About FRN

December 23, 2022

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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 […]

Posted in: Uncategorized

Restoring aquatic vegetation: it’s all about trade-offs

December 23, 2022

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In degraded freshwater environments reestablishing lost submerged aquatic vegetation is crucial if full ecosystem function is to be restored.  However, natural recolonisation can be a slow process and active planting is often required.  Because newly planted shoots are vulnerable to strong currents and sediment movement, information on the relative advantages of different reestablishment techniques is urgently […]

River noise can be golden for arthropods

December 23, 2022

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Although rivers and streams can be very noisy environments, our understanding of the ecological impacts of stream noise is very incomplete – for example, in spite of their diversity and importance in aquatic and riparian ecosystems, insects have been relatively understudied by noise researchers.  For this reason American biologists combined a noise-playback experiment with a […]

Conserve trees to reduce flood risk

December 23, 2022

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There’s a growing awareness of the important role that forests play in mitigating floods, especially given the increasing prevalence of flooding as a result of climate change.  Trees protect against flooding by intercepting rainfall and returning moisture to the air via evapotranspiration, and by enhancing the capacity of soils to absorb and retain flood water.  […]

Sensory bias in freshwater fish

December 23, 2022

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Because vision and olfaction are significant investments for animals there is often an evolutionary trade-off between the two sensory systems, which leads to a greater dependence on one or the other.  For example, mammals such as carnivores and rodents rely mainly on smell while primates and birds depend more on vision.  There’s much less information […]

Posted in: behaviour, fish

Waterbird feathers as dispersal agents

December 23, 2022

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Although dispersal is a key ecological process that connects populations and communities, data on the dispersal of organisms such as bacteria and microalgae are difficult to collect, and information on the frequency and scale of their dispersal patterns has been largely speculative.  It’s long been suspected that waterbirds and other animals act as dispersal agents […]

Tributary-lake junctions are special

December 23, 2022

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Locations where tributaries flow into lakes are often unique physically, chemically and biologically, and have habitat features not found elsewhere.  Tributary inflows, sometimes called lake deltas, can act as hotspots for productivity and biodiversity because they introduce nutrients, organic matter and drifting invertebrates.  Inflow areas also trap coarse sediment and woody debris, which increases habitat […]

Global trends in macrophyte ecology

December 23, 2022

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Broad-scale patterns in species distribution and diversity are increasingly used to identify general rules about ecological processes, but much more is known about such patterns in terrestrial systems than in freshwater settings, where most studies have been limited to a few taxa such as fish and macroinvertebrates.  An international group of researchers has now extended […]

Artificial surfaces mislead aquatic insects

December 23, 2022

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Over the last twenty years it’s become clear that many types of aquatic insects depend on polarised light to complete their life cycle.  When light is reflected from the surface of water its angle of vibration becomes horizontally polarised, and because natural water bodies polarise up to 80% of reflected light they act as a […]

When evolution and ecology interact

December 23, 2022

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It’s well known that evolution occurs over long time scales, but there’s also evidence that short-term contemporary evolution can sometimes explain as much variation in animal community structure as ecological factors.  To better understand how evolution affects ecological processes, researchers surveyed communities of cladocerans (water fleas) in 20 Belgian ponds.  Waterfleas were chosen because they […]