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

Marine and Freshwater Research

Marine and Freshwater Research

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

Editor-in-Chief: Max Finlayson

 

Current Issue

Marine and Freshwater Research

Volume 68 Number 10 2017


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

MF16304A DNA barcode database of Australia’s freshwater macroinvertebrate fauna

M. E. Carew, S. J. Nichols, J. Batovska, R. St Clair, N. P. Murphy, M. J. Blacket and M. E. Shackleton
pp. 1788-1802

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

MF16244Policy considerations for managing wetlands under a changing climate

C. M. Finlayson, S. J. Capon, D. Rissik, J. Pittock, G. Fisk, N. C. Davidson, K. A. Bodmin, P. Papas, H. A. Robertson, M. Schallenberg, N. Saintilan, K. Edyvane and G. Bino
pp. 1803-1815

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

MF16322Large-scale dieback of mangroves in Australia

Norman C. Duke, John M. Kovacs, Anthony D. Griffiths, Luke Preece, Duncan J. E. Hill, Penny van Oosterzee, Jock Mackenzie, Hailey S. Morning and Damien Burrows
pp. 1816-1829

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


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


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

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

Kanchana Niwanthi Warnakulasooriya, Edward Charles Villers Butler, Karen Susanne Gibb and Niels Crosley Munksgaard
pp. 1855-1866

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

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

Charles Hinchliffe, Trisha Atwood, Quinn Ollivier and Edd Hammill
pp. 1867-1876

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


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

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

Yunyan Chen, Xiaoxia Sun, Mingliang Zhu, Shan Zheng, Yongquan Yuan and Michel Denis
pp. 1887-1900

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


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


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

MF16153Tropical seaweed beds as important habitats for juvenile fish

S. A. Tano, M. Eggertsen, S. A. Wikström, C. Berkström, A. S. Buriyo and C. Halling
pp. 1921-1934

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

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

Rodrigo Moncayo-Estrada, Carlos Escalera-Gallardo, Miriam Arroyo-Damián, Oswaldo Campos-Campos and José T. Silva-García
pp. 1935-1949

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


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

MF16019Modelling the distribution of fish around an artificial reef

James A. Smith, William K. Cornwell, Michael B. Lowry and Iain M. Suthers
pp. 1955-1964

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


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

Online Early

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

Published online 20 October 2017

MF17103Role of environmental and spatial processes structuring fish assemblages in streams of the eastern Amazon

N. L. Benone, R. Ligeiro, L. Juen and L. F. A. Montag
 

The roles of environment and space in stream fish assemblages were evaluated in distinct hydrological periods in the eastern Amazon. The results indicate that spatial and environmental factors play complementary roles, and that diversity was affected by changes in the habitat connectivity experienced in different hydrological periods.

Published online 20 October 2017

MF17096Response of demersal fish assemblages to an extreme flood event in a freshwater-deprived estuary in South Africa

P. Nodo, N. C. James, A.-R. Childs and M. D. V. Nakin
 

A large flood (436.6 m3 s–1) that occurred in the freshwater-deprived Kariega Estuary resulted in a normal longitudinal salinity gradient being present throughout the study period (December 2013–November 2014). This resulted in an increase in the abundance of early juvenile estuarine-associated marine fish, particularly in the middle and upper reaches, which was linked to an increase in nutrients and food availability, as well as increased nursery habitats.

Published online 20 October 2017

MF17137Tracking anguillid eels: five decades of telemetry-based research

Mélanie Béguer-Pon, Julian J. Dodson, Martin Castonguay, Don Jellyman, Kim Aarestrup and Katsumi Tsukamoto
 

Eels have been remotely tracked in their freshwater, brackish and marine habitats for five decades to understand the extent of their migrations and to ensure the conservation of these enigmatic species. Herein we review 105 studies that tracked eels and summarise findings relative to the species, life history stages and habitats studied. In addition, we discuss the need for continued development of telemetry technology and future research directions in eel biology.


Pristipomoides filamentosus, a long-lived deep-water eteline snapper, is an economically important component of commercial and recreational fisheries throughout much of the Indo-Pacific region. This study provides the first sex-specific, histologically validated estimates of size at maturity for P. filamentosus in the Main Hawaiian Islands or elsewhere. Estimates are compared with those previously derived for the species using non-histological methods, and suggestions for re-evaluating minimum legal size regulations for fisheries of the species in Hawaii are included.


The rock hind is a medium-sized Atlantic reef grouper exploited by fisheries; it represents an important resource for small and medium-scale fisheries along the coast of Brazil. This study reports on the pattern of sexual development and demography of a protogynous species on the north-east coast of Brazil. A lack of fisheries management endangers the future sustainability of fisheries for this and other hermaphroditic species of groupers that otherwise may suffer declines similar to those observed for larger species.

Published online 13 October 2017

MF16400Business as usual for the human use of Moreton Bay following marine park zoning

R. A. Kenyon, R. C. Babcock, Q. Dell, E. Lawrence, C. Moeseneder and M. L. Tonks
 

Rezoning of Moreton Bay Marine Park increased the no-take area from 0.5 to 16%, incorporating 10% of each major habitat type. Displacement of fishing effort was 6.3%, demonstrating that science-based conservation and community consultation can protect biodiverse habitats, while maintaining existing uses of a marine park. However, achieving biodiversity conservation must rely on ensuring no-take zones adequately represent ecological processes.

Published online 13 October 2017

MF17110Scale deformity descriptions for 23 species of fish, from various geographical areas and habitats

Laith A. Jawad, Ana L. Ibáñez, Zahra Sadighzadeh, Joacim Näslund and Erhan Ünlü
 

In this study, 63 cases of deformities were reported from 23 fish species collected from five countries. The observed abnormalities are discussed within the framework of contaminated aquatic environments, with a goal of recognising the cause of abnormality. There were 52 cases of slight and 9 of severe scale anomalies. The results of this study should assist in future work on the environmental condition.

Published online 10 October 2017

MF16388Reproduction and embryo viability of a range-limited tropical freshwater fish exposed to fluctuating hypoxia

Nicole Flint, Richard G. Pearson and Michael R. Crossland
 

Hypoxia can profoundly affect fish reproduction and larval development, but its effects on fish from tropical Australia are not well understood. In the study, the effects of diel fluctuating hypoxia on reproduction were identified for a range-limited tropical freshwater fish. Utchee Creek rainbowfish appear to be more hypoxia tolerant than many temperate species, but are still susceptible to the increasing frequency and intensity of hypoxia that may occur as a result of climate change.

Published online 10 October 2017

MF17116Nekton communities as indicators of habitat functionality in Philippine mangrove plantations

Severino G. Salmo III, Ian R. Tibbetts and Norman C. Duke
 

This study provides insights into nekton communities as possible indicators of habitat functionality in planted mangroves. The community structure of nekton was compared between planted and natural mangrove stands (as a reference trajectory). Nekton assemblage in general (especially fish species) is not a reliable restoration indicator because it is not entirely dependent on mangroves. Crustaceans demonstrated more dependency on habitat structural complexity and food offered by mangroves.


The present study is the first to investigate the bacterial communities associated with the harmful dinoflagellate Prorocentrum minimum using a pyrosequencing assay. Throughout the study, particle-associated (PA) and free-living (FL) bacterial communities were significantly associated with the growth phases of P. minimum. Although the FL and PA bacterial communities differed significantly, Roseobacter and Marinobacter clades showed a close association with the growth of P. minimum in both communities.

Published online 26 September 2017

MF16290Does the reintroduction of large wood in a large dryland river system benefit fish assemblages at the reach scale?

Adrian Matheson, Martin Thoms, Mark Southwell and Michael Reid
 

This study assesses the effect of reintroducing large wood on fish assemblages along the Barwon-Darling River, Australia. Results demonstrate that reintroducing large wood had limited influence on fish. It is hypothesised the lack of a detectable response by fish was because the physical character and position of the reintroduced wood pieces didn’t replicate ‘natural’ reference conditions.

Published online 26 September 2017

MF17156Nitrogen removal during the cold season by constructed floating wetlands planted with Oenanthe javanica

Penghe Wang, Nasreen Jeelani, Jie Zuo, Hui Zhang, Dehua Zhao, Zhengjie Zhu, Xin Leng and Shuqing An
 

The present study shows that a constructed floating wetlands (CFWs) system planted with Chinese celery (Oenanthe javanica) is a viable option for nitrogen removal from waste water during the low-temperature season (mean water temperature <10°C) and that nitrogen removal is better from CFW systems with vesuvianite as a substrate than from those without a substrate.

Published online 26 September 2017

MF17133Water quality affects the structure of copepod assemblages along the Sfax southern coast (Tunisia, southern Mediterranean Sea)

Zaher Drira, Salma Kmiha-Megdiche, Houda Sahnoun, Marc Pagano, Marc Tedetti and Habib Ayadi
 

Copepod species diversity along the southern coastline of Sfax, Tunisia, depends on anthropogenic inputs. Oithona nana, Paracalanus parvus, Harpacticus littoralis and Tisbe battagliai were spread along the coast and were more adapted to coastal anthropogenic inputs. The Shannon–Wiener index, H′, was higher in the southern, less affected, stations than in the northern stations, which were affected by sewage to a greater extent.

Published online 26 September 2017

MF17018Feeding ecology of the piked spurdog Squalus megalops (Chondrichthyes: Squalidae) in the Gulf of Gabès (central Mediterranean Sea)

Sondes Marouani, Hasna Kadri, Sami Karaa and Mohamed Nejmeddine Bradai
 

Analysis of the stomach contents of the 630 Squalus megalops examined in the Gulf of Gabès (Tunisia) showed that the species consumed teleosts, cephalopods and crustaceans. Significant differences in the diet related to size, season and sex were noted. Trophic position and quantitative analysis revealed that the species is a secondary consumer and a generalist feeder.

Published online 21 September 2017

MF17189Low-cost device for retrieval of moorings deployed with underwater remote release systems

D. A. Crook, B. J. Adair and L. J. Hetherington
 

This paper provides a description and evaluation of a retrieval pod that can be attached to remote release underwater telemetric or oceanographic devices to facilitate the retrieval of moorings. The system was successfully tested in an estuary after consecutive 6-month deployments. The pods are a convenient and low-cost option for the retrieval of moorings deployed with remote release systems.

Published online 15 September 2017

MF17030Characterisation and monitoring of one of the world's most valuable ecotourism animals, the southern stingray at Stingray City, Grand Cayman

Jeremy J. Vaudo, Bradley M. Wetherbee, Guy C. M. Harvey, Jessica C. Harvey, Alexandra J. F. Prebble, Mark J. Corcoran, Matthew D. Potenski, Keith A. Bruni, Robert T. Leaf, Alan D. Henningsen, Jeremy S. Collie and Mahmood S. Shivji
 

Over 30 years of provisioning has led to a predictable aggregation of southern stingrays in Grand Cayman, which is visited by over one million people annually. Despite the economic importance of this aggregation, there had never been a formal assessment of the aggregation. Using previous tagging data and structured censuses, we describe the dynamics of this popular wildlife tourism destination.

Published online 14 September 2017

MF17173Is climate change driving recruitment failure in Australian bass Macquaria novemaculeata in southern latitudes of the species range?

Daniel J. Stoessel, John R. Morrongiello, Tarmo A. Raadik, Jarod Lyon and Peter Fairbrother
 

The Australian bass is a long-lived native fish. Little is known of the timing of flows important for recruitment of the species in the south of its range. We found recruitment was related to high flows in spring and increasing water temperatures at the time. Lower rainfall and higher temperatures in the region may result in prolonged periods of recruitment failure over the medium to longer term.

Published online 12 September 2017

MF17139Successful mangrove establishment along an artificially created tidal creek at Port Hedland, Western Australia

Paul L. A. Erftemeijer, Nicole Wylie and Garnet J. Hooper
 

Mangrove seedlings planted along an artificial tidal creek at Port Hedland, Australia, showed 18% survival after 3 years. Large numbers of seedlings had recruited naturally into the site. Seedling survival was affected by tidal elevation, but not by creek bank design or erosion protection. Given the right environmental conditions, mangroves will re-establish naturally, although recovery may take >10 years in this semi-arid region.

Published online 12 September 2017

MF17086Combined effects of predation risk and food quality on freshwater detritivore insects

Maria D. Bordalo, Hugo C. Vieira, Andreia C. M. Rodrigues, Rita Rosa, Amadeu M. V. M. Soares and João L. T. Pestana
 

Because predation risk and food quality are crucial in ecological communities, it is important to understand their combined effects to freshwater invertebrates, namely aquatic insect larvae, which are considered important links in freshwater food webs. Leaf decomposition decreased under predator presence, impairing insect larvae growth, this effect being exacerbated when Eucalyptus globulus, a widespread invasive species, was given as a food source.

Published online 12 September 2017

MF17062Ephemeral parasitism on blooming diatoms in a temperate estuary

Valeria A. Guinder, M. Cecilia Carcedo, Natalia Buzzi, Juan Carlos Molinero, Celeste López Abbate, Fernández Severini Melisa, Biancalana Florencia and Stefanie Kühn
 

During a routine environmental monitoring in the Bahía Blanca Estuary, a temperate and eutrophic ecosystem on the Argentine coast, a parasitic infection was documented on phytoplankton. The host-specific infection on diatoms co-occurred with an extreme precipitation period in the region. Afterwards, the phytoplankton composition and size structure shifted towards dominance of smaller species.

Published online 08 September 2017

MF16166Understanding climate-change adaptation on Kakadu National Park, using a combined diagnostic and modelling framework: a case study at Yellow Water wetland

Leo X. C. Dutra, Peter Bayliss, Sandra McGregor, Peter Christophersen, Kelly Scheepers, Emma Woodward, Emma Ligtermoet and Lizandra F. C. Melo
 

We have developed an approach to assess sea-level rise effects on socio-ecological systems, using Yellow Water wetland on Kakadu National Park as a case study. Sea-level rise will cause profound changes in the Park, but it may also provide an opportunity to bring together Indigenous and non-Indigenous knowledge towards a commonly perceived threat. Strategies that facilitate Indigenous people’s participation in research and monitoring programs are needed to improve understanding of impacts and enhance adaptive capacity.

Published online 08 September 2017

MF17003Distance decay as a descriptor of the diatom compositional variation in tropical reservoirs

Gisele C. Marquardt, Saúl Blanco and Carlos E. de M. Bicudo
 

Distance decay was used as a descriptor of the compositional variation in diatom community similarity over six reservoirs (São Paulo, Brazil). Similarity decreased with distance between habitats and seasons, but the results were not statistically significant for surface sediment assemblages. Diatom communities were controlled more by limited dispersal, probably as a result of the water quality and scale of the study area.

Published online 08 September 2017

MF16360Muscle and carapace tissue–diet isotope discrimination factors for the freshwater crayfish Cherax destructor

Debashish Mazumder, Mathew P. Johansen, Brian Fry and Emma Davis
 

This study has increased our understanding of how isotopes of carbon and nitrogen are incorporated into different tissues of consumers within a freshwater food chain. The study identified that isotopic ratios of these elements vary significantly between tissues, but strong correlations between muscle and shell suggest that the shell can be used as an alternative for muscle in certain circumstances.

Published online 04 September 2017

MF16355Use of epidermal mucus in elasmobranch stable isotope studies: a pilot study using the giant manta ray (Manta birostris)

K. B. Burgess, M. Guerrero, A. J. Richardson, M. B. Bennett and A. D. Marshall
 

This is the first study to investigate mucus as a potential new and useful material in elasmobranch dietary studies using stable isotope analysis. Mucus collected from giant manta rays was indicative of a broader short-term diet during aggregation periods in Ecuador, in comparison to muscle, which suggested long-term diet is more conservative. Both mucus and muscle support that giant manta rays predominately feed on zooplankton at a secondary consumer trophic level.


The influence of environmental variables on shark catch in the bather-protection program along the South African East Coast was investigated for 11 species. Results suggested that measurable, predictable relationships exist between environmental conditions and presence and, consequently, catch of shark species in this program. Understanding these relationships could be useful to mitigate against unwanted catch and to further reduce risk for bathers.


The degradation of freshwater ecosystems is a threat to biodiversity. We evaluated the influence of water quality on the occurrence of a threatened mammal, the Neotropical otter in a river basin under different degradation levels. We found the Neotropical otter to be tolerant to human-altered environments; however, beyond a certain threshold of water-quality degradation, its persistence is at risk.

Published online 04 September 2017

MF17005Diversity patterns of subterranean invertebrate fauna in calcretes of the Yilgarn Region, Western Australia

Josephine Hyde, Steven J. B. Cooper, William F. Humphreys, Andrew D. Austin and Pablo Munguia
 

Invertebrate diversity in subterranean groundwater calcretes of central Western Australia is influenced by periodic rainfall events. After rainfall, taxonomic richness in boreholes increased, as shown by an 11-year survey. Taxonomic groups such as small crustaceans (copepods, amphipods) and dytiscid beetles were the common groups, increasing in numbers during these rainfall periods. An understanding of invertebrate diversity patterns and how they vary temporally will provide information for the management of these groundwater ecosystems.

Published online 25 August 2017

MF16329Are Pacific spiny dogfish lying about their age? A comparison of ageing structures for Squalus suckleyi

Cindy A. Tribuzio, Mary Elizabeth Matta, Christopher Gburski, Calvin Blood, Walter Bubley and Gordon H. Kruse
 

This study examined two approaches to ageing Pacific spiny dogfish and inter-laboratory variability. Age estimates from dorsal fin spines (historical method) did not agree with age estimates from vertebrae (new method) for older fish, suggesting the new method is not appropriate for fish aged over 10 years. However, inter-laboratory variability was improved using the new method. Results suggest further investigation of the new method is warranted.

Published online 25 August 2017

MF17059Effect of the invasive New Zealand mud snail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum) on the littoral macroinvertebrate community in a temperate mesotrophic lake

Vytautas Rakauskas, Eglė Šidagytė, Rokas Butkus and Andrius Garbaras
 

The analyses performed showed the following effects of the P. antipodarum invasion on the macroinvertebrate community of a temperate mesotrophic lake: a definite increase in the total macroinvertebrate biomass, a significant increase in the local macroinvertebrate family richness and diversity, a shift in the community composition from crustacean- to gastropod-dominated.

Published online 25 August 2017

MF17040Responses of Dendronephthya australis to predation by Dermatobranchus sp. nudibranchs

Tom R. Davis, David Harasti and Stephen D. A. Smith
 

The present study examined the effects of nudibranch predation on behaviour of the geographically restricted and potentially threatened soft coral species Dendronephthya australis. Observations clearly demonstrated the negative impact of predation on feeding ability of this soft coral and suggested that interactions with additional anthropogenic stressors may increase mortality risk for this important habitat-forming species.

Published online 22 August 2017

MF16417Environmental dissimilarity over time in a large subtropical shallow lake is differently represented by phytoplankton functional approaches

Juliana E. Bohnenberger, Lúcia R. Rodrigues, David da Motta-Marques and Luciane O. Crossetti
 

The response of different phytoplankton functional approaches to environmental variability over time was evaluated in a large subtropical shallow lake. Dissimilarity in phytoplankton functional composition was related to nutrient and light conditions, even though the sensitivity of the approaches seemed to differ with regard to environmental variability. The functional group composition of phytoplankton sensu Reynolds et al. (https://doi.org/10.1093/plankt/24.5.417) seemed to be the most effective system in describing environmental variability in Lake Mangueira, in southern Brazil, over the long term.


This review is the first on Bythograeidae, documenting the state of our knowledge regarding their taxonomy, evolution, ecology, morphology and physiology (i.e. osmoregulation, oxygen consumption, sulfide and metal detoxification, temperature tolerance). We also report on recent progress in maintaining bythograeids in an artificial ex situ environment.


Butterfly kingfish (Gasterochisma melampus) is a large Scombridae species distributed in circumpolar temperate waters of the Southern Hemisphere whose ecological characteristics were unknown. Observation of gonads collected by longline operations revealed that spawning took place in the south-east Pacific Ocean from mid-April to mid-July. The present study promotes an understanding of the life history and stock structure of this species.

Published online 17 August 2017

MF16317Coral bleaching in the southern inshore Great Barrier Reef: a case study from the Keppel Islands

Emma V. Kennedy, Alexandra Ordoñez and Guillermo Diaz-Pulido
 

Warm sea temperatures affected the Great Barrier Reef in the summer of 2016, causing severe coral bleaching in northern and central reef regions. Southern reef areas were thought to escape bleaching; however, herein we report minor coral bleaching around the Keppel Islands (14 sites). Approximately 21% of corals were mildly affected, with Pocillopora and some Acropora appearing sensitive. No mortality was observed. This study contributes to the long-term records of disturbance and recovery dynamics in the Keppel Islands.

Published online 07 August 2017

MF17023Patterns of dissolved organic matter across the Patagonian landscape: a broad-scale survey of Chilean and Argentine lakes

Horacio E. Zagarese, Marcela Ferraro, Claudia Queimaliños, María del Carmen Diéguez, Diego Añón Suárez and María Eugenia Llames
 

The concentration and optical properties of dissolved organic matter (DOM) of lakes provide clues as to the water sources and in-lake microbial and photochemical processes. The present study is the first broad-scale survey of DOM from Patagonian lakes (Chile and Argentina) across a strong west–east precipitation gradient. We conclude that this set of lakes provides a convenient observational system to investigate the effects of contemporary climate change.

Published online 01 August 2017

MF16381Regionalisation is key to establishing reference conditions for neotropical savanna streams

Isabela Martins, Raphael Ligeiro, Robert M. Hughes, Diego R. Macedo and Marcos Callisto
 

Streams under reference conditions are necessary for the evaluation and monitoring of the conservation status of aquatic ecosystems of a region. In this study we demonstrated that a hydrological unit does not constitute a homogeneous entity in terms of environmental variables and biological composition. The results of the study will improve and facilitate the selection of reference sites for biomonitoring programs and for managing Neotropical savanna streams.

Published online 28 July 2017

MF16257Illegal trade of aquarium species through the Brazilian postal service in Ceará State

Lívio M. Gurjão, Glaura M. L. Barros, Daniele P. Lopes, Daniel A. N. Machado and Tito M. C. Lotufo
 

Although mailing of live or dead organisms is forbidden in Brazil, smugglers use the postal service to transport aquarium species throughout the country. To assess this illegal practice, confiscations comprising native (including species threatened with extinction) and non-native organisms were performed. Brazilian authorities must intensify package inspections, especially in the south-eastern region, because seizures seem to mitigate the illicit transportation of aquarium species to some extent.

Published online 28 July 2017

MF16403Age and growth of the banded guitarfish Zapteryx exasperata (Chondrichthyes: Trygonorrhinidae)

Fabián Cervantes-Gutiérrez, Javier Tovar-Ávila and Felipe Galván-Magaña
 

The age and growth of the banded guitarfish (Zapteryx exasperata) from Baja California Sur, Mexico, was estimated for the first time based on growth band counts in its vertebrae. Larger sizes than those reported in the literature were observed for both females (103-cm total length, TL) and males (92 cm TL). Similarly, females lived longer than males (22.6 v. 19.6 years respectively).


Mangroves are one of the most widely distributed types of plants that grow along the coast of Australia. Low winter temperatures and frost are thought to limit the stature and productivity of mangroves in Victoria. Because air and water temperatures will increase markedly over coming decades, it is likely that Victorian mangroves will be among the first plant communities to be noticeably affected by climate change in coastal south-eastern Australia.

Published online 28 July 2017

MF16335Detection, dispersal and biogeochemical contribution of hydrothermal iron in the ocean

Thomas M. Holmes, Zanna Chase, Pier van der Merwe, Ashley T. Townsend and Andrew R. Bowie
 

Scarcity of iron limits phytoplankton growth in approximately two-thirds of the world’s oceans. Hydrothermal plumes have recently gained recognition as a long-range source of iron to the deep oceans that, importantly, may also affect surface ocean phytoplankton growth in some regions. This review brings into focus current understanding of hydrothermal systems and their contribution to the global oceanic iron budget.

Published online 28 July 2017

MF16259Multisource data for seasonal variability analysis of cyanobacteria in a tropical inland aquatic environment

Rejane Ennes Cicerelli, Maria de Lourdes B. Trindade Galo and Henrique Llacer Roig
 

In this study we investigated the behaviour of cyanobacteria by determining phycocyanin and chlorophyll concentrations using spectroradiometric and fluorometric data. The spectral analyses could only detect phycocyanin at higher concentrations. For lower concentrations, phycocyanin was detected from fluorometric measurements. Therefore, remote sensing complemented by fluorometric analysis seems an effective method for monitoring cyanobacteria in Brazilian inland waters.

Published online 27 July 2017

MF16363Food resource partitioning between two sympatric temperate wrasses

Mauro Sinopoli, Renato Chemello, Antonino Vaccaro and Marco Milazzo
 

Climate change modified the spatial distribution of two sympatric Mediterranean fishes. Does this change have indirect effects on trophic niches and trophic interactions between the two species of fish? The two species have different trophic niches and do not interact for food, regardless of forcing of climate change.


The Cooloola Patterned Fens are a unique wetland in south-eastern Queensland and are potentially at risk from water extraction for the nearby town. Statistical analysis of regional water-chemistry data was used to determine the groundwater source that the ecosystem depends on. The fens were found to use perched aquifer water, whereas local creeks are connected to the deeper regional aquifer.

Published online 21 July 2017

MF16387Lake and species specific patterns of non-diadromous recruitment in amphidromous fish: the importance of local recruitment and habitat requirements

Andy S. Hicks, Matt G. Jarvis, Bruno O. David, Jonathan M. Waters, Marc D. Norman and Gerard P. Closs
 

Amphidromous fish live and spawn in streams, but are widely believed to have an oceanic larval period, resulting in wide dispersal and connective populations. In this study we show that when an alternative larval habitat (i.e. a lake or wetland) is present, freshwater larval rearing is the dominant process sustaining many populations. The retention of larvae in lakes has implications for the dispersal, connectivity and management of amphidromous fish.

Published online 17 July 2017

MF16375Ontogenetic shifts in habitat use during the dry season by an amphidromous shrimp in a tropical lowland river

Peter A. Novak, Peter Bayliss, Erica A. Garcia, Brad J. Pusey and Michael M. Douglas
 

The present study examined the dry-season meso-habitat use by the amphidromous shrimp species, Macrobrachium spinipes, in northern Australia. We found that habitat use changed considerably first, with ontogeny, and, second, with the annual colonisation of habitats with algae and macrophytes as the dry season progressed. The study has provided significant insights into the changes in use of key riverine habitats throughout the dry season by an ecologically important species


In a recent paper in Marine and Freshwater Research, Nichols et al. called for a reinvestment in national-scale bioassessment in Australia. We agree that the absence of national-scale bioassessment impedes the ability to detect slow-acting impacts such as climate and land-use change. We argue that a reinvigorated national program should go beyond bioassessment and assess river resilience, including the social and ecological parameters that influence river health.

Published online 17 July 2017

MF16408Quantifying macrodetritus fluxes from a small temperate estuary

Rebecca V. Gladstone-Gallagher, Dean R. Sandwell, Andrew M. Lohrer, Carolyn J. Lundquist and Conrad A. Pilditch
 

Hydrodynamics drive the export of estuarine-derived primary production and nutrients to adjacent, less-productive offshore waters. The present study quantified estuary-to-coast fluxes of detritus and nutrients by sampling the water at the mouth of a small temperate estuary. These types of studies are important to determine the ecosystem services provided by temperate estuaries.

Published online 17 July 2017

MF16399Non-stationarity of low flows and their relevance to river modelling during drought periods

David W. Rassam, Daniel Pagendam, Mat Gilfedder and Lu Zhang
 

Conventional river models typically ignore the effects of groundwater-storage change on river flow, and, hence, predicted declines in river low flows during drought periods are likely to be compromised. The present study undertakes statistical analysis of low flows in the Namoi River, and highlights implications for river modelling more broadly. The results showed the importance of adopting models that explicitly account for groundwater processes when modelling such river systems.

Published online 13 July 2017

MF17022Transcoelomic expulsion of an ingested foreign object by a carcharhinid shark

S. T. Kessel, J. Fraser, W. G. Van Bonn, J. L. Brooks, T. L. Guttridge, N. E. Hussey and S. H. Gruber
 

A wild lemon shark (Negaprion brevirostris) was observed to expel an ingested foreign object through its body wall, over a minimum period of 435 days. We observed this lemon shark at a recreational diving feeding site off the coast of Jupiter (FL, USA) on 12 occasions between 6 December 2014 and 14 December 2016. Following expulsion, we observed this lemon shark recovered and in apparent healthy condition.


Atmospheric nuclear testing added the radioisotope caesium-137 to the global environment. We sampled depressional wetland soils across three regions of the United States (Southeast, Atlantic Coast, and Midwest) and quantified accumulated sediment, carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus compounds in wetland soil since ‘peak caesium’ deposition in 1964. Substantial accumulation occurred, with only phosphorus differing by region. Depressional wetland management is, thus, important for landscape-scale sediment, nutrient and carbon dynamics.

Published online 06 July 2017

MF16346Effects of aeration, sediment grain size and burial on stream litter breakdown and consumer performance: a microcosm study

Olatz Pereda, Maite Arroita, Ibon Aristi, Lorea Flores, Aitor Larrañaga and Arturo Elosegi
 

Reduced turbulence and aeration can affect stream ecosystems, but their effects can differ from the surface to subsurface habitats, and depend, among other things, on sediment size and the availability of organic matter (OM). A microcosm experiment showed that lack of aeration reduced OM consumption, especially on the surface, and sediment size caused differences in performance between the two invertebrate species studied, namely mayfly (Habroleptoides) and stonefly (Capnioneura).

Published online 06 July 2017

MF17038Ecological and behavioural traits of the Sri Lankan water monitor (Varanus salvator) in an urban landscape of Western Province, Sri Lanka

Suranjan Karunarathna, Thilina Surasinghe, Majintha Madawala, Ruchira Somaweera and A. A. Thasun Amarasinghe
 

The Asian water monitor is widespread on the island of Sri Lanka. The present study was a 7-month survey within a 5-km stretch at an urban riverscape in Sri Lanka. The most monitor sightings were made in aquatic habitats. Given variable sighting frequencies of distinct life history stages across different major habitat types, it is likely that there is substantial age-structured niche partitioning among these monitors.


Reducing invasion rates of aquatic species is an important conservation concern. In this study we investigated whether zooplankton assemblages in ponds subject to fish releases from aquaculture facilities are affected by ‘hitchhiking’ species from these farms, and found differences between ponds with and without carp releases. Management is required to prevent unintentional introductions of invertebrate from aquaculture facilities from which fish are released.

Published online 29 June 2017

MF16247Hydrographic characteristics and community structure of epipelagic mesozooplankton in the Dongsha (Pratas) Atoll, South China Sea

Hung-Yen Hsieh, Jia-Jang Hung, Yu-Huai Wang and Wen-Tseng Lo
 

Zooplankton play an important role in transferring energy from primary producers to upper trophic levels. By investigating epipelagic mesozooplankton community and hydrographic features of the Dongsha Atoll, we found that temporal pattern of mesozooplankton community is likely to be more dependent on physical variable than on primary production due to the semi-enclosed topography. Abundant decapod larvae and fish eggs confirmed the importance of the pelagic–benthic coupling in the tropical reef ecosystem.


Tissue metal concentrations are used as indicators of metal contamination. In some marine snails, high background copper concentrations can mask small but biologically significant copper uptake. The present study used isotopically enriched copper to measure copper uptake in a marine snail. Biomarkers were used to measure the copper-induced stress response. Measuring isotopically enriched copper allowed links to be established among exposure, uptake and response.

Published online 22 June 2017

MF17013Mayfly assemblage structure of the Pantanal Mortes–Araguaia flood plain

Leandro Juen, Leandro Schlemmer Brasil, Frederico Falcão Salles, Joana Darc Batista and Helena Soares Ramos Cabette
 

We analysed the taxonomic and trophic diversities of Mayfly in ponds and streams of floodplains in the Cerrado and Amazon–Cerrado transition. The largest diversities occurred in the transition between biomes, which can be related to the ecotone tension. There was no significant difference between the two types of ecosystems, probably because of the high water connectivity during the rainy season.

Published online 20 June 2017

MF16361Demographic modelling of giant sea anemones: population stability and effects of mutualistic anemonefish in the Jordanian Red Sea

Austin K. Dixon, Matthew J. McVay and Nanette E. Chadwick
 

Field surveys revealed that newly recruited giant sea anemones grew rapidly, then slowed their growth and shrank near the end of their lifespans, at rates that depended on their fish symbionts. Populations were highly dynamic, with estimated turnover times of only 3–5 years. These anemones appeared to be short lived relative to their fish symbionts, leading to species-specific implications for their conservation management.


The blind side of the brill (Colistium guntheri) is usually white without any coloured patterns. The discovered specimen from Manukau harbour, Auckland, was unusual and showed broad melanic patches running mainly at the base of the dorsal and anal fins on its blind side. Such a case has not been reported from any of the flatfish species collected from New Zealand before and, therefore, it is an interesting and important record for fisheries sector in general.


Mobile acoustic camera transects were used to determine the distribution of fish within a small estuary. Fish distribution was found to be linked to water depth for two size classes. This study demonstrates the usefulness of conducting mobile acoustic camera transects in shallow estuaries to determine distribution and relative abundance of fishes.

Published online 08 June 2017

MF17010Larval trypanorhynch cestodes in teleost fish from Moreton Bay, Queensland

I. Beveridge, T. H. Cribb and S. C. Cutmore
 

In all, 976 fish from 133 species, collected in Moreton Bay, Queensland, were examined for the presence of larval trypanorhynch cestodes. Nine species of cestodes were found, providing new host and geographical records. Comparison of the cestode fauna with that of coral reef fish indicated that the fauna in Moreton Bay was less diverse but was dominated by similar species.

Published online 08 June 2017

MF16402Drivers of sulfide intrusion in Zostera muelleri in a moderately affected estuary in south-eastern Australia

Marianne Holmer, William W. Bennett, Angus J. P. Ferguson, Jaimie Potts, Harald Hasler-Sheetal and David T. Welsh
 

The seagrass Zostera muelleri is abundant in estuaries in Australia and is under pressure from coastal developments. We studied sulfide intrusion in the seagrass along a gradient of anthropogenic impact in Wallis Lake estuary and found high sulfide intrusion when inputs of organic matter from phytoplankton were high. The seagrass was, however, efficient in oxidizing the sediments, which may explain lack of negative effect of sulfide intrusion.

Published online 06 June 2017

MF16391An inter-dependence of flood and drought: disentangling amphibian beta diversity in seasonal floodplains

Leonardo F. B. Moreira, Tainá F. Dorado-Rodrigues, Vanda L. Ferreira and Christine Strüssmann
 

We employed a partitioning framework to investigate the contribution of turnover and nestedness to β diversity patterns in non-arboreal amphibians from southern Pantanal ecoregion. In the grasslands, β diversity is driven essentially by turnover. In the savannas, both turnover and nestedness contributed similarly to β diversity. Species turnover was associated with altitude and factors that induce spatial patterns.

Published online 02 June 2017

MF16385Effects of high pCO2 on early life development of pelagic spawning marine fish

Ana M. Faria, Soraia Filipe, Ana F. Lopes, Ana P. Oliveira, Emanuel J. Gonçalves and Laura Ribeiro
 

The present study investigated the effects of exposure to high CO2 levels on the early development of three commercially important fish species. The results reveal reduced hatching rates under high CO2 levels, but suggest species-specific responses and different ways of coping with this stressor during early development. Future studies will investigate the long-term effects of high CO2 throughout the life cycle.

Published online 01 June 2017

MF16302Effect of environmental conditions on cetacean entanglements: a case study from the Gold Coast, Australia

E. Volep, A. R. Carroll, D. Strauss, J.-O. Meynecke and D. Kobashi
 

Environmental drivers affect the entanglements of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) and common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) in the gill-nets of the Gold Coast Shark Control Program. Entanglements primarily occurred during calm sea state conditions, with M. novaeangliae entanglements highest in September and D. delphis highest in June. Other significant variables influencing entanglements also include rainfall, spring tides and the East Australian Current.

Published online 29 May 2017

MF16396Low mortality rate in silver eels (Anguilla anguilla L.) passing through a small hydropower station

Rafał Bernaś, Piotr Dçbowski, Michał Skóra, Grzegorz Radtke, Jacek Morzuch and Andrzej Kapusta
 

This study examined the mortality rate of silvers eels passing through a small hydropower station in a river from the southern Baltic area using acoustic telemetry. During the experiment, no direct mortality occurred as a result of passage through the turbine; however, a few individuals exhibited migration delay as a result of injuries or passage trauma.

Published online 22 May 2017

MF16327Prediction of cyanobacterial blooms in the Dau Tieng Reservoir using an artificial neural network

Manh-Ha Bui, Thanh-Luu Pham and Thanh-Son Dao
 

This study investigated the feasibility of using an artificial neural network (ANN) as a tool to accurately forecast cyanobacteria counts and microcystin concentrations in the Dau Tieng Reservoir through environmental parameters. The sensitivity analyses conducted with the ANNs identified critical variables (i.e. total nitrogen and temperature) that have the most positive and negative effects respectively affecting cyanobacteria counts and microcystin concentrations.

Published online 11 May 2017

MF16373Macroinvertebrate trophic structure on waterfalls in Borneo

Kate Baker, Michael A. Chadwick, Rona A. R. McGill, Rodzay A. Wahab and Rafhiah Kahar
 

Waterfalls have unique physical characteristics and harbour specialised macroinvertebrate communities, but have been the subject of few ecological studies. The present study investigated the trophic structure of waterfall assemblages. Methods included stable-isotope analysis (δ13C and δ15N of leaf litter and periphyton) and gut-content analysis of the most abundant macroinvertebrates. Data indicated that despite scouring velocities, waterfalls support animals with a range of diets, based on grazing or scraping, filter feeding and predation.

Published online 28 April 2017

MF16338The effect of riparian restoration on channel complexity and soil nutrients

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

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

Published online 28 April 2017

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

Sandra Gordillo, Mariano E. Malvé and Gisela Moran
 

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

Published online 20 April 2017

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

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

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

Published online 20 April 2017

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

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

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

Published online 13 April 2017

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

A. C. Cardoso and S. R. M. Couceiro
 

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

Published online 13 April 2017

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

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

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

Published online 10 April 2017

MF16112The effect of agriculture on cave-stream invertebrate communities

Pierce M. McNie and Russell G. Death
 

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

Published online 10 April 2017

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

Alicia L. Sutton and Lynnath E. Beckley
 

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


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

Published online 17 February 2017

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

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

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

Published online 01 February 2017

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

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

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


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

Published online 30 November 2016

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

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

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

Published online 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 20 July 2016

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

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

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

Published online 22 October 2015

MF15094Experimental effects of ash deposition on macroinvertebrate assemblages in peatland streams

K. Johnston and B. J. Robson
 

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

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