Browsing All Posts filed under »energy«

To be continued: the legacy of the River Continuum Concept

December 14, 2021

Comments Off on To be continued: the legacy of the River Continuum Concept

A recent review examined the historical importance of the River Continuum Concept (RCC), which was introduced by Robin Vannote and co-workers in 1980.  This concept revolutionised stream ecology research by prompting a shift from a descriptive to a predictive approach and encouraging multidisciplinary collaboration between biologists, geomorphologists and geochemists.  The RCC became a key framework […]

Sound directions for the freshwater sciences

June 7, 2021

Comments Off on Sound directions for the freshwater sciences

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 […]

Ecosystem impacts of invasive carp

December 16, 2020

Comments Off on Ecosystem impacts of invasive carp

The common carp (Cyprinus carpio) is one of the world’s most widespread invasive fish species and has a reputation for causing ecological damage.  It’s thought that the excretion of nutrients by dense populations of carp stimulates algal growth, which increases turbidity, and that the feeding and spawning activities of carp further increase turbidity by bringing […]

Freshwater food webs: don’t forget parasites

September 26, 2020

Comments Off on Freshwater food webs: don’t forget parasites

Although parasites are the dominant components in aquatic ecosystems, they are rarely considered in food web studies.  This can be a mistake, because parasites with free-living stages are taken as prey by predators, and when parasites swap hosts they carry nutrients from one host to the next.  It’s been found that adding parasites to reconstructed […]

Rivers help to fertilise the ocean

December 17, 2019

Comments Off on Rivers help to fertilise the ocean

Many rivers have experienced significant reductions in flow as a result of water extraction for irrigation, industry and human consumption, and climate change promises to further reduce the volume of water that reaches the ocean. Such reductions in river discharge influence coastal ecosystems by affecting the supply of nutrients and suspended matter, but we have […]

Valuable real estate: old timber is more attractive

December 17, 2019

Comments Off on Valuable real estate: old timber is more attractive

Woody debris that falls into lakes and streams from shoreline trees supports aquatic food webs by providing food, shelter and egg-laying surfaces for invertebrate animals and fish. Submerged woody material gradually decomposes under the influence of microbial action and burrowing animals, and the decay process softens the wood and creates pits and grooves on its […]

Big-hearted fish feed offshore

September 23, 2019

Comments Off on Big-hearted fish feed offshore

Top predators are usually relatively large, active animals that need an efficient blood system to deliver sufficient oxygen and nutrients to their tissues.  Canadian scientists tested the idea that the relative size of a fish’s heart reflects its foraging ecology and its position in the food web.  They examined 313 fish from 16 different species […]

Terrestrial parks protect fish too

June 28, 2019

Comments Off on Terrestrial parks protect fish too

Although extinction rates are much higher in freshwater environments than in terrestrial systems, freshwater protected areas are still relatively rare.  Nevertheless, bodies of water within the boundaries of a terrestrial protected areas may receive some benefits in the form of shelter from human activities such as habitat degradation and overharvesting.  Canadian ecologists used data from […]

How fire affects stream communities

March 30, 2019

Comments Off on How fire affects stream communities

  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 […]

Rapid advancement depends on schooling

March 30, 2019

Comments Off on Rapid advancement depends on schooling

  Research suggests that, as well as reducing the risks of predator attack, schooling behaviour can help fish to improve their swimming efficiency.  However, because most studies of swimming performance have been carried out on individual fish, the swimming abilities of schooling species may have been underestimated.  Typically, swimming performance experiments are carried out in […]