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Optimising environmental watering of floodplain wetlands for fish

Beesley, Leah, King, Alison J., Gawne, Ben, Koehn, John D., Price, Amina, Nielsen, Daryl, Amtstaetter, Frank and Meredith, Shaun N. (2014). Optimising environmental watering of floodplain wetlands for fish. Freshwater Biology,59(10):2024-2037.

Document type: Journal Article
Citation counts: Altmetric Score Altmetric Score is 1
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IRMA ID 84376995xPUB8
Title Optimising environmental watering of floodplain wetlands for fish
Author Beesley, Leah
King, Alison J.
Gawne, Ben
Koehn, John D.
Price, Amina
Nielsen, Daryl
Amtstaetter, Frank
Meredith, Shaun N.
Journal Name Freshwater Biology
Publication Date 2014
Volume Number 59
Issue Number 10
ISSN 0046-5070   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84908177327
Start Page 2024
End Page 2037
Total Pages 14
Place of Publication United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Flow alteration has reduced connectivity between many of the world's rivers and their floodplains, causing changes in riverine productivity and the isolation of floodplain wetlands. Environmental water is being increasingly used to help restore wetland habitats and their biota, including fish. However, some of these managed deliveries of water occur into discrete wetlands via artificial structures or at unseasonal times and may not deliver the expected gains in fish production.

In the Murray River, south-eastern Australia, we examined the relationship between attributes of watering and fish production (species-specific recruitment, total abundance), at two time intervals: short term (6–8 weeks after watering) and at the end of the spawning season (April) for 26 discrete watering events. The study also recognised the importance of habitat in mediating fish responses to watering and examined whether fish abundance after environmental water delivery is better predicted by attributes of watering or wetland characteristics?

We found that attributes of watering, including water source, its method of delivery and timing, best described fish recruitment (0+ abundance) and total fish abundance. Managers of environmental water may be able to optimise fish recruitment and abundance if they source their water from the river and deliver it during the spawning period of the target species via means that facilitate fish passage.
Keywords environmental flow
fish recruitment
floodplain wetlands
Murray-Darling Basin
wetland inundation
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/fwb.12404   (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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