About FRN

June 7, 2021

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Freshwater Research News (FRN) is a free newsletter designed to increase understanding of aquatic issues by bringing recently-published research findings to a general audience. FRN draws on articles from over 60 scientific journals to produce brief, easy-to read summaries of the background and significance of freshwater research projects from around the world. The subject range is […]

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Costs of laissez-faire stewardship

June 7, 2021

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Stream pollution and the degradation of freshwater ecosystems have often been linked to waste discharges from coal mines.  Pollution often continues to occur for many years after a mine is closed because the mine gradually fills with groundwater and eventually releases contaminant flows at the surface.  In Australia there are over 50,000 abandoned mines (coal […]

A game changer: measuring biodiversity from water samples

June 7, 2021

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What are the processes and mechanisms that underpin biodiversity, and how is biodiversity related to ecosystem function?  There’s a need for answers to these questions with respect to all ecosystems, but it’s arguably most urgent for freshwater systems, which show the largest loss of biodiversity as a result of human pressures.  Ideally, to recognise the […]

Groundwater and drought resilience

June 7, 2021

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Groundwater is an essential resource for billions of people and provides a buffer against drought, which is predicted to become more prevalent in many parts of the world as a result of climate change.  In California, U.S.A., many cities and rural areas depend entirely on groundwater, and that state provides an instructive case study in […]

What do bioindicators really indicate?

June 7, 2021

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There have been many attempts to find environmental measures that can be used as reliable indicators of disturbance in freshwater ecosystems, and proposed measures are often based on features of fish and macroinvertebrate communities, such as species richness, diversity, feeding styles and life history patterns.  While such metrics should ideally be robust enough for general […]

A fertile field for water conservation

June 7, 2021

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In flooded paddy fields, which are the most extensive man-made wetlands, evapotranspiration is an important cause of water loss, and increasing concerns about climate change have led rice farmers to use blanketing cover crops as a water conservation measure.  Cover crop candidates include species of Azolla, which are small floating ferns commonly found in paddies […]

Assessing river condition from the air

June 7, 2021

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Although attempts are commonly made to restore streams impacted by disturbance, follow-up monitoring to assess a project’s success is often minimal due to budget limitations.   However, new approaches involving the use of small unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) offer the possibilities for remote stream assessment, with potentially great gains in terms of cost-effectiveness and reduced field […]

How rivers regulate fish numbers

June 7, 2021

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Recruitment processes, which determine the number of young animals entering a  population each year, are central considerations in our attempts to understand fluctuations in abundance.  Although recruitment has been a key focus of fisheries scientists for many years, most of their work has involved marine fish species, and there’s been no fully integrated and comprehensive […]

Sound directions for the freshwater sciences

June 7, 2021

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A recent issue of the journal Freshwater Biology was devoted to the emerging field of ecoacoustics (the study of the ecological role of sounds), an exciting area with many applications in freshwater science.  So far, passive acoustic monitoring has been used mainly in terrestrial and marine environments, but recent studies reveal that inland waters support […]

Pressures on groundwater

March 16, 2021

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Groundwater irrigation plays a central role in sustaining world agriculture.  In northwest Bangladesh, which is that country’s main cropping area,  groundwater supports 96% of agricultural production in the dry season.  In recent decades there has been a large increase in cropping, and thus the demand for groundwater.  However, water balance modelling shows that several other […]