Browsing All Posts filed under »disturbance«

When drought eliminates fish…

March 30, 2019

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  Droughts can lead to lasting changes in the condition of wetlands.  For example, as drying occurs water levels drop and light penetration improves, which allows aquatic plants in the seed bank to germinate.  By stabilizing sediments, outcompeting algal plankton and  providing refuge to zooplankton grazers, newly established stands of aquatic plants can cause originally […]

How fire affects stream communities

March 30, 2019

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  By removing riparian vegetation, wildfires can have significant effects on river ecology, especially in headwater systems where fringing plant life helps to regulate stream temperature and provides a source of carbon in the form of leaf litter and woody debris.  To help understand the impacts of fire on streams, and the length of time […]

Keeping track of groundwater

March 30, 2019

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  Groundwater provides almost half of the world’s supply of water for drinking and irrigation.  Intensive groundwater use has led to the depletion and pollution of aquifers, to the extent that about a fifth of all aquifers are now over-exploited.  In an attempt to manage water resources effectively, new systems of water accounting have been […]

Restoring urban streams: a new twist

March 30, 2019

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  Urban stream environments typically display symptoms of degradation – such as increased temperatures, nutrient and chemical pollution, simplified habitat structure and reduced biodiversity – that are collectively referred to as the Urban Stream Syndrome.  Freshwater scientists generally accept that urban stream degradation is driven mainly by hydrological changes associated with stormwater runoff over impervious […]

Getting river history right

March 30, 2019

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  Information on past climate patterns can prove invaluable when assessing the responses of freshwater ecosystems to environmental change, but what are the implications for ecological understanding if beliefs about climate history are incorrect?  This question has been explored by scientists who used the Murray River, Australia’s largest river system, as a case study.  Hydrologically, […]

Putting aquatic animals back in place

March 30, 2019

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  The practice of replacing species that have been lost from degraded environments has become widespread over the last two decades, but most animal reintroductions have involved vertebrate rather than invertebrate species, and reintroductions are still relatively rare in freshwater settings.  However, because there’s often a lack of source populations in the vicinity of river […]

Understanding how fish benefit from river restoration

January 14, 2019

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Although relationships between fish traits and environmental factors are well known, there have been few attempts to use fish traits to interpret the outcomes of stream restoration projects.  German scientists set out to do this by analyzing  data from a tributary of the Rhine River, which had a long history of channelization, bank fixation, riparian […]