Browsing All Posts filed under »habitat diversity«

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 […]

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, […]

Constructed wetlands can be traps for wildlife

March 30, 2019

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  In urban areas, natural wetlands are rapidly being replaced by constructed wetlands designed to treat stormwater.  While stormwater wetlands provide  habitats for wildlife, there are concerns that their often high concentrations of nutrients, heavy metals and pesticides may have a harmful impact on animals that are attracted to them – in other words, that […]

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 […]

Recognising the biodiversity value of ponds

January 14, 2019

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Although pond habitats have been relatively neglected by conservationists, several studies have shown that ponds can contribute more to regional biodiversity than running waters.  Because they are isolated, small in size and often poorly protected by conservation programmes, pond ecosystems are highly vulnerable to environmental threats such as those presented by urbanisation.  To help provide […]

Turbulent times for freshwater plants

January 14, 2019

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Water movement is one of the most important factors affecting the distribution of aquatic plants, and has a beneficial or detrimental impact  depending on the magnitude of flow.  Japanese researchers compared the effects of steady flow and turbulence on three plant species with different types of morphology: western waterweed (Elodea nuttallii) with whorled leaves, curly-leaved […]

How the food web affects river restoration

October 8, 2018

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River restoration commonly  concentrates on improving habitat quality for threatened fish populations.  However, because stream fish are strongly influenced by food availability, competition and predation, a case can be made for also incorporating food web modelling into the restoration process.  A group of environmental scientists developed an ecosystem model and applied it to a river-floodplain […]