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About FRN

June 26, 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 […]

Restoring wetland soils can take decades

June 28, 2019

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Many wetlands have been drained and converted to farmland.  Agricultural conversion commonly results in a net loss of soil organic matter, which plays an important role in nutrient cycling and water retention.  By storing large amounts of atmospheric carbon in the soil, wetlands play a significant role in mitigating climate change.  In recent years increasing […]

Early warnings of algal blooms

June 28, 2019

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Algal blooms are becoming more frequent in surface waters and have the capacity to disrupt significant ecosystem services, such as the provision of safe drinking water, irrigation, fisheries and recreation.  If bloom outbreaks can be predicted, preventative action may be taken in good time.  With this possibility in  mind, ecologists sampled two small (<3 ha) […]

Chemical signatures for plankton species

June 28, 2019

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Planktonic crustaceans feed on a wide variety of phytoplankton and bacteria.  Dietary differences between zooplankton species are difficult to define because their food organisms are so small, and this limits our understanding of how zooplankton diversity affects species coexistence and ecosystem processes.  However, a promising solution to this problem is to describe dietary differences in […]

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 […]

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 […]

Wetland fish sampling

January 14, 2019

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How best to sample fish communities in lakes and wetlands?  Canadian biologists set out to develop a cost-effective sampling strategy that captured a high proportion of fish species.  Using a 9 m × 1.8 m seine net with 3 mm mesh, they collected fish from wetlands in Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Huron and the upper […]

Getting the message across

October 8, 2018

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Since recreational boaters can unintentionally spread invasive aquatic species while transporting boats and equipment from one body of water to another, it’s important that management agencies communicate the need for boaters to clean, drain and dry their gear after use.  Researchers used a questionnaire-based approach to find out if the way the “clean, drain and […]

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 […]

Facing up to fish recognition

October 8, 2018

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Although it’s been shown that fish can visually discriminate between other members of their species, the traits used for recognition aren’t well understood.  Working with masked julie  (Julidochromis transcriptus), a Tanganyikan cichlid with stripe patterns from head to tail,  Japanese scientists  investigated the relative importance of  face and body markings in individual recognition.  They kept […]