About FRN

January 8, 2018

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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 […]

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Riparian roots help streams breathe

December 21, 2017

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In aquatic systems, especially those with abundant plants, dissolved oxygen concentrations often show strong daily fluctuations because there’s a net input of oxygen from photosynthesis during the day but a net loss of oxygen due to   respiration at night.  When researchers working on a small tropical stream in São Paulo State, Brazil recorded this pattern […]

Benefits and costs of habitat complexity

December 21, 2017

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The fact that biodiversity tends to be higher in structurally complex habitats suggests that, on balance, the fitness-related advantages of habitat complexity outweigh the disadvantages.  Possible advantages include a greater supply of locations where animals can hide from predators and conserve their energy, and higher abundances of potential prey.  Also, in complex habitats less energy […]

Size and survival in tadpoles  

December 21, 2017

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  Because interactions between predator and prey species are usually size-dependent, their ecological impacts are affected by variations in body size within predator and /or prey populations.  However, there’s been little research on the ways that such variation affects animal communities.   Using tadpoles of the brown frog (Rana pirica) as model prey and larvae of […]

Collapsing waterweeds:  shading and herbivory work together

December 21, 2017

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In lakes and ponds, aquatic plants help to maintain clear-water conditions and their decline can cause a shift to a turbid state with lower biodiversity.  But what triggers the collapse of waterweed populations?  Grazing by aquatic herbivores would seem to be an obvious cause, but supporting evidence for this idea has proved surprisingly elusive, leading […]

Once more from the top

December 21, 2017

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Top-down trophic cascades are population-level effects transmitted along food chains, from consumers down to primary producers.  In a typical three-level food chain the loss of top predators (for example, as a result of human exploitation) allows herbivore populations to increase, which in turn reduces populations of algae or higher plants.   However, few studies have considered […]

Simplifying urban stream assessment

December 21, 2017

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Urban streams experience high levels of stormwater runoff and channel erosion, and represent a significant challenge for ecological restoration.  Nevertheless, it’s generally agreed that urban stream restoration should aim to mimic the natural (pre-development) flow regime as closely as possible.  It’s been proposed that ecologically important aspects of flow can be used as a basis […]