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A preliminary typology of Australian tropical rivers and implications for fish community ecology

Erskine, Wayne D., Saynor, M. J., Erskine, L., Evans, Ken G. and Moliere, D. R. (2005). A preliminary typology of Australian tropical rivers and implications for fish community ecology. Marine and Freshwater Research,56(3):253-267.

Document type: Journal Article
Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 14 times in Scopus Article | Citations

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Title A preliminary typology of Australian tropical rivers and implications for fish community ecology
Author Erskine, Wayne D.
Saynor, M. J.
Erskine, L.
Evans, Ken G.
Moliere, D. R.
Journal Name Marine and Freshwater Research
Publication Date 2005
Volume Number 56
Issue Number 3
ISSN 1323-1650   (check CDU catalogue  open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-21444438949
Start Page 253
End Page 267
Total Pages 15
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract Australian tropical rivers are dependent on highly seasonal rainfall and runoff between November and April. They also transport low sediment and solute loads, except where catchments have been disturbed by mining, grazing and cropping. Aquatic habitats or channel units are the physical template influencing fish communities. Pools provide dry-season refuges for fish and channels provide pathways for movement between refuges when streamflows are re-established. A preliminary geomorphological typology of Australian tropical river reaches ( excludes estuaries) is proposed that defines nine distinct river types: ( 1) bedrock rivers ( upland channels and gorges); ( 2) bedrock-confined rivers; ( 3) avulsive rivers; ( 4) meandering rivers ( confined meandering, laterally migrating unconfined and laterally stable unconfined); ( 5) straight rivers; ( 6) floodouts; ( 7) island- and ridge-anabranching rivers; ( 8) coexistent mud-braided and anabranching rivers; and ( 9) extensive freshwater wetlands and billabongs. Many of these have not been recognised overseas and are unique. Channel units differ greatly between river types and contribute to distinctive fish communities in different river types. As expected, fish diversity decreases upstream because of less diverse habitat and natural barriers to fish movement at steps, falls and turbulent cascades and rapids. Fish kills occur in most years and are caused by several different factors that reduce dissolved oxygen.
Keywords anabranching
avulsion
billabongs
channel units
fish kills
fish migration
floodplain stripping
refuges
river reaches
river types
wetlands
anastomosing channel system
magela creek catchment
lower mary river
wet-dry tropics
new-south-wales
northern-territory
cooper creek
anabranching rivers
saltwater intrusion
floodplain river
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MF04078   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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