Browsing All Posts filed under »wetland«

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 […]

Worms, midges and the greenhouse effect

July 5, 2018

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Severely impacted aquatic environments such as urban wetlands and wastewater treatment ponds are designed to treat large amounts of carbon and nitrogen, which raises concerns about their potential greenhouse gas emissions.  Because pollution-tolerant worms (oligochaetes) and insects (midges) can reach very high densities in such systems, it’s possible that their activities influence  the flux of […]

Paying to restore urban streams

March 25, 2018

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Rivers and streams provide many ecosystem services, including the supply and purification of water, climate regulation, flood protection, fisheries, aesthetic values and recreation.  In urban settings, the loss of stream ecosystem services as a result of pollution, erosion and habitat degradation has prompted widespread attempts at environmental repair. However, although levels of investment in urban […]

Lateral thinking on riverbank erosion

September 25, 2017

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Although bank erosion is often thought of as problem that has to be addressed through engineered stabilization, the lateral migration of meandering streams is a natural mechanism that redistributes channel sediment and maintains habitat diversity. New riparian zones are formed as sediment is deposited on the inside of bends and colonised by vegetation.  Meandering creates […]

Coarse, shallow and wooden… but useful nonetheless

June 19, 2017

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Coarse woody debris (CWD) derived from shoreline trees provides an important, spatially complex habitat and a food source for lake-dwelling organisms. Here are some interesting facts about lake CWD, taken from a recent review paper: In the absence of the physical action of flowing water, CWD breaks down more slowly in lakes than in streams. […]

Homing in on factor interactions

March 27, 2017

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In most cases the dynamics of ecological systems are best explained as responses to a number of interacting environmental factors, rather than to a single variable. Such interactions can be complex, and although they may have major implications for management, they’re typically very poorly understood. A team of Australian researchers has proposed a method for […]

Water birds bring up the subject of plant dispersal

December 13, 2016

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Waterfowl play an important role in the dispersal of plants by consuming and then defaecating their seeds. However, although birds such as ducks ingest a wide range of seeds, the digestive activity in their guts generally means that soft-bodied seeds become non-viable. Regurgitation of still-intact seeds is a possible alternative method of dispersal that allows […]