrates in ponds in southern Brazil. Effectively dealing with invasive pine should become a priority for wetland conservation.

MF15421Fish larvae and recruitment patterns in floodplain lagoons of the Australian Wet Tropics

Paul C. Godfrey, Angela H. Arthington, Richard G. Pearson, Fazlul Karim and Jim Wallace
pp. 964-979

We examined fish recruitment patterns in 10 permanent lagoons on the Tully–Murray floodplain in the Queensland Wet Tropics bioregion, Australia. Lagoon connectivity to the rivers, distance from the coast and flood dynamics influenced temporal variation in fish abundance, population size structures and recruitment patterns. Maintenance of natural seasonal patterns of flow and connectivity, and active protection of permanent floodplain lagoons from riparian and land-use disturbance, will be essential if their roles in fish recruitment are to be sustained.

MF16053Fishers' and scientific histories: an example of consensus from an inland fishery

Juliana Strieder Philippsen, Carolina Viviana Minte-Vera, Edson Kiyoshi Okada, Adriana Rosa Carvalho and Ronaldo Angelini
pp. 980-992

The approach used in this study indicated a match between fishers’ and scientific histories with regard to the richness and composition of catches, as well as relative trends in abundance. Histories diverge when fishers were asked to recall their largest catch and the largest fish caught. This study provides a roadmap of what information can and cannot be considered reliable when recalled by fishers.

MF16046A historical and contemporary consideration of the diet of the reef manta ray (Manta alfredi) from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

M. B. Bennett, F. F. Coman, K. A. Townsend, L. I. E. Couturier, F. R. A. Jaine and A. J. Richardson
pp. 993-997

The reef manta ray, one of the largest fishes in the world, is known as a filter-feeding planktivore, although its diet is basically unknown. By looking at stomach contents, we show that large copepods dominate the diet. The results may indicate limitations of the filter mechanism or may mean that the manta ray preferentially targeted large copepod prey.

Online Early

The peer-reviewed and edited version of record published online before inclusion in an issue

Published online 28 April 2017

MF16338The effect of riparian restoration on channel complexity and soil nutrients

J. Patrick Laceby, Nina E. Saxton, Kate Smolders, Justine Kemp, Stephen J. Faggotter, Tanya Ellison, Doug Ward, Morag Stewart and Michele A. Burford

The effect of regrowth riparian vegetation on soil nutrients and river channels was investigated in south-east Queensland, Australia. River sections with regrowth vegetation had greater channel width complexity. In addition, degraded river sections, without regrowth vegetation, had higher soil nutrient concentrations. This study indicates that the restoration of regrowth riparian vegetation may require ongoing management to maximise nutrient retention potential.

Published online 28 April 2017

MF16349Benthic mollusc assemblages in West Antarctica: taxa composition and ecological insights

Sandra Gordillo, Mariano E. Malvé and Gisela Moran

The present study investigated benthic mollusc assemblages from Antarctica. Evidence was found of different trophic assemblages (most probably linked to the sedimentary matrix where these communities settle), as well as differences between bivalves and gastropods with regard to limiting factors: bivalves appear to be more sensitive to temperature, but gastropods are more sensitive to depth. This should be taken into account when considering effects on benthic fauna associated with climatic change and global warming.

Published online 20 April 2017

MF16284Benthic trophic status of aquatic transitional environments with distinct morphological and dynamic characteristics on the south-western Atlantic coast

Ana Laura Pita, Luis Giménez, Noelia Kandratavicius, Pablo Muniz and Natalia Venturini

Benthic trophic status of Uruguayan estuaries was evaluated by the biochemical composition of sedimentary organic matter (SOM). Morphological and hydrodynamic differences between habitats explained site-to-site variation in eutrophic conditions in the open or closed estuaries and meso-oligotrophic conditions in open estuaries. In autumn, the dominance of aged and more degraded SOM (low nutritional value) was evident, whereas in spring fresh and more labile SOM (high nutritional value) prevailed.

Published online 20 April 2017

MF16101Reproductive biology of the blue shark (Prionace glauca) in the western North Pacific Ocean

Yuki Fujinami, Yasuko Semba, Hiroaki Okamoto, Seiji Ohshimo and Sho Tanaka

The reproductive biology of the blue shark (Prionace glauca) in the western North Pacific Ocean was investigated to contribute to future stock assessments. Results suggested that the North Pacific blue sharks has a higher productivity than previously thought, on the basis of larger fecundity and annual reproductive cycle.

Published online 13 April 2017

MF16173Insects in the diet of fish from Amazonian streams, in western Pará, Brazil

A. C. Cardoso and S. R. M. Couceiro

We evaluated the contribution of insects to the diet of Amazonian stream fish in Pará, Brazil. The fish and insect fauna of 10 streams were sampled in the Tapajós National Forest. The fish consumed a diversity range of nutrients, confirming that most are generalists. The results of this study reinforce the importance of riparian forest in the feeding ecology of stream fish.

Published online 13 April 2017

MF16337Evaluation of growth-dependent survival during early stages of Pacific bluefin tuna using otolith microstructure analysis

Mikio Watai, Taiki Ishihara, Osamu Abe, Seiji Ohshimo and Carlos Augusto Strussmann

Otolith-based body size back-calculation with young Pacific bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis) from the north-western Pacific was used to test the hypothesis of growth-dependent survival and to identify critical developmental stages for survival. The results suggest that only the larvae with fast, steady growth successfully become juveniles and, hence, that growth-dependent survival in the larval stage is critical for recruitment.

Published online 10 April 2017

MF16019Modelling the distribution of fish around an artificial reef

James A. Smith, William K. Cornwell, Michael B. Lowry and Iain M. Suthers

We modelled the distribution of a fish assemblage around a large artificial reef, using a rapid drop-camera survey method. We found that the reef greatly influenced fish abundance, but the effect was very localised, such that reef bottom type was a more powerful predictor than distance to reef. The drop-camera method showed promise for quantifying the fine-scale distribution of fish assemblages.

Published online 10 April 2017

MF16334Euphausiid assemblages of the oceanographically complex north-west marine bioregion of Australia

Alicia L. Sutton and Lynnath E. Beckley

In this study, the krill assemblages off the north-west marine bioregion were investigated and related to the physical, biological and biogeochemical properties of the water column. Twenty-five krill species were identified, including new records for Australian waters. Assemblages were primarily structured by depth, but mean seawater density, dissolved oxygen, fluorescence and mesozooplankton abundance also significantly explained some of the variation in krill assemblages.

Published online 10 April 2017

MF16112The effect of agriculture on cave-stream invertebrate communities

Pierce M. McNie and Russell G. Death

Communities living underground in cave streams are entirely dependent on movement of energy and nutrients from the surface. As a result, changes to the surface environments will alter the underground communities. We examined the differences between stream communities under agricultural and forested catchments to determine what effect agricultural activities have on underground communities in New Zealand.

Published online 05 April 2017

MF16131Contrasting patterns of residency and space use of coastal sharks within a communal shark nursery

Beverly Z. L. Oh, Michele Thums, Russ C. Babcock, Jessica J. Meeuwig, Richard D. Pillans, Conrad Speed and Mark G. Meekan

Marine protected areas (MPAs) can benefit mobile sharks when essential nursery habitats are characterised and protected. In this study, the movement patterns of two reef shark species were investigated relative to a MPA in northern Australia. No-take MPAs encompassing sandflat and vegetated habitats can benefit juvenile sicklefin lemon sharks that exhibit residency and affinity to these features, but will have limited benefit for juvenile blacktip reef sharks that have broader movements.

Published online 30 March 2017

MF16223Elucidation of fine-scale genetic structure of sandfish (Holothuria scabra) populations in Papua New Guinea and northern Australia

Samantha J. Nowland, Paul C. Southgate, Rose K. Basiita and Dean R. Jerry

The present study evaluated the population genetic structure of sandfish (Holothuria scabra) within Papua New Guinea (PNG) and more broadly northern Australia. Microsatellite-based population genetic analyses were used to determine partitioning of genetic diversity within and among subpopulations. The level of genetic substructuring among all populations sampled was low, although significant. Most of these differences were driven by distinctness of the Australian populations from those in PNG, whereby results indicated that PNG populations exhibited a panmictic stock structure.

A lionfish invasion could be dramatic for the Mediterranean Sea. Investigating sea users’ knowledge showed that the species is widely distributed along Lebanese coasts and allowed evaluating the potential of local communities to respond to this threat. Results stress the importance of civil awareness to face an issue of environmental concern in a complex socio-ecological system, such as the eastern Mediterranean.

Published online 30 March 2017

MF16344Nitrogen nutrients in a subtropical river: temporal variation and analysis at different spatial scales

Rodrigo Moncayo-Estrada, Carlos Escalera-Gallardo, Miriam Arroyo-Damián, Oswaldo Campos-Campos and José T. Silva-García

Analysis of nitrate and ammonium concentrations at different spatiotemporal scales is important because these represent the main nutrient loadings to aquatic ecosystems in agricultural basins. Herein we provide a framework for evaluating the variation in nitrate and ammonium concentrations and their relationships with environmental and anthropogenic variables. At the landscape level, the agricultural area affected nitrate and urban affected area ammonium, whereas at the basin level road density affected both.

Published online 30 March 2017

MF16304A DNA barcode database of Australia’s freshwater macroinvertebrate fauna

M. E. Carew, S. J. Nichols, J. Batovska, R. St Clair, N. P. Murphy, M. J. Blacket and M. E. Shackleton

Macroinvertebrates are widely used for monitoring freshwater ecosystems. The use of DNA barcodes to identify macroinvertebrates has the potential to change how routine biomonitoring is conducted. Herein we discuss the need for DNA barcodes of freshwater macroinvertebrates and compare barcoding efforts within Australia with those globally. Further, we present an initial effort towards a national DNA barcode library of Australian macroinvertebrates.

Published online 24 March 2017

MF16127Multispecies presence and connectivity around a designed artificial reef

Krystle Keller, James A. Smith, Michael B. Lowry, Matthew D. Taylor and Iain M. Suthers

The presence and movement patterns of eastern fiddler rays (Trygonorrhina fasciata), Port Jackson sharks (Heterodontus portusjacksoni) and bluespotted flathead (Platycephalus caeruleopunctatus) were monitored using acoustic telemetry around an artificial reef (AR) to examine the degree of site attachment and the potential for fish production at this reef. All three species moved frequently between the AR and nearby natural reefs, and their moderate presence at the AR indicates that this reef has been incorporated by these species into their natural range.

Published online 22 March 2017

MF16153Tropical seaweed beds as important habitats for juvenile fish

S. A. Tano, M. Eggertsen, S. A. Wikström, C. Berkström, A. S. Buriyo and C. Halling

Tropical seagrass meadows are commonly recognised as important habitats for juvenile fish, whereas tropical seaweed beds have rarely been investigated. The present study illustrates that the abundance of juvenile fish in seaweed beds can surpass that in seagrass meadows, also when it comes to coral reef-associated species and species used by fisheries, which underscores the need to widen the view of the tropical seascape.

Carp is the most common cyprinid species in Turkey and accounts for approximately one-fifth of total inland water aquaculture production. Carp production in Turkey has decreased in recent years. This article identifies population structure, growth and reproduction characteristics of carp in Hirfanli Dam. Changes in the carp population in this area are compared with those reported in previous studies worldwide.

Published online 17 March 2017

MF16222Broad-scale coastal movements of white sharks off Western Australia described by passive acoustic telemetry data

R. B. McAuley, B. D. Bruce, I. S. Keay, S. Mountford, T. Pinnell and F. G. Whoriskey

This study monitored the movements of 89 acoustically tagged white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) around southern and western Australia, using an extensive network of passive acoustic receivers. Results indicate little evidence of predictable or coordinated movements among individual sharks. Nevertheless, these data can inform initiatives to mitigate the risks associated with human encounters with white sharks.

Published online 16 March 2017

MF16297Spatial variability of phytoplankton in the Pacific western boundary currents during summer 2014

Yunyan Chen, Xiaoxia Sun, Mingliang Zhu, Shan Zheng, Yongquan Yuan and Michel Denis

The spatial distribution of phytoplankton was investigated in Pacific western boundary currents. Traditional approaches (size-fractionated chlorophyll-a and microscopic analyses) combined with single-cell analysis (using a flow cytometer) were used to analyse the whole range of phytoplankton community in the Pacific western boundary currents.

Published online 15 March 2017

MF16278Depth-related composition and structuring of tropical riverine fish assemblages revealed by baited video

Stephen Cousins, Mark J. Kennard and Brendan C. Ebner

Deep sections of river channels present challenges for surveying riverine fish assemblages based on conventional techniques. Herein we demonstrate an application of underwater video for detecting multiple species of fish in shallow and deep sections of two tropical rivers and conclude that where water clarity is favourable, video provides one means by which assemblages can be investigated across the entire depth profile.

Published online 15 March 2017

MF16331Responses of a phytoplankton community to seasonal and environmental changes in Lake Nansihu, China

Wang Tian, Huayong Zhang, Lei Zhao and Hai Huang

We investigated phytoplankton community structure and environmental factors of Lake Nansihu, the largest freshwater lake in north China. Seasonal fluctuations in phytoplankton community composition were recorded and their driving environmental factors were identified based canonical correspondence analysis. The results of this study will be useful in guaranteeing the water quality and ecological security of lakes in temperate regions.

Published online 14 March 2017

MF16322Large-scale dieback of mangroves in Australia

Norman C. Duke, John M. Kovacs, Anthony D. Griffiths, Luke Preece, Duncan J. E. Hill, Penny van Oosterzee, Jock Mackenzie, Hailey S. Morning and Damien Burrows

The study describes the first reported instance of severe, sudden and widespread dieback of mangrove vegetation associated with an extreme weather event. Although moisture stress is largely considered the cause, the combination of relevant likely stress factors, each linked to the same extreme fluctuation in the Southern Oscillation Index, elude to a plausible connection with global climate change.

Published online 10 March 2017

MF16301Presence of invasive Gambusia alters ecological communities and the functions they perform in lentic ecosystems

Charles Hinchliffe, Trisha Atwood, Quinn Ollivier and Edd Hammill

Here, we show the effect of invasive species across whole ecological communities and the important functions they perform. By investigating sites with and without the invasive fish species Gambusia holbrooki, we found significant differences in pelagic and benthic community composition, and size distribution of zooplankton. Reductions in leaf-litter breakdown, an energy source for lake ecosystems, in invaded sites were also found.

Published online 08 March 2017

MF16080Stable isotopes in biota reflect the graduated influence of sewage effluent along a tropical macro-tidal creek

Kanchana Niwanthi Warnakulasooriya, Edward Charles Villers Butler, Karen Susanne Gibb and Niels Crosley Munksgaard

Nitrogen and carbon isotope compositions in biological tissues are effective tracers of the source and fate of nutrients in coastal ecosystems. This study traced the time-integrated dispersion and biological uptake of sewage-derived nutrients along a tropical macro-tidal creek by measuring the isotope compositions in mangrove leaves and gastropod snail tissues.

Telemetry studies can provide valuable data to fill crucial gaps in our knowledge of the movement behaviours of fish. Herein we use four native Australian fish species as case studies to demonstrate how data derived from telemetry studies can be synthesised into conceptual diagrams to help scientists and managers develop targeted and effective conservation management strategies.

Published online 08 March 2017

MF16393Preparing Australian fisheries for the critical decade: insights from the past 25 years

Alistair J. Hobday and Christopher Cvitanovic

The first Australian workshop addressing climate concerns for fisheries was held in 1991. The nine workshop recommendations are still relevant today, and while monitoring efforts have been significant and knowledge has accumulated rapidly, implementation of management and policy responses have lagged. To successfully respond to the climate change challenges to Australian fisheries over the next decade increased support for climate-ready fishery policies and programs is needed.

We sought to determine whether a montane freshwater crayfish limited to a southern Queensland (Australian) catchment experiences thermal stress under natural conditions. Laboratory-conditioned crayfish exhibited evidence of thermal stress at higher temperatures. When applied to field populations, crayfish at the lowest altitude of sampling exhibited evidence of a thermal stressor. It appears those crayfish at the lower altitude experience higher levels of environmental stress than those populating cooler, higher habitat.

Published online 03 March 2017

MF16244Policy considerations for managing wetlands under a changing climate

C. M. Finlayson, S. J. Capon, D. Rissik, J. Pittock, G. Fisk, N. C. Davidson, K. A. Bodmin, P. Papas, H. A. Robertson, M. Schallenberg, N. Saintilan, K. Edyvane and G. Bino

We examined the implications of climate change for wetland policy and management with an emphasis on the Ramsar Convention. We considered wetland vulnerability to climate change, the setting of management objectives and targets, how management could be adapted, and how to monitor and evaluate wetland condition. In conclusion, we presented six principles to guide wetland policy for climate change.

Published online 02 March 2017

MF16042Land use, soil properties and weather conditions influence nutrient fluxes into a deep oligotrophic lake

Amy K. Weaver, Marc Schallenberg and Carolyn W. Burns

In southern New Zealand, in-stream nitrogen (N) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations increased with increasing agricultural development in high-country grassland watersheds. Weather and soil conditions mediated the amount of DOC transferred from soils into streams, but did not influence the relationship between land use and N or phosphorus (P) when stream flow rates were low to moderate.

The magpie goose is an iconic tropical species highly valued as a conservation asset and by Aboriginal people as a cultural resource. Their spatial and temporal dynamics in the Kakadu Region of Northern Australia are characterised at seasonal and decadal time scales using long-term aerial survey data. The customary harvesting practices of geese and their eggs in the region show that their cultural value extends beyond consumption of bush-food.

Published online 17 February 2017

MF16107Sediment fluxes and sinks for Magela Creek, Northern Territory, Australia

Wayne D. Erskine, M. J. Saynor, J. M. Boyden and K. G. Evans

Sediment fluxes and sinks based on total sediment load for Magela Creek in the Australian wet–dry tropics have been constructed from detailed measurements of turbidity, suspended sand and bedload for the 10-year period from 2001–2002 to 2010–2011. The present work showed that the sediment-trap efficiency of the vegetated wetlands on lower Magela is high at ~89.5%.

Published online 15 February 2017

MF16156Predation of freshwater fish in environments with elevated carbon dioxide

Stephen R. Midway, Caleb T. Hasler, Tyler Wagner and Cory D. Suski

CO2 concentration in freshwater environments is rising, but is also poorly understood, particularly when compared to in marine environments. We sought to test predation success of a common freshwater fish in elevated CO2, and found that even very high concentrations of CO2 did not affect predation success. With little research having investigated biological and ecological outcomes of high CO2 in freshwater, our work suggests a difference in expectations from elevated CO2 marine biota and systems.

Published online 15 February 2017

MF16252Determination of the physical drivers of Zostera seagrass distribution using a spatial autoregressive lag model

A. J. Hirst, K. Giri, D. Ball and R. S. Lee

Physical processes that determine the spatial distribution of Zostera seagrass in Port Phillip Bay, Australia, were investigated by examining the links between seagrass abundance and broadscale hydrodynamic (waves, currents), physical (light, depth, salinity and temperature) and catchment (nutrient and suspended sediment concentrations) processes. The present study found that the distribution of seagrass meadows is principally constrained by two physical thresholds, namely, wave height or exposure and light. The former excludes seagrasses from colonising wave-exposed coastlines, whereas the latter directly determines the depth profile of seagrasses through its influence on light availability.

Published online 13 February 2017

MF16076Temporal patterns of association between the jellyfish Catostylus mosaicus and a sphaeromatid isopod and parasitic anemone

Joanna G. Browne, Kylie A. Pitt and Mark D. Norman

Jellyfish often carry other animals with them as they swim through coastal waters, yet ecological data on these relationships are scarce. The relationship between a large jellyfish and an associated isopod and anemone was studied over 2 years. The isopod was prevalent on the jellyfish nearly year round, whereas the anemone occurred less often and only between autumn and spring.

Published online 13 February 2017

MF16286Linking patterns of freshwater discharge and sources of organic matter within the Río de la Plata estuary and adjacent marshes

Leandro Bergamino, Mark Schuerch, Adriana Tudurí, Silvina Carretero and Felipe García-Rodríguez

Sources of organic matter within the Río de la Plata estuary were investigated by stable isotopic analysis. Upper reaches were highly influenced by terrestrial and freshwater sources, lower reaches were mostly influenced by marine organic matter, and marsh habitats did not supply sediments into the estuary. El Niño events influenced the spatial dynamics of sources within the estuary.

Published online 13 February 2017

MF16208Forestry affects the abundance of Phormidium-dominated biofilms and the functioning of a New Zealand river ecosystem

Ibon Aristi, Joanne E. Clapcott, Vicenç Acuña, Arturo Elosegi, Holly Mills, Susanna A. Wood and Roger G. Young

We hypothesised that Phormidium biofilms better use sediments as a nutrient resource than diatoms, and thus Phormidium proliferations would increase with forestry cover in the catchment affecting river ecosystem functioning. Cover of Phormidium increased with the proportion of forestry in the catchment, and river ecosystem metabolism increased with this abundance, suggesting that pine forestry promotes ecological changes along the New Zealand rivers.

Published online 13 February 2017

MF16132Physiological response and immediate mortality of gill-net-caught blacktip reef sharks (Carcharhinus melanopterus)

Derek R. Dapp, Charlie Huveneers, Terence I. Walker and Richard D. Reina

In this study the causes and rates of blacktip reef shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus) mortality during gill-net capture were assessed. The results demonstrated that juvenile blacktip reef sharks are more likely to die during capture than adults. If populations decrease in the future, fisheries regulations designed to conserve the species should focus on reducing juvenile encounters with gill-nets.

The behaviour of the air breathing Australian Lungfish was assessed in three dimensions within a large riverine impoundment using an acoustic array and depth sensors. We found that lake stratification constrained fish depth use, however the total volumetric activity space used remained similar between stratified and un-stratified periods. The use of a 3-D modelling approach to describe fish activity space use, revealed information that traditional 2-D fish tracking approaches would not have identified.

Published online 08 February 2017

MF16246The microhabitat preferences of Trichoptera in rivers in north-western Spain

Romina Álvarez-Troncoso, Cesar João Benetti, Amadou Babacar Sarr and Josefina Garrido

Microhabitat preferences of caddisfly species in four rivers in north-western Spain were analysed, namely, macrophytes, moss, pebbles and sand. Significant differences in the abundance of seven species (Drusus bolivari, Glossosoma privatum, Larcasia partita, Micrasema longulum, M. servatum, M. gr. moestum and Sericostoma sp.) were found among substrates, confirming that they have substrate preferences.

Published online 06 February 2017

MF16227Cormorant predation overlaps with fish communities and commercial-fishery interest in a Swedish lake

M. K. Ovegård, K. Öhman, J. S. Mikkelsen and N. Jepsen

Water quality in Lake Roxen, Sweden, is improving, but an expected development towards larger predatory fish is missing. Cormorant diet, recovery of tagged fish, gill-nets surveys and commercial-fishery catches were used to describe the potential effects of cormorant predation. Results indicated that cormorants and fisheries may both be responsible for the lack of recovery. Cormorant predation keeps recruitment high, but the number of fish that reach large sizes remains low.

Published online 03 February 2017

MF16068Geographic distribution pattern of low and high nucleic acid content bacteria on a river-catchment scale

Jie Liu, Dan Ma, Lili Ma, Yuhao Song, Guanghai Gao and Yingying Wang

Bacteria with low (LNA) and high (HNA) nucleic acid content are widely distributed in aquatic environments. Their geographical distribution on a large river-catchment scale was investigated. The strong covariation of cytometric expressions between LNA and HNA indicated that they were intrinsically linked. The abundance and cytometric characteristics of LNA and HNA were regulated differently. The results suggest that they play different ecological roles in river ecosystems.

Published online 03 February 2017

MF16296A preliminary study of the movement patterns of false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) in coastal and pelagic waters of the Northern Territory, Australia

Carol Palmer, Robin W. Baird, Daniel L. Webster, Andrew C. Edwards, Ruth Patterson, Alan Withers, Emma Withers, Rachel Groom and John C. Z. Woinarski

This study presents the first detailed information on movement patterns in Australian waters for the poorly known false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens). We satellite tracked four individuals over ~3–4 months, in coastal waters of the Northern Territory, finding total dispersal distances of ~5000–8000 km over that period. Prior to this study, information deficiencies meant that this species was largely unconsidered in conservation planning and management in Australian coastal waters; the information obtained in this study will allow this deficiency to be remedied.

Published online 02 February 2017

MF16098Effects of forest width on fish use of fringing mangroves in a highly urbanised tropical estuary

Kimberley Dunbar, Ronald Baker and Marcus Sheaves

This study used underwater cameras to examine how the width of fringing mangrove habitats affected the composition and use patterns of the fish assemblage using mangrove edge habitats in an urbanised estuary on the flooding tide. Both wide and narrow mangroves were found to be viable habitats for estuarine fish.

Published online 01 February 2017

MF16194Environmental and individual effects on the behaviour and spawning movements of Lethrinus nebulosus on a coral reef

R. C. Babcock, R. D. Pillans and W. A. Rochester

Acoustic tagging and tracking of spangled emperor (Lethrinus nebulosus) indicated that although home range locations of some individuals varied according diel and tidal signals, variation among individuals was generally greater than that related to environmental signals. Individual home range sizes were similar across diel and tidal cycles. Seasonal variation in habitat use included annual migrations, sometimes over 100 km, to potential spawning locations that coincided with particular lunar phases.

Published online 01 February 2017

MF16217Groynes: a factor modifying the occurrence of dragonfly larvae (Odonata) on a large lowland river

P. Buczyński, A. Szlauer-Łukaszewska, G. Tończyk and E. Buczyńska

Hydro-engineering constructions such as groynes change hydromorphology of rivers and affect their aquatic biota. Investigation of odonate fauna from the River Oder, Poland, revealed that groynes increased the abundances, species richness and diversity of dragonflies by creating the mosaics of heterogeneous habitats inhabited by species with particular preferences. The presence of groynes may be essential to the restoration or stabilisation of the populations of certain species and to renaturalisation processes in large rivers.

Inclusion of a social perspective in conservation research in addition to the natural sciences can lead to a more holistic and far-reaching result. Yet, few studies cross borders to be truly multidisciplinary. This perspective addresses previous calls for collaborating authors to share their experiences and considers the existing limitations and ways forward to support multidisciplinary research in conservation science.

Published online 01 February 2017

MF16084Evaluating the sensitivity of ecological indicators with a perspective of temporal scales

Chongliang Zhang, Yong Chen, Yiping Ren and Rong Wan

We evaluated the sensitivity of 12 ecological indicators that characterise fish abundance, body size and trophodynamics with respect to temporal scales. The study explicitly accounted for trophic interactions in the responsiveness and detectability of the indicators, by using a size-spectrum model. The results demonstrated the essential non-linear relationship between EIs and fishing pressures and highlighted potential misinterpretation of indicator temporal dynamics.

Published online 01 February 2017

MF16083Assessing the water-purification service in an integrated agricultural wetland within the Venetian Lagoon drainage system

S. E. Pappalardo, H. Mohammad Saad Ibrahim, S. Cerinato and M. Borin

Constructed wetlands could play a crucial role in integrated agro-environmental management of intensive agricultural landscapes. An experimental wetland was created within the Venetian drainage system to reduce nutrient runoff and test the adaptability of seven macrophyte species in a floating treatment wetland system. A promising depurative effect emerges from the concentration trends throughout the system. Carex spp. adapted best to the floating wetlands.

Published online 01 February 2017

MF16199Habitat effects on home range and schooling behaviour in a herbivorous fish (Kyphosus bigibbus) revealed by acoustic tracking

R. D. Pillans, R. C. Babcock, D. P. Thomson, M. D. E. Haywood, R. A. Downie, M. A. Vanderklift and W. A. Rochester

The herbivorous coral reef fish Kyphosus bigibbus was tagged with acoustic transmitters revealing that this species has a larger home range area than documented previously for any other coral reef herbivorous fish. The fish showed long-term fidelity (up to 20 months) to particular home reefs and within the school with which they were tagged. Patterns of habitat use varied substantially, despite the close proximity of these home reefs.

Published online 23 January 2017

MF16206Differentiating the roles of shrimp and aquatic insects in leaf processing in a Neotropical stream

Claudia M. Andrade, Vinicius Neres-Lima and Timothy P. Moulton

In many coastal tropical streams, omnivorous shrimp and aquatic insects cause the breakdown of leaf material that falls into the stream. To investigate the relationships between omnivorous shrimp, aquatic insects and leaf breakdown, we excluded either shrimp alone or shrimp and insects from leaf packs by creating electric fields. Leaves broke down fastest when shrimp, but not insects, were excluded, indicating that shrimp are potential predators of insects that are the principal processors of leaves in this stream ecosystem.

Published online 20 January 2017

MF16267Rapid appraisal links feral buffalo with kunkod (Melaleuca spp.) decline in freshwater billabongs of tropical northern Australia

E. J. Ens, S. Bentley-Toon, F. Campion, S. Campion, J. Kelly and G. Towler

A rapid assessment of paperbark (Melaleuca spp.) decline in permanent freshwater wetlands of the Djelk Indigenous Protected Area, northern Australia, was conducted by scientists and local Aboriginal Rangers. The decline was significantly correlated with poor water quality (high electrical conductivity, turbidity, ammonium), which, in turn, was correlated with feral buffalo activity, suggesting an indirect effect of buffalo on paperbark health.

Published online 17 January 2017

MF16073Tidal and diel movement patterns of the Atlantic stingray (Dasyatis sabina) along a stream-order gradient

Cameron Patrick Brinton and Mary Carla Curran

Organisms such as stingrays may vary their habitat selection based on a variety of environmental factors, and their location can indirectly provide insight into the distribution of both their prey and their predators. The purpose of this study was to determine whether tidal stage and diel period affected the movements of Atlantic stingrays (Dasyatis sabina); and we found that they consistently used tidal currents to access their habitat, but only varied habitat selection with diel period in the winter. These movements may affect the probability of a stingray encountering predators, competitors and prey.

Published online 16 January 2017

MF16219Baseline biogeochemical data from Australia's continental margin links seabed sediments to water column characteristics

Lynda Radke, Tony Nicholas, Peter A. Thompson, Jin Li, Eric Raes, Matthew Carey, Ian Atkinson, Zhi Huang, Janice Trafford and Scott Nichol

The biogeochemistry of surficial marine sediments is poorly known in Australia. The aim of the present study was to summarise a large suite of seabed biogeochemical ‘baseline’ data and to make inferences about the processes that govern the concentrations. The datasets have redressed some regional and global data gaps and led to improved knowledge about processes that support benthic diversity in Australia’s marine jurisdiction.

Published online 16 January 2017

MF16121Insights into movement behaviour of snapper (Chrysophrys auratus, Sparidae) from a large acoustic array

A. J. Fowler, C. Huveneers and M. T. Lloyd

The patterns of distribution and abundance of snapper in South Australia changed throughout the 2000s, subsequently affecting the best approach for managing snapper fisheries. The aim of the present study was to investigate snapper movement behaviour, revealing aspects of its spatial scope, seasonal variation and systematic nature. The findings revealed the complexity of snapper movement, which is beneficial for developing appropriate fishery and spatial ecosystem management approaches.

This study provides important limnological data collected in the semi-arid Eastern Cape Karoo region of South Africa before hydraulic fracturing impacts. It was found that depression wetlands and rivers had distinct physicochemical signatures, whereas dams exhibited variable characteristics that were similar to those of either rivers or depression wetlands. These data are important as baseline for long-term monitoring of freshwater ecosystems in the region.

Published online 09 January 2017

MF16125Migration patterns and estuarine aggregations of a catadromous fish, Australian bass (Percalates novemaculeata) in a regulated river system

D. J. Harding, R. G. Dwyer, T. M. Mullins, M. J. Kennard, R. D. Pillans and D. T. Roberts

We investigated the effects of oocyte development, flow magnitude and artificial barriers on migration behaviour in Australian bass (Percalates novemaculeata). Bass spawning migrations occurred only when gonads were mature and on large flows. Connectivity to estuarine spawning habitats was reduced by instream weirs. Our findings are relevant to water resource managers formulating environmental flow rules for regulated river systems.

Published online 09 January 2017

MF16274Inferring trends and linkages between shark abundance and shark bites on humans for shark-hazard mitigation

André S. Afonso, Yuri V. Niella and Fábio H. V. Hazin

The recent popularisation of water-based activities is expectedly responsible to increase the odds towards the occurrence of shark bites. Our investigation about the factors underlying shark hazard indicated that shark abundance and shark-bite frequency followed compatible trends off Recife. This study has provided an important insight into the possible biological drivers that regulate the distribution of shark hazard.

The Atlantic needlefish (Strongylura marina) is a coastal epipelagic species inhabiting shallow coastal waters along the western Atlantic coast from Maine to Brazil. We studied the anadromy hypothesis for this species by examining the aggregation of Atlantic needlefish entering and living in Lake Mattamuskeet, the largest natural lake in North Carolina. Although we found no direct evidence of spawning, data compilation suggests that Atlantic needlefish could be using this coastal lake for reproduction.

Published online 05 January 2017

MF16161How many trophic roles can elasmobranchs play in a marine tropical network?

Andrés F. Navia, Paola A. Mejía-Falla, Juliana López-García, Alan Giraldo and Victor H. Cruz-Escalona

Elasmobranch species (juveniles and adults) are distributed in medium and high trophic levels, preying on numerous fish and invertebrates. These species had roles as both predator and prey in four trophic levels of the web, participating in most of the identified roles, and are highly redundant in their functions as prey and mesopredators, but not in their role as top predators.

Published online 22 December 2016

MF16272Patterns of reproduction in two co-occurring Great Barrier Reef sponges

Muhammad Azmi Abdul Wahab, Rocky de Nys, Ross Holzman, Caroline Luise Schneider and Steve Whalan

Reproduction is a key biological process that underpins the persistence and maintenance of populations. The present study assessed reproduction in two species of Great Barrier Reef (GBR) sponges: one a brooder and the other a spawner. Temperature was significant in affecting reproduction in these two sponge species. These two species were comparatively more fecund than other sponge species in the region, which may explain their apparent abundance on the GBR.

Published online 22 December 2016

MF16260Inorganic nitrogen release from sediment slurry of riverine and estuarine ecosystems located at different river regimes

Bhanu Paudel, Paul A. Montagna, Mark Besonen and Leslie Adams

We have compared dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) release from sediments of rivers and estuaries located at two different hydrologic flow regimes. The DIN releases in the sediment slurry were measured for 48 h at variable salinities, and with constant agitation. Hydrologic forcing on organic matter deposition and salinities had an important role in the sediment slurry release of inorganic nitrogen.

Key stream fauna in Kakadu National Park face severe threats in 100+ years associated with climate change, invasive species, and mine-site rehabilitation. Sea level rise will salt the coastal floodplains and the fauna must then rely on reduced upstream refuges vulnerable to strong swings between more intense El Niños and La Niñas. Rates and extremes of future climate change appear unprecedented, making predictions associated with past climate change unreliable.

Published online 14 December 2016

MF16051The East Australian Current, upwellings and downwellings off eastern-most Australia in summer

G. R. Cresswell, J. L. Peterson and L. F. Pender

Instruments on a ship, a satellite, moorings and drifters gave 50 data streams that helped us describe upwellings of cold, nutrient-rich waters that move across the seafloor into the northern New South Wales–southern Queensland coast. The East Australian Current drives the upwellings, with northerly winds providing extra impetus. Conversely, southerlies move warm surface waters coastward and switch off the upwellings. Sunlight shining on upwelled water promotes the growth of phytoplankton that are the base of the food chain.

Published online 14 December 2016

MF16177Use of otolith chemistry and acoustic telemetry to elucidate migratory contingents in barramundi Lates calcarifer

D. A. Crook, D. J. Buckle, Q. Allsop, W. Baldwin, T. M. Saunders, P. M. Kyne, J. D. Woodhead, Roland Maas, Brien Roberts and M. M. Douglas

Migration is a fundamental aspect of the life history of many fish. This study used acoustic telemetry and analysis of strontium isotopes in otoliths (fish ear stones) to study intraspecific variation in the migrations of barramundi in the Northern Territory, Australia. A revised life history model identifying three migratory contingents is presented to support future management of the species.

Published online 09 December 2016

MF16294Accurate systematic frameworks are vital to advance ecological and evolutionary studies, with an example from Australian freshwater fish (Hypseleotris)

Timothy J. Page, David Sternberg, Mark Adams, Stephen R. Balcombe, Benjamin D. Cook, Michael P. Hammer, Jane M. Hughes, Ryan J. Woods and Peter J. Unmack

Carp gudgeons are the focus of a theory to explain their biodiversity and life histories, based on developmental plasticity. However, basic data relating to their species boundaries, phylogenetic relationships, life histories and species distributions are not yet clear, have often been misinterpreted and are still in the process of being assembled, making it premature to apply more advanced evolutionary theories to this group.

High-latitude regions are likely to be sensitive to ocean warming, and anemonefishes and their host sea anemones may be a useful indicator group for identifying associated changes. We found that the southern range limits and overwintering of these iconic inhabitants are changing along the eastern coast of Australia. However, the paucity of islands and rocky islets south of our surveys, and host-usage patterns, could constrain future range extensions.

Published online 06 December 2016

MF16233Biogenic processes or terrigenous inputs? Permanent water bodies of the Northern Ponds in the Lake MacLeod basin of Western Australia

Christopher R. J. Kavazos, Megan J. Huggett, Ute Mueller and Pierre Horwitz

Lake MacLeod contains permanently inundated ponds, despite its arid location, because of a subterranean marine link. The present study investigated the effect of biogenic and terrigenous inputs on the physical, sediment and chemical characteristics of these ponds, where the smaller ponds were found to have a persistent marine signature because of their size and faster flushing times. These results have shown that, under certain circumstances, a ‘marine-like’ state can override the typical characteristics of inland water bodies.

Published online 30 November 2016

MF16022Investigating ecosystem processes using targeted fisheries closures: can small-bodied invertivore fish be used as indicators for the effects of western rock lobster fishing?

T. J. Langlois, L. M. Bellchambers, R. Fisher, G. R. Shiell, J. Goetze, L. Fullwood, S. N. Evans, N. Konzewitsch, E. S. Harvey and M. B. Pember

Summary. Ecosystem modelling has predicted that fishing for western rock lobster in deep water (50–80 m) habitats results in greater production of small-bodied invertivore fish species. To investigate this prediction, a targeted fisheries closure was proposed along the coast of Western Australia. We demonstrate that any changes in fish species are most likely to be detected in the western king wrasse (Coris auricularis), which was found to be abundant across all habitats and sites.

Published online 30 November 2016

MF16148Dynamics of plant communities and the impact of saltwater intrusion on the floodplains of Kakadu National Park

N. E. Pettit, P. Bayliss and R. Bartolo

On the Kakadu floodplains, the distribution of different plant communities varies yearly, related to flooding duration and water depth. Because these floodplains are close to the coast, they are vulnerable to saltwater intrusion as the sea levels rise. The most obvious effect of this will be the transformation from freshwater vegetation to salt-tolerant plants in susceptible areas.

Published online 30 November 2016

MF16126Optimising the design of large-scale acoustic telemetry curtains

Andre Steckenreuter, Xavier Hoenner, Charlie Huveneers, Colin Simpfendorfer, Marie J. Buscot, Katherine Tattersall, Russell Babcock, Michelle Heupel, Mark Meekan, James van den Broek, Phillip McDowall, Vic Peddemors and Robert Harcourt

This study assessed the efficiency of a national acoustic telemetry network to detect passing animals. The aim was to determine how many receivers could be decommissioned from each of the eight curtains while maintaining its integrity. Applying predefined criteria, we were able to improve the network significantly, reducing the number of stations by 36%, yet still retaining 84% of total detections, 86% of transmitters and 100% of detected species. This study provides a useful framework for refining acoustic telemetry networks.

Published online 10 November 2016

MF16069A risk assessment for the introduction of invasive fish for Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site, Canada

Mathew Davis, Chris McCarthy and Karen Beazley

Risk analyses and management techniques are presented for the establishment and effects of two invasive species, smallmouth bass and chain pickerel. With their encroachment on the boundary of Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site, there is concern about potential ecological effects. Similar challenges for assessment and mitigation exist elsewhere, and our methods may prove illustrative for researchers and managers working under similar conditions.

Published online 10 November 2016

MF16120Measuring niche overlap between co-occurring Plectropomus spp. using acoustic telemetry and stable isotopes

J. K. Matley, M. R. Heupel, A. T. Fisk, C. A. Simpfendorfer and A. J. Tobin

Movement and dietary patterns of two co-occurring predatory reef fish were examined at Orpheus Island, Australia, respectively using acoustic telemetry and stable isotopes. The findings show low spatial overlap, but high dietary overlap between Plectropomus leopardus and P. maculatus, which may be a product of competition for resources. This research provides new species-specific information about resource use within a genus commonly reported as a single entity.

Published online 10 November 2016

MF16184Use of stereo baited remote underwater video systems to estimate the presence and size of white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias)

D. Harasti, K. A. Lee, R. Laird, R. Bradford and B. Bruce

Stereo baited remote underwater video systems (stereo-BRUVs) were used in this study to investigate the occurrence and size of white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) in the near-shore environment off Bennett’s Beach, in central New South Wales, Australia. Stereo-BRUVs successfully recorded 34 separate sightings of 22 individual white sharks. This study demonstrates that stereo-BRUVs are a viable, non-destructive method to obtain estimates of the size and presence of white sharks.

Published online 24 October 2016

MF16167Riparian integrity affects diet and intestinal length of a generalist fish species

Renato Bolson Dala-Corte, Fernando Gertum Becker and Adriano Sanches Melo

In this study we investigated how diet composition and intestinal length of the generalist and omnivorous characid fish Bryconamericus iheringii respond to riparian degradation in Brazilian subtropical streams. Open canopies were related to longer intestines and to decreased ingestion of terrestrial plants and invertebrates, concomitant with increased ingestion of filamentous algae, macrophytes and detritus. Riparian degradation may trigger increased intestinal length of generalist fish populations by driving higher relative consumption of indigestible and low-protein food resources.

Range-wide marked declines in population over the past two decades has necessitated a clear strategy for conserving Indus dolphins. Thus, the present study reports a species tolerance threshold towards anthropogenic disturbances and suggests management interventions to conserve the identified havens of dolphins. Ecological constraint of Indus dolphins is considered to be linked to rich biodiversity, therefore assessing the anthropogenic pressure on dolphins may be a surrogate for other threatened components of sympatric freshwater biodiversity.

Shallow reef-area fish communities of Fernando de Noronha archipelago (north-eastern Brazil) with different levels of environmental protection (no-take MPA and MPA) were compared. Differences in benthic composition, abiotic data and fish-community structure were observed in the comparison between no-take MPA and MPA. A higher diversity, richness, biomass and density of larger fishes were observed for the no-take MPA.

Published online 04 October 2016

MF16015The effect of ramp slope and surface type on the climbing success of shortfin eel (Anguilla australis) elvers

Phillip G. Jellyman, Joshua T. Bauld and Shannan K. Crow

To help juvenile shortfin eels negotiate instream obstacles (e.g. dams), more information is required on ramp angle and what material to line fish ramps with. We found that climbing success decreased with steeper ramps and that climbing success differed between material types. Optimal juvenile shortfin eel ramps would be lined with Miradrain (plastic drainage product) and be set at an angle close to 30°.

Published online 04 October 2016

MF16269Food chain length in a large floodplain river: planktonic or benthic reliance as a limiting factor

M. Saigo, L. Ruffener, P Scarabotti and M. Marchese

The aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that food chain length (FCL) in floodplain systems depends on the planktonic or benthic reliance of predators. Stable isotope analysis was used in eight waterbodies of the Middle Paraná River. The results supported the hypothesis because the planktonic reliance of predators and the relative availability of planktonic resources were correlated with FCL.

This laboratory study identified body size at sexual maturity, across the Hawaiian Archipelago, for two species of deep-reef snappers, fish of great economic importance across the Indo-Pacific region. Females of both species matured at similar body length, but were ~5 cm smaller in the waters of the fished main v. unfished north-western Hawaiian Islands. Such information helps fisheries managers better specify minimum size regulations.

Published online 04 October 2016

MF16032Connecting the litterfall temporal dynamics and processing of coarse particulate organic matter in a tropical stream

Aurea Luiza Lemes da Silva, Leonardo Kleba Lisboa, Ana Emília Siegloch, Mauricio Mello Petrucio and José Francisco Gonçalves Júnior

Litterfall and leaf decomposition represent important functional processes in small streams. We investigated how monthly variation in litterfall influences the aquatic community associated with the decomposition of leaf mixtures during 1 year in a tropical stream. We found that litterfall decreased in the period of higher rainfall intensity, and that the litter-breakdown rate was considerably higher in the warmest months.

This review of the status of the little curlew draws attention to the challenges faced by migratory shorebirds using grasslands and inland freshwater wetlands along the East Asian–Australasian Flyway (EAAF). Knowledge gaps about the physiology and functional ecology of different species and a lack of survey data from inland wetlands along the EAAF limit our ability to assess the status and population trends of most species.

Coconut crabs Birgus latro on Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean may be the only population of this declining species not threatened by overharvesting. To assess the population’s diversity and identify the number of conservation units, we conducted a combined morphometric and population genetic analysis. The findings suggest that the population is genetically diverse and panmictic, and may therefore be considered as a single conservation management unit.

Published online 28 September 2016

MF15341Macroinvertebrate community succession under variable flow regimes in subtropical Australia

Leigh Stitz, Larelle Fabbro and Susan Kinnear

In the Australian subtropics, seasonal changes to flow regimens can affect the conditions of freshwaters and their biological communities. In the ephemeral streams of central Queensland, the macroinvertebrate communities did not change in response to changing flow. Mostly tolerant taxa were found, with sensitive taxa most abundant during high-flow periods. This study provides novel information on the flow-linked succession of macroinvertebrate communities and is important for developing environmental management tools.

The coffin ray is an electric ray endemic to Australia. The combination of the species’ teleost fish diet coupled with its poor swimming ability, very small teeth supported on slender jaws and its large electric organs strongly suggests that this ray uses powerful electric discharges to stun or kill prey before engulfing them whole.

Published online 23 September 2016

MF16122Long-term migration patterns and bisexual philopatry in a benthic shark species

Nathan Charles Bass, Johann Mourier, Nathan A. Knott, Joanna Day, Tristan Guttridge and Culum Brown

The movements of Port Jackson sharks captured in Jervis Bay on the NSW south coast were tracked, finding that sharks migrate thousands of kilometres each year to their feeding sites in Bass Strait. Males and females return to the same breeding reef each year. Males migrate more quickly than females and the trip south is faster than the trip north.

Published online 23 September 2016

MF16054Age validation of the blue shark (Prionace glauca) in the eastern Pacific Ocean

R. J. David Wells, Natalie Spear and Suzanne Kohin

The purpose of the present study was to validate vertebral band-deposition rates of blue sharks tagged and recaptured in the eastern Pacific Ocean by using oxytetracycline (OTC). Results from band counts distal to the OTC mark on each vertebra indicated that a single band pair (one translucent and one opaque) is formed per year for blue sharks ranging from 1 to 8 years of age.

Published online 21 September 2016

MF16275Rockpool ichthyofauna of Amazon coastal zone: spatial and environmental effects on species distribution

Tiago Octavio Begot, Bruno Eleres Soares, Leandro Juen and Luciano Fogaça de Assis Montag

This research covers aspects of rockpool fish in the Amazonian estuary, assessing how the distribution and occupation patterns are affected by abiotic characteristics. The results show that species occurrence and abundance respond to local environmental and spatial variations, highlighting the role of extreme dynamics conditions in governing this ecosystem.

Published online 14 September 2016

MF16165Age, growth and maturity of oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharhinus longimanus) from Papua New Guinea

Brooke M. D'Alberto, Andrew Chin, Jonathan J. Smart, Leontine Baje, William T. White and Colin A. Simpfendorfer

Oceanic whitetip sharks (Carcharhinus longimanus) are overfished in the Western Central Pacific and require regional biological information to improve assessment and management. Age, growth and maturity parameters estimated using vertebral analysis indicated that individuals from this region have substantially slower growth and mature at an older age than other populations. This highlights an increased vulnerability to fishing pressure and provides an important step to understanding the population status of C. longimanus in the Western Central Pacific.

Published online 13 September 2016

MF16009Diel vertical migration of fish in a Neotropical reservoir

I. G. Prado and P. S. Pompeu

An understanding of processes such as diel vertical migration of fish at reservoirs, and the major factors driving it, is needed to provide information for the implementation of management and mitigation measures for the effects of hydroelectric plants. Using hydroacoustics, this study evaluated the occurrence and some characteristics of this process in a Neotropical reservoir.

Published online 13 September 2016

MF16104Discriminating populations of medusae (Chironex fleckeri, Cubozoa) using statolith microchemistry

Christopher J. Mooney and Michael J. Kingsford

This study revealed that deadly ‘stinger’ jellyfish (Chironex fleckeri) have localised populations separated by tens to hundreds of kilometres. This was demonstrated by examining the chemistry of their tiny bony structures, called statoliths. Unique location-dependent chemical ‘fingerprints’ represent the whole life of the jellyfish from the time they metamorphose from benthic polyps.

Published online 13 September 2016

MF16078DNA barcoding of fish larvae reveals uncharacterised biodiversity in tropical peat swamps of New Guinea, Indonesia

Arif Wibowo, Niklas Wahlberg and Anti Vasemägi

The Indonesian archipelago hosts a significant proportion of the biodiversity on Earth, but several species groups, such as freshwater fish, remain poorly described. In this study we characterised larval and juvenile fish biodiversity, as well as spatial and temporal variability, in a pristine peat swamp environment of the River Kumbe in West New Guinea, Indonesia, based on mitochondrial DNA sequence analysis.

Published online 09 September 2016

MF16035‘La Niña’ phenomenon and the relationship between decapod populations and fishes in temporarily isolated shallow lakes

María Victoria Torres, Federico Giri and Pablo Agustín Collins

Freshwater prawns and fishes coexist in environments of Paraná. The interaction between species of prawns and fishes during ‘La Niña’ phenomenon was studied. Population densities varied in both prawns and fishes. These changes have not been simultaneous. These variations might be associated with predation, aggressive behaviour and micro-migrations. La Niña effect creates additional stress when water inflow is delayed.

Monitoring size can provide an alternative to monitoring population abundance when assessing fishing impacts. In the present study, temporal patterns in the mean size of the four main commercial shark species of Western Australia were evaluated. Unlike commonly reported for other shark populations, the mean size of these species showed fairly stable patterns or slight increases.

Rabbitfish are an esteemed food resource in the Mariana Islands and their seasonal recruitment events represent culturally important harvest periods. In the present study we used a 2-year market sampling strategy to determine life-history traits of the forktail rabbitfish in Saipan, including lifespan, growth and reproduction. Results suggest the species has a rapid life history and considerable variability in reproductive output from year to year, which may help explain yearly variability in recruitment.

Published online 29 August 2016

MF16033Bacteria in tropical floodplain soils are sensitive to changes in saltwater

Tiffanie M. Nelson, Claire Streten, Karen S. Gibb and Anthony A. Chariton

Sea-level rise associated with global warming will increase across Kakadu causing widespread saltwater intrusion. We aimed to understand how soil bacteria might respond to these impacts, by sampling transects in different river zones. We found diverse bacterial communities that were sensitive to soil variables, suggesting that saltwater intrusion may affect bacterial contributions to the dynamic floodplain ecosystems of Kakadu.

Published online 22 August 2016

MF15393Effects of zooplankton and nutrients on phytoplankton: an experimental analysis in a eutrophic tropical reservoir

Juliana dos Santos Severiano, Viviane Lúcia dos Santos Almeida-Melo, Enaide Marinho de Melo-Magalhães, Maria do Carmo Bittencourt-Oliveira and Ariadne do Nascimento Moura

Experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of the N : P ratio, as well as the effects of the interaction between the N : P ratio and zooplankton, on phytoplankton. We found that the typical zooplankton of tropical reservoirs may interfere with phytoplankton responses to the effects of nutrients. The zooplankton can also stimulate the growth of ‘less palatable’ algae.

Published online 17 August 2016

MF15469Ecological singularity of temperate mesopredatory myliobatoid rays (Chondrichthyes: Myliobatiformes)

Natalia L. Ruocco and Luis O. Lucifora

In tropical and subtropical ecosystems with high diversity and low amounts of nutrients, benthic-feeding stingrays and eagle rays partition their trophic resources, resulting in high ecological singularity. However, it is unknown whether this is true for temperate low-diversity nutrient-rich ecosystems. In the present study we compared the diet of three temperate co-occurring species. The three species had a markedly different diet composition, indicative of high ecological singularity.

A research study by Sunfish Queensland, a peak body for recreational fishing in Queensland, shows a major decline in the population and fishery for luderick (blackfish), an important species in coastal fisheries in eastern Australia. Southern Queensland is the northern range limit of this species, and the population decline in this region is significantly correlated with increasing coastal water temperature over the period 1976–2015. The increasing water temperature over the past two decades has caused a southward shift in the luderick population.

Published online 15 August 2016

MF15435Contrasting intra-annual patterns of six biotic groups with different dispersal mode and ability in Mediterranean temporary ponds

Dani Boix, Maria Carmela Caria, Stéphanie Gascón, Maria Antonietta Mariani, Jordi Sala, Albert Ruhí, Jordi Compte and Simonetta Bagella

The temporal patterns of six biotic groups (from phytoplankton to amphibians) and their responses to environmental variation were studied in a set of Mediterranean temporary ponds. Different temporal patterns were observed among the biotic groups studied, and in some (but not all) cases these differences were explained by their dispersal ability. Similarly, we observed that environmental control was group specific.

Published online 05 August 2016

MF15445Opening the floodgates to the recovery of nektonic assemblages in a temperate coastal wetland

Craig A. Boys and Bruce Pease

Floodgates that restrict tidal flow can reduce the diversity and abundance of fish and crustaceans (e.g. prawns) in coastal wetlands. This study illustrates that these impacts can be overcome by opening floodgates to restore tidal flushing and reinstating biotic passage and the habitat conditions (e.g. pH, salinity) most suitable for the juveniles of estuarine and marine dwelling species. This has implications for improving the nursery value of estuaries to support fisheries productivity.

Published online 05 August 2016

MF15454Interactions between bivalves and zooplankton: competition or intraguild predation? Implications for biomanipulation in subtropical shallow lakes

Soledad Marroni, Néstor Mazzeo, Juan Pablo Pacheco, Juan Clemente and Carlos Iglesias

Trophic interactions between two different filter-feeding communities in subtropical shallow lakes were investigated experimentally. Bivalves consumed small-sized zooplankton, but no consumption of medium-sized individuals was registered, favouring an average larger-sized community. Bivalves consumption of phytoplankton was higher than that of zooplankton and bivalves were also able to reduce cyanobacteria. Together, the results suggest that the introduction of bivalves can have positive effects in eutrophic systems mitigating the excessive growth of phytoplankton.

Published online 20 July 2016

MF16049Assessing sea level-rise risks to coastal floodplains in the Kakadu Region, northern Australia, using a tidally driven hydrodynamic model

Peter Bayliss, Kate Saunders, Leo X. C. Dutra, Lizandra F. C. Melo, James Hilton, Mahesh Prakash and Fletcher Woolard

The coastal floodplains of the Kakadu Region of northern Australia are highly vulnerable to future sea level rise (SLR) and extreme weather events. A hydrodynamic model was developed to simulate the frequency and extent of saltwater inundation of future SLR scenarios from 2013 to 2100 (1.1 m above mean sea level), and was used to assess potential risk to freshwater floodplains.

Published online 22 October 2015

MF15094Experimental effects of ash deposition on macroinvertebrate assemblages in peatland streams

K. Johnston and B. J. Robson

The effects of ash from controlled fires on macroinvertebrate communities in UK headwater streams were investigated experimentally by depositing ash onto natural stream substrata in trays placed on streambeds. Ash deposition together with stream depth altered macroinvertebrate community composition. However, changes in species composition caused by ash deposition were smaller than differences among streams, suggesting that effects of ash may be small in these streams.

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