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 67 Number 10 2016

MF15353Adaptive management in action: using chemical marking to advance fish recovery programs in the Murray–Darling Basin

Lee Baumgartner
pp. i-iii

MF15037Contribution of stocked fish to riverine populations of golden perch (Macquaria ambigua) in the Murray–Darling Basin, Australia

David A. Crook, Damien J. O'Mahony, Bronwyn M. Gillanders, Andrew R. Munro, Andrew C. Sanger, Stephen Thurstan and Lee J. Baumgartner
pp. 1401-1409

Most stocking of native fish is conducted without information on its effectiveness or impacts. We stocked chemically tagged golden perch (Macquaria ambigua) fingerlings in three rivers of the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB), Australia. Subsequent sampling found that stocked fish contributed 18–100% of year classes within each river, demonstrating the potential for artificial stocking to strongly influence the abundance and structure of golden perch populations in the MDB.

MF15230Assessment of stocking effectiveness for Murray cod (Maccullochella peelii) and golden perch (Macquaria ambigua) in rivers and impoundments of south-eastern Australia

Jamin Forbes, Robyn J. Watts, Wayne A. Robinson, Lee J. Baumgartner, Prue McGuffie, Leo M. Cameron and David A. Crook
pp. 1410-1419

Murray cod and golden perch have been released from government and private hatcheries since the late 1970s in response to large scale wild fishery declines. Assessing success of these long-term stocking programs has been limited. Hatchery-reared fish were marked with calcein prior to release. The contribution of marked Murray cod varied by 7–94% and 9–98% for marked golden perch with higher proportions of marked fish found in impoundments than rivers. The comparatively low proportion of marked fish in rivers suggests that these populations are primarily self-supporting through natural recruitment rather than artificial enhancement. Identifying self-sustaining fish populations, and conversely, those that are heavily reliant on stocking, will allow delivery of hatchery-reared fish to areas where they are most needed.

MF15001Feeding ecology of two sympatric species of Acetes (Decapoda: Sergestidae) in Panguil Bay, the Philippines

Ephrime B. Metillo, Emily E. Cadelinia, Ken-ichi Hayashizaki, Takashi Tsunoda and Shuhei Nishida
pp. 1420-1433

Krill-like shrimps A. erythraeus and A. intermedius live together in Panguil Bay, Philippines and have an overlapping diet of primarily zooplankton and detritus. However, they partition the feeding niche with differences in prey types, gut fullness over 24 h and among months, sources of plant detritus, and with A. erythraeus confined to more brackish waters and A. intermedius dwelling in more saline marine waters of the bay.

MF15056Variation in morphology and life-history strategy of an exploited sparid fish

D. M. Parsons, M. A. Morrison, B. M. Gillanders, K. D. Clements, S. J. Bury, R. Bian and K. T. Spong
pp. 1434-1444

Defining population units that balance productivity and yield is a fundamental aspect of resource management. We investigated the presence of groups of snapper with different life-history strategies within the Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand, using a range of techniques. Snapper collected from a known spawning area possessed distinct morphology and stable isotope ratios, suggesting the existence of a semi-pelagic group of snapper within the Hauraki Gulf stock.


The environmental parameters, microphytoplankton and ciliate communities in the area were studied in two seasons at 20 stations along the coast south of Sfax. The results showed that the environmental parameters indicated high nutrient levels. Seventy-eight microphytoplankton species and 58 ciliates species were identified in all stations. Some species reported in this study are commonly found in the stressed coastal waters.

MF15003Geographic distribution of the short-tailed river stingray (Potamotrygon brachyura): assessing habitat loss and fishing as threats to the world’s largest obligate freshwater elasmobranch

Luis O. Lucifora, Santiago A. Barbini, Sabina Llamazares Vegh, Pablo A. Scarabotti, Facundo Vargas, Agustín Solari, Ezequiel Mabragaña and Juan M. Díaz de Astarloa
pp. 1463-1478

Freshwater elasmobranchs are threatened but little known. This paper shows that Potamotrygon brachyura is associated to large lowland rivers, and that most of its range in the Río de la Plata is subject to high levels of habitat modification, whereas in the Uruguay and Paraná basins fishing pressure is its main stressor. P. brachyura may function as an umbrella species.


Poorly understood larval recruitment and dispersal can drive fish population dynamics; we studied how interspecific life-history differences affected these processes in a group of closely related galaxiids. Consistent with a priori predictions, the larvae of ‘fast’ life-history species were abundant and dispersed widely, whereas 'slow' life-history species produced low numbers of larvae which were relatively sedentary. We discuss the implications of these findings for metapopulation structure and how these species interact with invasive salmonids.

MF15035Assessing spatial variation of seagrass habitat structure in New Caledonia: an integrated approach

Andrew D. Irving, Emma L. Jackson and Rebecca A. Hendry
pp. 1493-1499

A novel integrated sampling method was used to score the structure of seagrass meadows in the New Caledonian lagoon. On average, meadows scored at 69/100, indicating ‘fair-to-good’ structure, although significant variation was evident among sites and appeared to reflect differences in wave exposure. The study shows the value of integrated sampling methods for rapid spatio-temporal comparisons that can provide early warning signs of habitat decline.

MF14360How sensitive are invertebrates to riparian-zone replanting in stream ecosystems?

Darren P. Giling, Ralph Mac Nally and Ross M. Thompson
pp. 1500-1511

Replanting native vegetation adjacent to agricultural streams aims to improve in-stream biodiversity but the capacity of such replanting to combat the effects of large-scale land-use change is unknown. We tested whether aquatic macroinvertebrates responded to streamside replanting, but found that whole-catchment factors were more important. Replanting in degraded areas may not restore aquatic biodiversity within decades, necessitating careful consideration of restoration aims and monitoring methods.


This study examines the potential impacts of anthropogenic climate change on evaporation from small reservoirs in the Lockyer catchment in south-east Queensland, Australia. Future projections indicated that evaporation is expected to increase by ~6% by 2050. This predicted increase in evaporation, combined with expected reductions in rainfall and runoff, means that water resources may be significantly affected in the future.


Shallow coastal lakes are sensitive to human-induced environmental changes. Post-colonial land-use change and water level control in and around Wainono Lagoon, South Canterbury, New Zealand, transformed it from a clear, macrophyte-dominated freshwater state to a turbid, hypereutrophic brackish system with little or no macrophytes. This study illustrates how the palaeolimnological approach can provide useful knowledge to assist the management and safeguard of these vulnerable ecosystems.

MF14339Large tropical fishes and their use of the nearshore littoral, intertidal and subtidal habitat mosaic

Merritt E. Adkins, Colin A. Simpfendorfer and Andrew J. Tobin
pp. 1534-1545

Shallow-coastal habitat research has previously focussed on larvae and juvenile fish communities and their use of these habitats as nurseries. The current study focuses on sampling a mosaic of shallow-coastal habitats and identifying the large-bodied fish communities utilising these habitats. We suggest these habitats may provide multiple functions for large-bodied fish communities and new insight into the additional functions of shallow-coastal habitats.


A tropical population of the piked spurdog was found to be smaller and older at maturity than temperate populations. The Philippine spurdog was late maturing and long lived at 27 years. Both species were slow growing with conservative life history traits that make them vulnerable to exploitation but, in the event of overfishing, the deeper-dwelling Philippine spurdog is likely to take longer to recover.

MF15156Zoobenthos are minor dietary components of small omnivorous fishes in a shallow eutrophic lake

Natsuru Yasuno, Yuki Chiba, Yasufumi Fujimoto, Kentaro Shindo, Tetsuo Shimada, Shuichi Shikano and Eisuke Kikuchi
pp. 1562-1568

We analysed isotopic composition of small omnivorous fishes (smaller than ~100 mm long) to examine whether they integrate littoral, pelagic and benthic pathways in a shallow, eutrophic lake (Lake Izunuma, Japan). Five omnivorous fish relied mostly on epiphytic algae and zooplankton, whereas zoobenthos (larval chironomids) contributed little to their diets. Thus, in Lake Izunuma, omnivorous fishes incorporated both littoral and pelagic production into the food web, but rarely benthic production.

MF15217Repeated vertical movements of mature anguillid eels in a lake

Yuuki Y. Watanabe, Takaomi Arai, Daniel Limbong, Yunober Mberato and Nobuyuki Miyazaki
pp. 1569-1574

Mature anguillid eels in Lake Poso, Indonesia, are found to repeat up-and-down movements in the water column (maximum depth, 77 m), with slower, less active descents with shallower postures, followed by faster, more active ascents with steeper postures. These characteristic movements might be owing to the eels’ internal motivation for continuous swimming in preparation for oceanic migration.


Hypoxia is increasing in freshwater and estuarine systems globally, yet we know little about the ability for tropical fish to acclimate to this changing environment. This study investigated the acclimation potential of two geographically separated populations of barramundi (L. calcarifer) to fluctuating oxygen availability. Hypoxia tolerance improved similarly in both populations and was driven primarily by physiological plasticity, rather than inherent variability between populations.

MF15147Low diversity of helminth parasites in Sardina pilchardus and Engraulis encrasicolus (Clupeidae) from the Bay of Biscay

Aurélie Dessier, Christine Dupuy, Thomas Trancart, Alexandre Audras, Paco Bustamante and Claudia Gérard
pp. 1583-1588

Studies of the parasitic helminths in Sardina pilchardus and Engraulis encrasicolus from the Bay of Biscay revealed the occurrence of only three species of nematodes in both fish species. This low diversity of helminth parasites, compared with the 39 and 15 taxa for S. pilchardus and E. encrasicolus respectively described throughout their distribution range, suggests a low free-living biodiversity in the Bay of Biscay, potentially indicative of stressed ecosystems.


The size of an organism's home range dictates the spatial scale on which ecological processes occur. Many reef fish have limited home-ranges and here, we quantify variability in the home-ranges of juveniles of an abundant reef fish in New Zealand, the common triplefin. Results suggest that individual space use becomes restricted when densities of neighbouring conspecifics surpass a critical threshold, which could reduce individual fitness in high density areas as well as shape the spatial distribution of juveniles across a population.

Current Issue

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

Published online 12 January 2016

MF15278Avoid predation or take risks in basic activities? Predator–prey relationship in subtropical streams between decapods and caddisflies

Cristina Cerezer, Cristiane Biasi, Gláucia Bolzan Cogo and Sandro Santos
 

The aim of the present study was to analyse the movement, feeding and case-building behaviours of Phylloicus in the presence of a likely decapod predator, Aegla longirostri. The study demonstrated that caddisfly is able to detect the presence of the predator and modify its activities. It increases its chances of survival by building its case of more resistant materials and by reducing its movement.

Published online 23 November 2015

MF14407Colonisation patterns of supralittoral arthropods in naturally stranded wrack debris on Atlantic sandy beaches of Brazil and Spain

M. Carmen Ruiz-Delgado, Jenyffer Vierheller Vieira, M. José Reyes-Martínez, Carlos Alberto Borzone, Raimundo Outerelo, Juan Emilio Sánchez-Moyano and Francisco José García-García
 

Marine subsidies represent a key element for the maintenance of biodiversity and functioning of sandy beaches. The colonisation patterns of macroinvertebrates associated with detached seaweed and mangrove propagules was investigated on Atlantic beaches. Marine subsidies were promptly invaded by a wide range of species, but a directional replacement was not detected. The results suggest that the colonisation process is driven by organic-debris characteristics and biological strategies of the species.

Published online 12 January 2016

MF15198Contrasting and complex evolutionary histories within the terapontid grunter genus Hephaestus revealed by nuclear and mitochondrial genes

Bradley J. Pusey, Andrew Bentley, Damien Burrows, Colton Perna, Aaron Davis and Jane Hughes
 

Contrasting evolutionary histories may be revealed by mitochondrial and nuclear information. Mitochondrial data suggested that the widespread sooty grunter (Hephaestus fuliginosus) comprised three separate species; however, nuclear information revealed it to be one species only. The phylogeny revealed by mitochondrial data was strongly influenced by historical hybridisation within Hephaestus. Both sources of genetic information indicated a need for a revision of Terapontidae.

Published online 12 January 2016

MF14291Distribution of rotifers and other meiofauna in the bryophytes and hyporheic zone of a karst hydrosystem – an example of a nested community

Tvrtko Dražina, Maria Špoljar, Biserka Primc and Ivan Habdija
 

Freshwater sediments harbour minute but diverse microscopic fauna, dominated by rotifers and nematodes. In our research we try to define occurrence and vertical distribution of these organisms in a specific karst sediment – tufa. Deeper parts of sediments are mostly inhabited by surface fauna that is morphologically pre-adapted to life within sediment interstices and this seems to be general rule in freshwater ecosystems.

Published online 08 January 2016

MF15320Wild populations of Sydney rock oysters differ in their proteomic responses to elevated carbon dioxide

E. L. Thompson, L. Parker, V. Amaral, M. J. Bishop, W. A. O'Connor and D. A. Raftos
 

Much of the CO2 released into the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels is being absorbed by the oceans changing the pH and causing it to become more acidified. As a consequence, marine organisms are likely to exhibit many changes, with shelled organisms such as oysters being particularly susceptible. This research suggests that the local environments from which oysters originate may affect their capacity to respond to ocean acidification.

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.

Published online 13 January 2016

MF15301Review and conceptual models of agricultural impacts and water quality in waterways of the Great Barrier Reef catchment area

Aaron M. Davis, Richard G. Pearson, Jon E. Brodie and Barry Butler
 

There has been minimal synthesis of the impacts of water-quality degradation from agriculture on freshwater ecosystems in northern Australia. The present study conceptualises the spatial and temporal processes driving water-quality pressures in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef catchment area, with associated ecological impacts. Hydrology mediates the timing and scale of pollutant delivery to freshwater ecosystems, and the risk periods and specific nature of water-quality impacts can differ markedly from those most affecting downstream marine environments.

Published online 07 January 2016

MF15189Evaluating potential sources of variation in Chironomidae catch rates on sticky traps

Joshua T. Smith, Jeffrey D. Muehlbauer and Theodore A. Kennedy
 

This study answers practical questions regarding sticky trap sampling artefacts. We evaluated whether catch rates and sex ratios of Chironomidae were affected by spraying traps with insecticide, placing traps at different heights above ground, and placing traps at different locations within a terrestrial habitat patch. Our results inform whether these variables warrant consideration in future sticky trap studies.

Published online 19 October 2015

MF15080Accumulation of sulfidic sediments in a channelised inland river system, southern Australia

Vanessa N. L. Wong, Michael D. Cheetham, Richard T. Bush, Leigh A. Sullivan and Nicholas J. Ward
 

This study identified sulfidic sediments in reaches of an inland freshwater river in south-eastern Australia. Sulfidic sediments preferentially accumulated where coarse sandy bed material was found. Conversely, limited sulfidic sediment accumulated where bed material was clay or silt dominated. Sulfidic sediment accumulation was not limited to lower-energy parts of the channel highlighting the dynamism of the system.

Published online 17 December 2015

MF14427Age, growth and maturation of Sthenoteuthis oualaniensis in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean by statolith analysis

Bi Lin Liu, Xin Jun Chen, Jian Hua Li and Yong Chen
 

This paper provides basic information on the age, growth and maturation of S. oualaniensis in the equatorial waters of the ETPO, by using statolith microstructure analysis. The study improves our knowledge of the key life-history and population parameters for S. oualaniensis in the less studied ETPO waters and helps in the assessment and management of this important species.


Hydrological regimes are important drivers of community dynamics in intermittent streams. Investigation of stream fish communities from north Texas, USA, before, during and after a prolonged drought disturbance revealed that drought had significant impacts on fish abundance and diversity and population and community recovery. Continued alteration of stream habitats and changes in global climate may intensify future drought disturbances and have potentially large impacts on freshwater biodiversity at multiple scales.


The knowledge of the distribution of substrate sediments is crucial to understanding and managing wetland aquatic bodies. We tested the ability of a hydroacoustic system to discern and map substrates in three rivers from the largest wetland in Jamaica, by using various classification algorithms and interpolation methods. At a lower spatial resolution, comparable maps were obtained by interpolating discrete sample points acquired from grab samples.

Published online 13 October 2015

MF14246How does the management of rice in natural ponds alter aquatic insect community functional structure?

Marina S. Dalzochio, Renata Baldin, Cristina Stenert and Leonardo Maltchik
 

Functional approaches improve the understanding of how ecological communities respond to environmental changes. We compared functional diversity of aquatic insects among natural ponds, and organic and conventional rice fields, and the highest functional redundancy and richness were observed in natural ponds. As organic rice fields showed some functional similarity with natural ponds, the ecological benefits of organic production are highlighted.

Published online 27 January 2016

MF15132A bioeconomic analysis of conserving freshwater values in an agricultural landscape

D. M. Warfe and J. G. Tisdell
 

We compared the effects of water allocations, conservation and climate change scenarios on economic returns from irrigation. Land use had the greatest economic returns, but land area suitable for irrigation rather than irrigation water itself was the major limitation. Annexing land for freshwater conservation values had only small effects on economic returns, suggesting that conservation and agricultural development are not necessarily antagonistic goals.

Published online 05 January 2016

MF15110The coral communities of Yongle atoll: status, threats and conservation significance for coral reefs in South China Sea

Meixia Zhao, Kefu Yu, Qi Shi, Hongqiang Yang, Bernhard Riegl, Qiaomin Zhang, Hongqiang Yan, Tianran Chen, Guohui Liu and Ziyun Lin
 

The South China Sea (SCS) is an area of extensive coral reef development, yet the understanding on the coral reefs of this region is still low. We analysed the coral communities of Yongle atoll, the biggest atoll in the Xisha Islands, central South China Sea. This baseline investigation highlighted the ecological value of these reefs. They should receive much more scientific and conservation attention.

Published online 05 January 2016

MF15180Inherent variation in carbon and nitrogen isotopic assimilation in the freshwater macro-invertebrate Cherax destructor

Debashish Mazumder, Li Wen, Mathew P. Johansen, Tsuyoshi Kobayashi and Neil Saintilan
 

A laboratory based feeding experiment was conducted to examine how well freshwater macro-invertebrate muscle tissues isotopic ratios reflect the variability of various diet types and diet combinations they are fed. The study provides experimental evidence of individual variability in dietary assimilation. The results help interpret the trophic ecology of individuals feeding on the same or similar diets in the food web.


After significant benthic community change following a major flood event, sediment–water fluxes were measured to assess the potential of sediments to support the growth of Lyngbya majuscula. The results show that intermittent periods of oxygen depletion can trigger benthic releases of biologically significant amounts of iron that could support the initiation and growth of L. majuscula blooms.


We contrasted dietary ecology of two river turtles across four monsoonal river systems of the Kimberley Plateau in Western Australia. The study sites crossed a rainfall gradient and variable land use practices. The effects of biological invasion (short term), land use (medium term) and climate change (long term) affect the foraging habitats of turtles in these rivers. The dietary results offer a benchmark in before–after studies as invasive cane toads are expected to reach the study sites in 1–2 years.

Published online 05 January 2016

MF15307Species composition and hybridisation of mussel species (Bivalvia: Mytilidae) in Australia

Emi S. Ab Rahim, Thuy T. T. Nguyen, Brett Ingram, Cynthia Riginos, Kim J. Weston and Craig D. H. Sherman
 

The taxonomic status of mussels belonging to the genus Mytilus is explored for several Australian populations. The use of nuclear and mitochondrial genetic markers show that the majority (98.5%) of individuals are M. galloprovincialis. The analysis also revealed that southern and northern hemisphere haplotypes are present, suggesting the introduction of non-native M. galloprovincialis lineages into Australia.

Published online 10 December 2015

MF14281How water level management affects cladoceran assemblages in lakes lateral to a reservoir

José Roberto Debastiani-Júnior and Marcos Gomes Nogueira
 

The effects of operational water level depletion on cladocerans from two lakes bordering a Brazilian run-of-river reservoir were studied. Cladocera showed different responses depending on the connection between lake and reservoir. It is proposed that continuous application of management may lead to a shift in the steady-state equilibrium of the system and loss of diversity.


Oxygen Minimum Zones (OMZs) strongly affect the distribution of megafauna. Bathymetric and seasonal patterns of distribution of decapod crustaceans were studied on the continental slopes off the Mexican Pacific, under the largest OMZ of the world. Bathymetric patterns in community composition were related to the swimming capacity and feeding strategies, and seasonal patterns were related to the community size structure. Oxygen, temperature and food were important drivers of those patterns.

Published online 06 November 2015

MF15255First evidence of multiple paternity in the bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas)

Agathe Pirog, Sébastien Jaquemet, Marc Soria and Hélène Magalon
 

The present study reveals the occurrence of multiple paternity in the bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas) showing high paternal skew. These results tend to support the hypothesis of convenience polyandry. This study contributes to a better understanding of this species reproduction and are important for both shark conservation and management plans.

Published online 10 December 2015

MF15067Spatial partitioning in the use of structural woody habitat supports the cohabitation of two cod species in a large lowland river

J. A. Lieschke, J. P. Lyon, P. D. Moloney and S. J. Nicol
 

The use of different structural woody habitats, distance to bank and the interaction between habitats and distance to bank was investigated for Murray cod and trout cod in the mid Murray river, Australia. The study found that both species increased in abundance when structural woody habitat with hollows was present. However, distance to bank also played an important role in abundances, which has important relevance for stream managers.

Published online 15 December 2015

MF14408Changes in discharge affect more surface than subsurface breakdown of organic matter in a mountain stream

Libe Solagaistua, Maite Arroita, Ibon Aristi, Aitor Larrañaga and Arturo Elosegi
 

Freshwater ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to the increasingly more frequent discharge fluctuations worldwide. Water depth and velocity modifications in streams affect the biota and the processes this biota is involved in. We have shown that the wet subsurface area of the stream can maintain organic matter decomposition rates along those discharge fluctuations, attenuating the effect on the total, reach scale, decomposition.

Published online 15 December 2015

MF15233Shell shape as indicator of pollution in marine gastropods affected by imposex

M. A. Primost, G. Bigatti and F. Márquez
 

Geometric morphometrics of marine gastropods allow detecting whether the imposex incidence associated with TBT pollution (neoformation of penis in females) is related to shell-shape variation. This non-destructive technique could help monitor polluted areas without sacrificing animals through the use of gastropod shells as indicators.

Published online 23 November 2015

MF15319Spatio-temporal spawning patterns of two riverine populations of the threatened Macquarie perch (Macquaria australasica)

Zeb Tonkin, Joanne Kearns, Justin O'Mahony and John Mahoney
 

This study presents an important first description of spatio-temporal spawning patterns of two riverine Macquarie perch Macquaria australasica populations in south-eastern Australia. Spawning intensity was highly variable between sample sites, and displayed a strong positive association with water temperature. Our results provide opportunity for further testing of the environmental effects, habitat associations and subsequent management options aimed at enhancing spawning of this endangered species.

Published online 24 November 2015

MF15221Estuarine fishes of the South Alligator River, Kakadu National Park, northern Australia

Bradley J. Pusey, Mark J. Kennard, Helen K. Larson, Quentin Alsop, Michael Hammer and Duncan J. Buckle
 

The estuarine fish fauna of the South Alligator River was sampled by beam trawl in both wet and dry seasons. Species richness was greatest in the lower estuary and more species were detected during the wet season. Temporal change in assemblage structure was associated with seasonal variation in discharge concordant with changes in salinity and productivity. Sciaenidae and Engraulidae dominated species richness and abundance overall although the species involved changed between seasons.


Estimates of age and growth are important to fish stock assessments aimed at fishery sustainability, but for Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus) longevity varies by a factor of 3. One scenario describes a slow-growing fish with a lifespan exceeding 30 years, while the other is fast growing to a maximum age near 10 years. Lead–radium dating revealed that the old-fish scenario is not valid.


Monthly dynamics of eukaryotic phytoplankton diversity and community structure in a freshwater reservoir were studied using small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU) pyrosequencing. Molecular analyses represented a typical pattern of seasonal phytoplankton succession in temperate regions and this was denoted predominantly by diatoms, dinoflagellates, cryptophytes and chlorophytes. This work emphasises the importance of pyrosequencing in monitoring phytoplankton communities.

Published online 27 November 2015

MF15246Predicting natural instream woody-habitat loads across large river networks

Adrian Kitchingman, Zeb Tonkin, Renae M. Ayres, Jarod Lyon, Justin C. Stout, Ian D. Rutherfurd and Paul Wilson
 

Knowledge of natural or pre-disturbance instream woody-habitat (IWH) loads is useful to guide such restoration programs; however, such datasets are often unavailable. In the present study, natural IWH loads were mapped along 105 km of undisturbed rivers in south-eastern Australia then modelled for all major Victorian rivers. Distinct IWH-loading trends were noticeable over larger spatial scales. Eastern Victoria showed relatively lower natural IWH loads than did western Victoria.


Accurately detecting the presence of threatened species is vital for effective conservation management. Investigation of the detection power of six sampling methods for the endangered Macquarie perch found that fyke nets were far superior to all other methods. Some commonly used generic sampling methods had low detection efficiency, with such false negatives having serious implications for conservation management.

Published online 04 November 2015

MF15043Seasonal variability in turbidity currents in Lake Ohau, New Zealand, and their influence on sedimentation

R. Cossu, A. L. Forrest, H. A. Roop, G. B. Dunbar, M. J. Vandergoes, R. H. Levy, P. Stumpner and S. G. Schladow
 

This paper reports observations of turbidity currents and internal waves made in 2012–13 in Lake Ohau, New Zealand. Sediment input from river inflow occurs throughout the year but exhibits strong seasonal variation. We utilise these observations to establish a conceptual model to explain the observed infill stratigraphy in Lake Ohau and guide interpretation of the longer sedimentary record.


Factors such as areas of unsuitable habitat, physical geography, ocean currents and sea surface temperatures explain many features of the phylogeography of the coasts of south-eastern Australia. More research is needed to explain how genetic variation can remain partitioned after barriers to gene flow are dissolved, to understand the phylogeographic effects of biotic interactions and to elucidate the cause(s) of population genetic instability frequently observed within both marine and estuarine species.

Published online 04 November 2015

MF15115Trophic positions and predator–prey mass ratio of the pelagic food web in the East China Sea and Sea of Japan

Seiji Ohshimo, Hiroshige Tanaka, Koh Nishiuchi and Tohya Yasuda
 

Predator–prey mass ratio (PPMR) and trophic positions of the pelagic food web in the East China Sea and the Sea of Japan were estimated by using the stable isotope ratios (δ15N). The PPMRs based on additive and scaled models were respectively 5032 and 3430. The comparatively high PPMRs could reflect low ecosystem transfer efficiency and high metabolic rate.

Published online 04 November 2015

MF15169Evaluating the hydrological, geothermal and anthropic factors in the Baños tarn (Spanish Pyrenees)

Z. Santolaria, T. Arruebo, A. Pardo, C. Rodriguez-Casals, F. J. Lanaja and J. S. Urieta
 

Baños tarn is a low-altitude Pyrenean glacial lake with both geothermal and surface influxes, and significant local anthropic stressors. Hydrological changes affecting lake tributaries are the foremost factors driving seasonal changes in the ionic composition of the lake, determined by a slightly alkaline pH and a medium–high ionic content, whereas resuspension of organic matter and nutrients trapped in floor sediments by a long history of untreated waste water input is the main nutrient source for the Baños tarn water mass.

Published online 04 November 2015

MF15172Assessment of a metaviromic dataset generated from nearshore Lake Michigan

Siobhan C. Watkins, Neil Kuehnle, C. Anthony Ruggeri, Kema Malki, Katherine Bruder, Jinan Elayyan, Kristina Damisch, Naushin Vahora, Paul O'Malley, Brieanne Ruggles-Sage, Zachary Romer and Catherine Putonti
 

Recent research has determined that bacteriophages (viruses that infect bacteria), play a crucial role in environmental processes. However, phage diversity is understudied in freshwater environments. The current study utilises data collected from extracting DNA directly from the environment, and begins to examine the phage community in Lake Michigan. The research finds that, within the lake, phages are highly diverse, but also highlights the importance of combined methodological approaches.

Published online 10 December 2015

MF15129Diversity of ammonia-oxidising bacteria and archaea in seven different estuarine sediments from Poyang Lake

Ping Sheng, Yizun Yu, Xiaojuan Tian, Dongsheng Wang, Zhihong Zhang and Jiannan Ding
 

Poyang Lake is the largest fresh water lake in China. However, nitrogen levels of the lake are increasing because of industrialisation and urbanisation, threatening the stability of the overall ecosystem around the lake areas. Our study indicated that the diversity of ammonia-oxidising bacterial and archaeal communities varied among the different estuaries, and several environmental factors significantly affected those microbial diversities.


This study aims to understand the biological drivers of KwaZulu–Natal Bight, South Africa, which until now were believed to be oceanographic. Particulate material and zooplankton were collected from marine and riverine environments. Rivers were extremely important for biological communities close to shore in the wet season. In the dry season and offshore this was not the case. Highlighting the role of terrestrial particulate matter to the marine environment.

Published online 19 October 2015

MF15098Lobster in a bottle: a novel technique for observing the predation of juvenile spiny lobster (Jasus edwardsii)

Jan Hesse, Jenni A. Stanley and Andrew G. Jeffs
 

A novel approach was developed for observing attempted predation on live juvenile spiny lobster (Jasus edwardsii) by presenting the lobster in a transparent container that was lit with infrared light to enable continuous monitoring, by video recording. This technique can be used to provide valuable information on overall relative predation pressure from comparative locations and habitats, as well as identify potential predators.

Published online 10 December 2015

MF15158Age- and sex-dependent changes in morphometric and metabolic variables in the long-lived freshwater mussel Diplodon chilensis

Maria S. Yusseppone, Betina J. Lomovasky, Carlos M. Luquet, Maria C. Ríos de Molina and Iara Rocchetta
 

The aging process in long-lived bivalves could affect metabolic variables. The aim of this study was to analyse possible changes in metabolic and morphometric variables over the lifetime of the freshwater mussel Diplodon chilensis. We propose an age-range (20–30 years old) that would be better suited for bioremediation strategies and would ensure an enhancement of the water and sediment cleansing in Patagonian freshwater bodies.

Published online 10 December 2015

MF15300Photobiology of the zoanthid Zoanthus sociatus in intertidal and subtidal habitats

Miguel C. Leal, Igor C. S. Cruz, Carlos R. Mendes, Ricardo Calado, Ruy K. P. Kikuchi, Rui Rosa, Amadeu M. V. M. Soares, João Serôdio and Rui J. M. Rocha
 

We investigated the photobiology of a symbiotic zoanthid inhabiting different tidal environments: subtidal, intertidal pools and intertidal areas exposed to air during low tide. Results show significant differences in symbiont cell density, pigment content and photochemical efficiency among tidal habitats. These findings suggest that aerial exposure conditions affect photochemical processes but have no dramatic consequences such as bleaching.

Published online 10 December 2015

MF15170Potential invasions of phytoplankton in ship ballast water at South Korean ports

Bonggil Hyun, Kyoungsoon Shin, Min-Chul Jang, Pung-Guk Jang, Woo-Jin Lee, Chul Park and Keun-Hyung Choi
 

The survival and growth of ballast water-mediated phytoplankton communities was assessed, taking into account the specific growth rate, time delay for growth and initial dispersal. Most invasions appeared to fail at the initial dispersal phase. However, they could grow fast enough to overcome the initial dispersal phase if they were dispersed in highly eutrophic waters.

Published online 06 April 2016

MF15386Low functional redundancy and high variability in Sargassum browsing fish populations in a subtropical reef system

Ben L. Gilby, Ian R. Tibbetts and Tim Stevens
 

Some fish species that are protected from fishing in no-take marine protected areas (MPAs) are important in improving the health of the coral reef itself. We show that it is important to determine how the abundance of these species changes over time and at different places so that we might be able to better place MPAs and better predict how the MPAs might function.

Published online 25 May 2016

MF15160The effects of altered flow and bed sediment on macroinvertebrates in stream mesocosms

Ivor Growns, John F. Murphy and J. Iwan Jones
 

We tested the separate and combined effects of altered flow and fines on macroinvertebrates. Sedimentation and decreased flows individually decreased density and richness of macroinvertebrates and altered assemblage and trait structure. Higher flows did not ameliorate any effects of sedimentation. Further research is required to find the lowest thresholds of sedimentation that have ecological impacts and determine the flows required to ameliorate those impacts.


Acoustic methods were used to investigate diel and seasonal fish distributions and biomass in a shallow Tunisian reservoir. Gas bubbles confounded spring and summer surveys; bubbles were rare and fish were distributed in open water at night during autumn and winter. Introduced carp, not targeted by fishers, were predominant. Advice on controlling carp to promote a desired fishery is offered.

Published online 11 February 2016

MF15102American eel (Anguilla rostrata) substrate selection for daytime refuge and winter thermal sanctuary

J. P. N. Tomie, D. K. Cairns, R. S. Hobbs, M. Desjardins, G. L. Fletcher and S. C. Courtenay
 

Summary.  American eels commonly occupy bays and estuaries of the southern Gulf of St Lawrence in both summer and winter. Winter use of this region is perplexing because seawater under winter ice is often cold enough to freeze and kill fish. We demonstrate that American eels lack antifreeze proteins, and instead, find thermal protection in mud burrows that are warmer than the overlying water.

Published online 21 March 2016

MF15347Modelling the distribution and density of the invasive seaweed Sargassum muticum (Fucales, Sargassaceae) in shallow subtidal areas

Giulia Cambiè, Diana Fernández-Márquez and Ramón Muiño
 

Introduced algae have the potential to substantially modify native communities. The present study describes the distribution and density of Sargassum muticum in shallow subtidal areas in Galicia (north-western Spain) and shows what factors might be behind its establishment. The study also demonstrates the usefulness of zero-inflated models to assess early and mid-stages of a seaweed invasion.

Published online 21 March 2016

MF15377Strong genetic differentiation among populations of the freshwater shrimp Caridina cantonensis in Hong Kong: implications for conservation of freshwater fauna in urban areas

Ling Ming Tsang, Kwok Ho Tsoi, Simon Kin-Fung Chan, Tony King-Tung Chan and Ka Hou Chu
 

Analysis of COI sequences of the shrimp Caridina cantonensis from streams in Hong Kong showed that populations from different streams are genetically distinct, whereas the genetic diversity within each stream is very low. The results suggested that a substantial amount of biodiversity might have been lost during the development of the city over the past century.

Published online 10 February 2016

MF15273Zooplankton generation following inundation of floodplain soils: effects of vegetation type and riverine connectivity

Alicia K. Catlin, Kevin J. Collier and Ian C. Duggan
 

We investigated the potential for zooplankton to emerge following inundation of dry soils on the lower Waikato River floodplain, New Zealand. Our findings indicate that scrub and forested floodplains can be important areas for large-bodied zooplankton production, and that maintaining vegetative heterogeneity on floodplains may promote trophic subsidies for migrating juvenile fish as floodwaters subside.

Published online 17 June 2016

MF15329The imperative need for nationally coordinated bioassessment of rivers and streams

Susan J. Nichols, Leon A. Barmuta, Bruce C. Chessman, Peter E. Davies, Fiona J. Dyer, Evan T. Harrison, Charles P. Hawkins, Iwan Jones, Ben J. Kefford, Simon Linke, Richard Marchant, Leon Metzeling, Katie Moon, Ralph Ogden, Michael Peat, Trefor B. Reynoldson and Ross M. Thompson
 

Rivers often span administrative boundaries, and their condition may be best protected and managed under national policies, supported by coordinated national bioassessment. To improve bioassessment practice in Australia we recommend: (1) convene a summit of policy makers and key scientists; (2) develop strategies and priorities to protect rivers and meet emerging challenges; (3) identify key biological indicators; (4) establish measures of success; and (5) develop plans for both ‘bottom-up’ community-driven bioassessment and ‘top-down’ government-led programs.

Published online 03 March 2016

MF15295The composition and health of fishes in residual dry season habitats in southern Africa (Strauch et al. 2015)

Brian Marshall, Albert Chakona, Denis Tweddle, Paul Skelton, Roger Bills and John Minshull
 

We provide a comment to highlight and correct some errors contained in a recently published paper on the community composition of fishes in dry-land rivers in north-western Zimbabwe. With its errors, inadequate sampling and data collection, and the superficial and confusing data analysis, this paper cannot be said to have advanced our understanding of the fishes of Zimbabwe.


Relationships between productivity and population biology (abundance, individual size, growth rates, longevity, secondary production and turnover rates) of two intertidal gastropods of different trophic levels, the herbivorous Cerithium atratum and the scavenger Nassarius vibex, in a sandflat environment were investigated. The life-history traits of the gastropod species responded to different trophic levels. Herbivores had higher abundance, growth and production efficiency than did scavengers.

Published online 28 June 2016

MF15284Mitigating the effects of barriers to freshwater fish migrations: the Australian experience

J. H. Harris, R. T. Kingsford, W. Peirson and L. J. Baumgartner
 

Dams, weirs and other barriers disrupt river connectivity and degrade fish communities worldwide. Fishways are in place at few sites relative to the numbers of barriers, and very few effectively mitigate barrier effects. Herein we review migratory behaviour among Australian fish and the effects of fish passage barriers. Australia’s highly variable hydrology challenges mitigation programs; options include basin-scale approaches; improved management of barriers, environmental flows and water quality; barrier removal; and development of improved fishway designs.

Published online 04 April 2016

MF15141Response of fish assemblage structure to changing flood and flow pulses in a large subtropical river

L. A. Espínola, A. P Rabuffetti, E Abrial, M. L. Amsler, M. C. A. Blettler, A. R. Paira, N. R. Simões and L. N. Santos
 

Fish assemblages of the Middle Paraná River floodplain were studied in the light of water variation. Several increases in water level and three flood pulses occurred during the period of study. Fish assemblage similarity was low between habitats during flood and flow pulses. Apparently, flow pulses would also function like floods, namely as mechanisms of spatio-temporal structuring of fish assemblages.

Published online 23 June 2016

MF16062Comparable cross-taxa risk perception by means of chemical cues in marine and freshwater crustaceans

Rohan M. Brooker and Danielle L. Dixson
 

In aquatic systems, odour cues can be used to quickly identify predation risk. Here, we show temperate marine and tropical freshwater shrimp avoid predator odours but not those of non-predators or conspecifics. Cues also alter habitat selection, with structurally complex habitats favoured when predator odour is present. Rapidly altering behaviour in response to perceived risk could reduce predation while increasing time available for tasks such as foraging.

Published online 18 July 2016

MF15354An analysis of recent saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) attacks in Timor-Leste and consequences for management and conservation

Brandon M. Sideleau, Karen S. Edyvane and Adam R. C. Britton
 

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.

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 08 July 2016

MF15436Assimilation of organic matter by two benthic consumers across gradients of latitude and nutrient enrichment

Andrea Nicastro, Ka-Man Lee and Melanie J. Bishop
 

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.


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.

Published online 26 July 2016

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
 

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.

Published online 27 July 2016

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
 

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.

Published online 27 July 2016

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
 

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.

Published online 27 July 2016

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
 

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.

Published online 08 April 2016

MF15071Increased spreading potential of the invasive Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) at its northern distribution limit in Europe due to warmer climate

Eli Rinde, Torulv Tjomsland, Dag Ø. Hjermann, Magdalena Kempa, Pia Norling and Venkat S. Kolluru
 

The Pacific oyster is a widely spread invasive species globally, with a great influence on native biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. How future climate will influence further spread and establishment of the species in the outer range of its present distribution is important knowledge to assess future risks and to plan mitigation actions. The present paper explores how future climate will affect the species spreading potential at its northern distribution limit in a temperate ecoregion, by three-dimensional oceanographic simulations using different climate scenarios.

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 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, Culum Brown and Tristan Guttridge
 

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 09 March 2016

MF15398Provision of environmental flows promotes spawning of a nationally threatened diadromous fish

W. M. Koster, F. Amtstaetter, D. R. Dawson, P. Reich and J. R. Morrongiello
 

In this study, we investigated spawning responses of Australian grayling to environmental flows over 2 years in three coastal rivers. Spawning activity was highest during within-channel flow pulses, especially during periods of targeted managed flows. Peak spawning occurred in late autumn and was positively related to flow duration. Our study demonstrates the importance of quantifying flow-ecology relationships by targeted monitoring and research in order to develop appropriate flow regimes.

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 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 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.

Published online 07 July 2016

MF15134Susceptibility of coral assemblages to successive bleaching events at Moorea, French Polynesia

A. G. Carroll, P. L. Harrison and M. Adjeroud
 

We examine the impacts of consecutive bleaching events in 2002 and 2003 on coral susceptibility across various habitats and depths at Moorea, French Polynesia. Bleaching effects were genus specific and highly variable at small spatial scales. This variability has important implications for assessing changes to coral community structure over time and for estimating coral-reef resistance and resilience to future bleaching disturbance.

Published online 20 July 2016

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
 

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.

Published online 21 March 2016

MF15296Direct and indirect effects of near-future pCO2 levels on zooplankton dynamics

Cédric L. Meunier, María Algueró-Muñiz, Henriette G. Horn, Julia A. F. Lange and Maarten Boersma
 

To disentangle the direct and indirect effects of ocean acidification on zooplankton growth, we undertook a study with two model organisms, Oxyrrhis marina and Acartia tonsa. Direct pH effects on consumers seem to be of lesser importance than the associated decrease in algal quality. The decrease in the quality of primary producers under high pCO2 conditions negatively affected zooplankton growth.

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 21 July 2016

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
 

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.

Published online 05 February 2016

MF15225Fish on the roof of the world: densities, habitats and trophic position of stone loaches (Triplophysa) in Tibetan streams

Dean Jacobsen, Søren Kock Laursen, Ladislav Hamerlik, Karen Moltesen, Anders Michelsen and Kirsten Seestern Christoffersen
 

We surveyed Tibetan streams between 4459 and 5062 m above sea level to obtain data on densities, habitat preferences, feeding selectivity and food web position of the stone loach Triplophysa; some of the world’s highest living and ecologically least studied fish. Densities were highest near lakes (1.6 individuals m–2) and decreased with altitude and glacial influence. Triplophysa was omnivorous, but was always at the top of the food web.

Published online 05 February 2016

MF15314Coral bleaching in turbid waters of north-western Australia

A. Lafratta, J. Fromont, P. Speare and C. H. L. Schönberg
 

Using towed imagery in turbid waters enabled a rapid, large-scale survey that observed severe thermal coral bleaching in March 2013 off Onslow, north-western Australia. Despite predominance of bleaching resistant species we found over 50% of all corals bleached in 10–15-m water depth. Recurrent heat stress is assumed to have structured the local coral community, eliminating thermally vulnerable species.

Published online 21 March 2016

MF15356Spatial and temporal variability of zooplankton–phytoplankton interactions in a large subtropical shallow lake dominated by non-toxic cyanobacteria

Luana Morais da Rosa, Luciana de Souza Cardoso, Luciane Oliveira Crossetti and David da Motta-Marques
 

The size-specific and composition relationships between zooplankton and phytoplankton were evaluated in a large subtropical lake. The zooplankton to phytoplankton biomass ratio was usually very low, indicating a weak top-down control; however, the strength of this interaction varied with zooplankton composition and temporal or spatial variability of the environmental factors. The environmental variability induced by wind action and diversification of niches played a substantial role in the capacity of zooplankton in controlling the phytoplankton biomass.


The present study used the global and local regression models to explore the relationships between walleye abundance (Stizostedion vitreum) distribution and habitat variables in Lake Erie. The relationship was found to vary spatially and was scale-dependent. Our study highlights the importance of considering local regression. It also provides extra knowledge on zonation of species-habitat relationships and validates walleye management units to a degree.

Published online 07 March 2016

MF15223Regional shifts in phytoplankton succession and primary productivity in the San Antonio Bay System (USA) in response to diminished freshwater inflows

Daniel L. Roelke, Hsiu-Ping Li, Carrie J. Miller-DeBoer, George M. Gable and Stephen E. Davis
 

In many coastal areas around the world freshwater inflows are threatened. The San Antonio Bay System (USA) is of particular interest because it is the winter home of the endangered whooping crane. Organisms of higher trophic levels might be deleteriously affected by reduced inflows because our study suggests that shifts in phytoplankton composition and location of productivity maxima will likely result from lower inflows.

Published online 16 May 2016

MF15336Eight river principles for navigating the science–policy interface

Melissa Parsons, Martin C. Thoms and Joseph E. Flotemersch
 

In this paper we propose eight principles that form a heuristic framework to navigate the interface between river science and river policy. These principles were qualitatively evaluated against the objectives of the Australian Water Act 2007 and specifically, the draft Murray–Darling Basin Plan; a component of the Act. We examine whether the eight principles of river science could be recognised in the design of the Water Act 2007 and the draft Basin Plan.

Published online 16 May 2016

MF15399Slow life-history traits of a neritic predator, the bronze whaler (Carcharhinus brachyurus)

Michael Drew, Paul Rogers and Charlie Huveneers
 

The present study provides the first length-at-age, growth and maturity estimates for the bronze whaler (Carcharhinus brachyurus) from Australian waters. Growth-model parameters combined with reproductive information identified C. brachyurus to be long-lived, slow growing and late maturing. These life-history characteristics highlight the potential vulnerability of C. brachyurus to anthropogenic impacts.

Published online 16 May 2016

MF15427Contrasting population structures of three Pristis sawfishes with different patterns of habitat use

N. M. Phillips, J. A. Chaplin, S. C. Peverell and D. L. Morgan
 

The present research has demonstrated how population structure differs in elasmobranchs with different patterns of habitat use. The dwarf and green sawfishes, which spend their entire life in marine waters, were found to have restricted gene flow in Australian waters. In contrast, the largetooth sawfish, which uses freshwater rivers as juveniles and marine waters as adults, was found to have male-biased dispersal in these waters.

Published online 16 May 2016

MF15434The distribution, significance and vulnerability of Australian rhodolith beds: a review

A. S. Harvey, R. M. Harvey and E. Merton
 

Rhodolith beds are major marine benthic algal communities, comparable in size and significance to kelp beds, seagrass meadows and coralline reefs. Our study indicated that rhodoliths (free-living coralline red algae) are common throughout 70% of Australia’s coastline, forming a vast natural resource in terms of area covered, biodiversity and carbonate production.

Published online 20 May 2016

MF15326Difference in the trophic structure of fish communities between artificial and natural habitats in a tropical estuary

Pedro Henrique Cipresso Pereira, Marcus Vinicius Bezerra dos Santos, Daniel Lino Lippi, Pedro Henrique de Paula Silva and Breno Barros
 

The present study demonstrated that fish abundance was up to threefold higher and species richness twofold higher on artificial structures compared with the natural habitat on a tropical estuary. In addition, fish trophic structure from an adjacent coral reef area showed more than 60% similarity with the fish community on the artificial structures surveyed.

Published online 03 August 2016

MF16020Environmental factors influencing the distribution and abundance of the introduced signal crayfish in the north of Iberian Peninsula

I. Vedia, D. Galicia, E. Baquero, J. Oscoz and R. Miranda
 

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.

Published online 29 April 2016

MF15292Distribution of fish larvae within a weakly tidal mangrove lagoon

J. Jaxion-Harm and M. R. Speight
 

We surveyed fish larvae in a semi-isolated mangrove lagoon and tested three different catch methods: minnow traps, light traps, and plankton tow nets. Overall, parrotfish and snapper were the most common larvae from coral-reef fish families, and anchovies were the most common lagoon habitat specialists. Although light traps were the most successful method, they were not as effective in turbid water.

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.

Published online 03 August 2016

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
 

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.

Published online 04 May 2016

MF14322Basal carbon sources and planktonic food web in a tropical lake: an isotopic approach

Paula C. J. Reis, Luiz A. Martinelli and Francisco A. R. Barbosa
 

The zooplankton of lakes can consume basal carbon sources originated in aquatic and terrestrial habitats and, it plays an important link between these sources and organisms in higher trophic levels such as fish. Using stable isotopes analyses, we showed that in a productive tropical lake, the reliance of mesozooplankton on basal carbon sources seems to follow the seasonal dynamics of in-lake primary production (algae) and terrestrial carbon (plant) inputs.


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 24 May 2016

MF15154Structure, dynamics and stability of a Mediterranean river food web

I. Peralta-Maraver, M. J. López-Rodríguez and J. M. Tierno de Figueroa
 

The present study describes the food web and trophic relationships of a macroinvertebrate assemblage of a permanent Mediterranean river during the four seasons of the year. Moreover, a quantitative approach to estimate the link strength was developed and applied. Finally, relationships between diversity (biological and functional) and food-web complexity are then analysed with the distribution of strong and weak links, and their permanence over time, identified.


The study used cameras dropped from boats to examine fish populations in and around a small marine reserve in Tasmania, to assess their potential as a monitoring tool. The study found that fish populations differed depending on location, depth and bait, with fish abundance increasing significantly with depth. The research validated the use of underwater cameras for monitoring deep reefs.

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.

Published online 03 June 2016

MF15391Potential of submerged macrophytes to support food webs in lowland agricultural streams

Robyn L. Paice, Jane M. Chambers and Belinda J. Robson
 

Stable isotopes were used to investigate the role of submerged aquatic plants (macrophytes) in agricultural stream food webs. Macrophytes made moderate contribution to food webs, but the contribution of macrophytes and their epiphytes was higher where riparian zones were degraded. Many macroinvertebrates were generalist feeders, so these resources may compensate for lost riparian vegetation food inputs in degraded streams.

Published online 03 June 2016

MF15408Alpha and beta diversity of freshwater meiofauna at different spatial scales in a Neotropical lotic system

T. Q. Araújo, H. H. Checon and A. R. S. Garraffoni
 

Spatial and temporal patterns of meiofaunal diversity in a Neotropical lotic ecosystem were investigated. Local and among-areas scales were the highest contributors to overall richness, suggesting local species aggregation and environmental variability as drivers of meiofauna diversity. Temporal diversity was aggregated primarily at the monthly scale. The differences among areas contributed to changes in community composition. Degradation levels and precipitation affected meiofaunal abundance and structure.


The importance of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) beds, dominated by seagrass, as a habitat for shrimp in relation to their distance to a tidal inlet was evaluated in a subtropical coastal lagoon (Laguna Madre of Tamaulipas, Mexico). The SAV bed located 1 km from the inlet had consistently higher shrimp abundance during the day and night, whereas the distant SAV bed (25 km from the inlet) was apparently limited by recruitment, resulting in low shrimp densities.

Published online 16 June 2016

MF16024Abundance patterns at the invasion front: the case of Siganus luridus in Linosa (Strait of Sicily, Central Mediterranean Sea)

Ernesto Azzurro, Giulio Franzitta, Marco Milazzo, Michel Bariche and Emanuela Fanelli
 

The dusky spinefoot (Siganus luridus) entered the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal, conquering the eastern sectors of the basin, with marked effects on both natural habitats and native communities. In this study we monitored a recent population of this tropical invader, which settled around the island of Linosa in 2003. The results show how the invasion had expanded to the west, with increasing abundance at the invasion front.

Published online 22 February 2016

MF15298Estimating the carbon biomass of marine net phytoplankton from abundance based on samples from China seas

Yang Yang, Xiaoxia Sun, Mingliang Zhu, Xuan Luo and Shan Zheng
 

Significant regression relationships existed between carbon biomass and cell abundance for phytoplankton based on net samples from the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea. We established carbon biomass : cell abundance relationships for all phytoplankton cells, diatoms, dinoflagellates and each dominant genus. We suggest using these relationships to improve standing stock research in marine ecology.

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 17 June 2016

MF15345Spatiotemporal variation among demersal ichthyofauna in a subtropical estuary bordering World Heritage-listed and marine protected areas: implications for resource management

Fernanda E. Possatto, Matt K. Broadhurst, Charles A. Gray, Henry L. Spach and Marcelo R. Lamour
 

Teleost spatiotemporal distributions and key abiotic associations were quantified throughout an important estuary within Brazil’s Atlantic Forest biosphere. As in other subtropical estuaries around the world, assemblages mostly comprised juveniles. Five species dominated samples, and their distributions were either negatively affected by salinity or positively affected by temperature or depth. These patterns were attributed to species-specific life stage requirements, and ultimately support clear conservation strategies.

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.


Status and trends of larval populations of Petromyzon marinus were studied in north-western Spain by annual electrofishing surveys (2007–2011) and data from other European regions were compiled. The largest populations and the main fisheries of this threatened species are located in south-western Europe. Signs of population increases were registered; however, more data are needed to confirm a possible overall recovery.

Published online 01 March 2016

MF15361Using environmental (e)DNA sequencing for aquatic biodiversity surveys: a beginner’s guide

Jennifer L. A. Shaw, Laura Weyrich and Alan Cooper
 

Environmental (e)DNA sequencing can be used to identify entire biological communities in a rapid and inexpensive way, and has the potential to benefit aquatic biodiversity surveys. The aim of this review is to provide guidance to non-geneticists regarding eDNA sequencing for biological surveys and to outline the requirements that need to be considered before the technique can be incorporated into aquatic biomonitoring programs.


Regulated rivers lack large discharge events or floods, which play a critical role in controlling fine sediment deposition and the maintenance of healthy in-channel condition. Five large environmental floods were released into the regulated Snowy River to mitigate fine sediment accumulation within the river channel. This article identifies the effectiveness of multiple intra-annual floods of various magnitudes at mobilising fine sediment within the regulated river channel.


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 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 25 May 2016

MF15365Carbon sources for aquatic food webs of riverine and lacustrine tropical waterholes with variable groundwater influence

N. E. Pettit, D. M. Warfe, P. G. Close, B. J. Pusey, R. Dobbs, C. Davies, D. Valdez and P. M. Davies
 

Food web studies help us understand how ecosystems work. In wetlands of the Kimberley region of north-west Australia we found that microscopic algae is a major source of food for aquatic animals. Groundwater inputs to some waterholes were enough to allow waterholes to persist throughout the dry season. Using groundwater for development may affect the ecological and cultural value of freshwater wetlands through reducing permanence and altering foodwebs.


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 26 May 2016

MF15162Effects of small changes in riparian forest complexity on aquatic insect bioindicators in Brazilian subtropical streams

A. E. Siegloch, R. Schmitt, M. Spies, M. Petrucio and M. I. M. Hernández
 

This study shows that small changes in riparian forest complexity affect the composition of Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera and Trichoptera insects across a small environmental gradient in subtropical streams. The genera Kempnyia (Plecoptera) and Zelusia (Ephemeroptera) were indicative of streams with greater forest complexity, whereas Farrodes (Ephemeroptera) was significant in streams of intermediate riparian forest complexity.

Published online 20 June 2016

MF15068Common carp disrupt ecosystem structure and function through middle-out effects

Mark A. Kaemingk, Jeffrey C. Jolley, Craig P. Paukert, David W. Willis, Kjetil Henderson, Richard S. Holland, Greg A. Wanner and Mark L. Lindvall
 

Incorporating species trait information may provide insight into complex trophic interactions. In this study, we evaluated the effect of the common carp, Cyprinus carpio, on aquatic ecosystems, focusing particularly on middle-out-mediated effects. Common carp foraging activities and abiotic effects caused a shift in ecosystem structure and function. Specific autecology information will be critical for understanding the effects of ecosystem engineers and invasive species.


Juvenile penaeid prawns were sampled from temperate intertidal marsh and subtidal creeks. Very few prawns were sampled within the intertidal marsh, suggesting these habitats may generally not be directly utilised by juvenile penaeids in temperate Australia. Larger school prawns (M. macleayi) sampled from the middle of subtidal creeks compared to edge habitat. Although juvenile penaeids may not directly utilise intertidal marshes, they may still export important resources for prawns in subtidal creeks.

Published online 14 April 2016

MF15294Following fish feeding associations in marine and freshwater habitats

José Sabino, Luciana P. Andrade, Ivan Sazima, Fabrício B. Teresa, Sergio R. Floeter, Cristina Sazima and Roberta M. Bonaldo
 

Following associations are composed of nuclear species that disturb the substratum when foraging, and followers that capitalise on food resources. We compared following associations between a marine reef and a freshwater stream. Associations in the freshwater resembled three iconic reef interactions. These similarities between the systems outnumbered the differences, probably because of the shared water environment and the simple requirements for this association.

Published online 04 May 2016

MF15323Zinc requirement for two phytoplankton strains of the Tasman Sea

Marie Sinoir, Andrew R. Bowie, Mathieu Mongin, Edward C. V. Butler and Christel S. Hassler
 

Extremely low zinc concentrations have been raising the possibility of a potential limitation for growth and distribution of marine phytoplankton. Representatives of two phytoplankton taxa (a pennate diatom and coccolithophorid) were found to adapt and grow at the extremely low zinc concentrations typical of pelagic Tasman Sea. Modification of cell physiology is suggested to be the common adaptive mechanism, although performed differently by each.

Published online 18 July 2016

MF15388How do abiotic environmental variables shape benthic diatom assemblages in subtropical streams?

Wing Ying Tsoi, Wade L. Hadwen and F. Sheldon
 

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.

Published online 18 July 2016

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
 

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.

Published online 24 May 2016

MF15473Effectiveness of two tagging devices in the sea cucumber Holothuria (Halodeima) grisea

Ruber Rodríguez-Barreras, Julián López-Morell and Alberto M. Sabat
 

Two types of tags were evaluated in the holothuroid Holothuria grisea: an external T-bar and a passive integrated transponder (PIT) tag. Neither the T-bar nor the PIT tags fulfilled the requirements of high retention required for long-term studies. However, we do recommend the use of T-bars for short-term studies for H. grisea under low complexity conditions.

Published online 24 May 2016

MF16005Occurrence of juvenile bull sharks (Carcharhinus leucas) in the Navua River in Fiji

Diego Cardeñosa, Kerstin B. J. Glaus and Juerg M. Brunnschweiler
 

We interviewed local fishermen and conducted a fishing survey, so as to assess presence and abundance of bull sharks in the Navua River in Fiji. Both the interviews and the fishing survey confirmed the presence of young sharks. Our findings provide a preliminary characterisation of a potential shark parturition or nursery area from a data-poor region.


In Mediterranean shallow lakes, there is a primary effect of external nutrient loads and temperature on eutrophication. However, in these lakes, both senescence and the removal of aquatic plants strongly affects nutrient dynamics, and the amount of the external nutrient load determines the recovery of the lake once nutrient discharges cease.

Published online 18 July 2016

MF15478Biology and ecology of Zearaja maugeana, an Endangered skate restricted to two south-western Tasmanian estuaries

M. A. Treloar, N. S. Barrett and G. J. Edgar
 

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.

Published online 18 July 2016

MF16013Dietary composition of endangered seahorses determined by stable isotope analysis

S. Valladares, D. X. Soto and M. Planas
 

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.


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.

Published online 20 June 2016

MF15253Aggregations and reproductive events of the narrownose smooth-hound shark (Mustelus schmitti) in relation to temperature and depth in coastal waters of the south-western Atlantic Ocean (38–42°S)

Mariano Elisio, Jorge H. Colonello, Federico Cortés, Andrés J. Jaureguizar, Gustavo M. Somoza and Gustavo J. Macchi
 

The present study provided evidence of interannual changes in the M. schmitti reproductive aggregation patterns in coastal waters of the south-western Atlantic Ocean, associated with different bottom-temperature regimens, depending on depth. The M. schmitti reproductive aggregations, observed during spring, were associated with temperatures above 16–17°C, which occurred mainly in shallow waters. The results suggested that changes in depth-dependent bottom-temperature patterns may be important drivers of the reproductive dynamics of this species.

Published online 01 March 2016

MF15392Mangrove fish of São Tomé Island (Gulf of Guinea): new occurrences and habitat usage

P. M. Félix, P. Chainho, R. F. Lima, J. L. Costa, A. J. Almeida, I. Domingos and A. C. Brito
 

Human disturbance of the sea–mangrove connection is currently hampering the natural hydrodynamics of both mangroves evaluated in this study (i.e. Conchas and Malanza). This, and the presence of the Mozambique tilapia, as elements of ecological disruption, may act as limiting factors for the potential biodiversity of the systems.

Published online 14 June 2016

MF15359Regionalisation of freshwater fish assemblages in the Murray–Darling Basin, Australia

Serena H. Hamilton, Carmel A. Pollino and Keith F. Walker
 

Data from the Murray–Darling Basin Authority’s Sustainable Rivers Audit were used to classify the Murray–Darling Basin into nine regions with similar historical fish assemblages. We demonstrate how a regionalisation framework can be useful for characterising fish communities and providing a baseline for assessing change in species assemblages.

Published online 14 June 2016

MF15451Sedimentation in dryland river waterholes: a threat to aquatic refugia?

Michael A. Reid, Martin C. Thoms, Stephen Chilcott and Kathryn Fitzsimmons
 

Deep pools of intermittent rivers in semi-arid regions provide refuge for aquatic biota during no flow periods. Pool depth is critical because it controls how long pools persist between flows. This study examines sedimentation rates in deep pools of intermittent rivers in eastern Australia to determine if rates have increased since European settlement and if depth reductions arising from higher rates reduce pool persistence times. Results show sedimentation has increased substantially and reduced persistence times by several months.


Multi-generational exposure of oysters Saccostrea glomerata to acid sulfate soil runoff altered predator–prey interactions between the oysters and mud crabs Scylla serrata. Mud crab predation was greater on oysters from reference sites than affected sites, and the time mud crabs spent foraging was positively correlated with oyster mortality, providing a potential mechanism for observed trends in oyster mortality.

Published online 12 July 2016

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
 

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.

Published online 12 July 2016

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
 

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 present study proposes otolith marking as a method to unequivocally detect selected pre-flexion fish larvae in the digestive tracts of their fish predators, even several hours after their ingestion. Mark detection levels were high (>65%) even after 9 h from prey ingestion. This constitutes a single and inexpensive technique that could be applied in both laboratory and field experimental studies of predator–prey interactions.

Published online 24 March 2016

MF15095Quantitative food webs and invertebrate assemblages of a large River: a spatiotemporal approach in floodplain shallow lakes

Débora A. Carvalho, Verónica Williner, Federico Giri, Carina Vaccari and Pablo A. Collins
 

We tested the hypothesis that the hydrological regime of large rivers affects the structure of invertebrate communities and food webs, by investigating two lakes with different connectivity to the fluvial system and over three hydroperiods. The present study exemplifies a quantitative approach to floodplain food-web analysis, which can be a valuable tool for the analysis of spatiotemporal variation in trophic interactions.


Management of invasive species largely focuses on early detection and eradication; however, once established, invaders could also be controlled by exploiting local adaptations in native species. The present research demonstrated that dwarf galaxias (Galaxiella pusilla), a threatened Australian freshwater fish, has adaptations to habitat drying that could underpin efforts to control invasive eastern gambusia (Gambusia holbrooki) within critical habitats.

Published online 18 March 2016

MF16006Genetic analyses reveal limited dispersal and recovery potential in the large freshwater crayfish Euastacus armatus from the southern Murray–Darling Basin

Nick S. Whiterod, Sylvia Zukowski, Martin Asmus, Dean Gilligan and Adam D. Miller
 

This paper investigated population genetic structure of Euastacus armatus across its present range to provide insight into recovery potential in the species. We revealed low levels of gene flow sufficient to maintain population sizes and genetic diversity, but also local genetic structuring and limitations on dispersal were evident. These findings forecast limited potential for natural recolonisation and recovery following the decline of local populations.


In the present study we assessed the origin of introduced populations of Mytilus galloprovincialis in the north-western Pacific, providing new insight into the biogeography of M. galloprovincialis. The results showed that populations of M. galloprovincialis in the north-western Pacific were introduced from the middle Mediterranean Sea and that the Dalian population was the first colonised population in Chinese coastal waters.

Published online 24 March 2016

MF15212Spatial and temporal changes of three prey-fish assemblage structure in a hypersaline lagoon: the Coorong, South Australia

M. A. Hossain, Q. Ye, S. C. Leterme and J. G. Qin
 

The present study investigated spatiotemporal variation of key prey fishes in the Murray Estuary and Coorong. Small-mouth hardyhead dominates the South Lagoon, and sandy sprat and Tamar goby occur in the North Lagoon at a low abundance, but both are absent from the South Lagoon. The change of prey-fish abundance is mainly driven by salinity. The study has improved our understanding on the dynamics of small-bodied fish species and key environmental factors regulating fish distribution.


The biology of angel sharks (Squatina sp.) and sawharks (Pristiophorus sp.) was assessed using animals captured in south-eastern Australia. Data indicated that there are morphological features that allow the separation of concurrent species, and we provide ratios that allow accurate predictions of total lengths from truncated specimens.

Published online 14 July 2016

MF15431Effects of area and available energy on fish assemblages of tropical streams

Bruno Bastos Gonçalves, Francisco Leonardo Tejerina-Garro and Rodrigo Assis de Carvalho
 

In this paper, we tested the influence of species–area relationship and species–energy association on taxonomic richness and functional richness of fish assemblages of tropical streams. Using data of two distinct basins, we demonstrated that the influence of area and energy varies for each basin, a possible response to local conditions of the environment.


The invasive apple snail Pomacea canaliculata feeds primarily on aquatic plants, but some anecdotal reports indicate that it also consumes carrion. Herein, we studied carrion ingestion and its effects on growth, concluding that carrion may be important as an alternative resource when aquatic plants are absent. This feeding flexibility helps explain the potential of P. canaliculata to establish in new wetlands and, paradoxically, its persistent effects on aquatic vegetation.


This study used a creative mesocosm-approach to explore the effects of water reduction on abiotic and biotic components of streams, primarily on the macroinvertebrate community. The study was performed in two lowland streams with contrasting nutrients and used a before–after–control–impact-paired design. The negative observed effects of stagnation and drought on water quality and benthic invertebrate communities reflect the great susceptibility of lowland streams to global changes.

Published online 16 June 2016

MF15183The effect of survey method on the detection probabilities of frogs and tadpoles in large wetland complexes

Skye Wassens, Andrew Hall and Jennifer Spencer
 

The choice of survey method can influence both the effectiveness and efficiency of monitoring programs. The present paper compares six commonly employed survey methods for six species of frogs and their tadpoles. Each survey method differed with respect to the probability of detection and the number of surveys required to determine the species.


Ephemeral rivers in northern Australia break up into a series of waterholes during the dry season, within which fish have to survive. This depends on the waterholes lasting throughout the dry season and with temperatures that are not lethal. Using comprehensive waterhole temperature data, we found that fish could survive in waterholes that remained deeper than 0.5 m, especially if they were turbid.


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.

Published online 27 April 2016

MF15267Another New Zealand centenarian: age validation of black cardinalfish (Epigonus telescopus) using lead–radium and bomb radiocarbon dating

Dianne M. Tracey, Allen H. Andrews, Peter L. Horn and Helen L. Neil
 

This is the first instance of applying two independent techniques in tandem to validate age-reader interpretations of a New Zealand fish species. From zone counts on otoliths (ear-bones), black cardinalfish had been estimated to live longer than 100 years. The age-validation procedures that confirmed the longevity were lead–radium disequilibria, which uses the natural decay of radium-226 into lead-210 as a natural clock, and bomb radiocarbon (Δ14C) dating, which relies on the marine signal created by nuclear testing.

Published online 27 April 2016

MF15349Improving reliability in environmental DNA detection surveys through enhanced quality control

Elise M. Furlan and Dianne Gleeson
 

Current inadequacies in quality control throughout environmental DNA (eDNA) surveys create the potential for method error to produce false negative detections. We show how a secondary, generic primer, designed to co-amplify endogenous DNA sampled during species-specific eDNA surveys, can be used to monitor method success throughout all stages of eDNA analysis. This positive control enables the distinction of method error from informative non-amplification results, improving reliability in eDNA surveys.

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

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 29 June 2016

MF16029First report of Aphanizomenon favaloroi occurrence in Europe associated with saxitoxins and a massive fish kill in Lake Vistonis, Greece

Maria Moustaka-Gouni, Anastasia Hiskia, Savvas Genitsaris, Matina Katsiapi, Korina Manolidi, Sevasti-Kiriaki Zervou, Christophoros Christophoridis, Theodoros M. Triantis, Triantafyllos Kaloudis and Sotiris Orfanidis
 

The cyanobacterium Aphanizomenon favaloroi was identified for the first time in Europe in the Mediterranean brackish Lake Vistonis during July–August 2014. During its occurrence, the cyanotoxins saxitoxin and neo-saxitoxin were detected in the lake, coinciding with a massive fish kill. This saxitoxin-producing species may pose a health risk to animals and humans and have adverse effects on water quality.

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.


Lycengraulis grossidens originated from freshwater lineages and is currently distributed in estuaries and coastal zones. Nevertheless, based on otolith chemistry, there are landlocked individuals in the Uruguay River. The present study investigated the spatiotemporal scenario by which these landlocked individuals reached their current distribution: whether through a north-to-south continental route based on the connection between basins or from the marine environment and showed a phylogenetic history and biogeography consistent with a north-to-south continental colonisation route.

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