Browsing All Posts filed under »flooding«

Getting river history right

March 30, 2019


  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, […]

What drives regional differences in streamflow?

October 8, 2018

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Typically, large-scale models of stream flow take into account the interaction between climate and vegetation (which determines evapotranspiration) and landscape features that dictate how non-evaporated water is diverted to soil, groundwater and overland flow.  However, there are often strong spatial variations in streamflow drivers, which can limit the usefulness of global models.  Researchers drew on […]

How does disturbance affect biodiversity?

October 8, 2018

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In freshwater systems, drying events are ramp disturbances that reduce habitat availability and connectivity, while floods are sudden pulse disturbances.  The relationship between disturbance and biodiversity is complex, and although some studies indicate that perennial rivers, which often flood, are more biodiverse than intermittent rivers, which periodically stop flowing and dry out, other work suggests […]

Floodplain fisheries and overexploitation

October 8, 2018

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The floodplain fishery in the Pantanal region of South America, one of the biggest wetlands in the world,  illustrates the difficulties often faced in managing resources in complex, highly changeable environments.  In the late 1970s and early 1980s, traditional small-scale commercial fishers accounted for around three-quarters of the fish catch.  In the absence of scientific […]

Why are there so many crocodiles in tropical waterholes?

March 26, 2018

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Transfers of organic material from one aquatic environment to another (for example, through flood pulses or animal migrations) allow productive donor ecosystems to subsidise less productive habitats. However, there are big variations in the extent to which different animal species depend on production subsidies.  To explore such differences, Australian researchers collected a wide array of […]

Aquatic plants help animal plankton to disperse

March 25, 2018

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Freshwater bodies containing aquatic plants generally support a wide range of animal plankton. If the dormant stages of zooplankton are attached to roots and the submerged parts of plants, the dislodgement and displacement of aquatic vegetation during floods could play a role in plankton dispersal. To assess this possibility, Argentinian researchers collected specimens of free-floating […]

Deforestation means defishation

December 21, 2017

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The impacts of tropical deforestation on terrestrial biodiversity are well known but only a few studies have considered the impacts of deforestation on freshwater systems.  Such effects are likely to be significant, given the importance of riparian vegetation as a source of nutrients and the high abundances of fish in tropical floodplain forests.  In a […]