Urban trees protect local water bodies

September 25, 2017

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As a result of nutrient transfer from the land, urban waterways often have high concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus, which can lead to algal blooms, low water clarity, oxygen depletion and species loss. Nutrient enrichment problems also extend to urban groundwater, where water quality can be compromised.  Although nutrients moving from land to groundwater water […]

Predatory fish control prey populations – but not when the prey are other fish

September 25, 2017

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Many lake studies have shown that predatory fish feeding on plankton or bottom-living invertebrates have a strong influence on the density, species composition and size structure of prey populations. Typically, there’s an inverse relationship between predator and prey populations, both in terms of  density and in mean body size.  However, there have been few reports […]

How cell size affects algal chemicals

September 25, 2017

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The chemical composition of microalgae – organisms such as green algae, diatoms and dinoflagellates – influences their food web interactions and the way they compete for nutrients, as well as their suitability for human exploitation in the form of biofuels, nutraceuticals and aquaculture feeds.   Because microalgae cover a wide range of cell sizes (less than […]

Recognising uncertainty in hydro modelling

September 25, 2017

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Because climate warming is thought to be a major cause of long-term shifts in storm runoff and the frequency of extreme floods and droughts, reliable projections of future hydrological changes are essential for the informed management of water resources.  However, hydrological modelling involves dealing with a wide range of uncertainties, and so far these uncertainties […]

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. […]

Plankton migration is system-dependent

June 19, 2017

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Lake zooplankton commonly switch microhabitats on a regular day-night basis by migrating horizontally between stands of vegetation and open waters, or by migrating vertically between deep and surface waters. These movements have been explained in terms of the need to avoid predators (especially fish) and excessive ultraviolet radiation.  However, although zooplankton are known to seek […]

Environmentalism with attitude: the importance of psychology

June 19, 2017

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Although public support can be crucial in achieving aquatic management goals, management approaches often receive little input from disciplines that focus on the relationship between humans and the environment.  A recently-published paper used case studies, some specifically relating to freshwater issues, to show how environmental psychology and natural sciences can work together to successfully tackle […]