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Nutrients and primary production in the Flinders River

Faggotter, S., Burford, Michele, Robson, B. J. and Webster, I. T. (2011). Nutrients and primary production in the Flinders River<br />. Darwin, NT: Charles Darwin University.

Document type: Research Report
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Author Faggotter, S.
Burford, Michele
Robson, B. J.
Webster, I. T.
Title of Report Nutrients and primary production in the Flinders River
Publication Date 2011
ISBN 978-1-921576-38-6   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Publisher Charles Darwin University
Place of Publication Darwin, NT
Total Pages 47
Field of Research 300800 Environmental Sciences
Abstract Dryland tropical rivers have until now been relatively little-­‐studied, which has limited our capacity to predict how they might respond to catchment changes. Previous preliminary work in  the Flinders River had raised the possibility that primary productivity in this system was not  limited by light or nutrients, but by top-­‐down control. To test this hypothesis and improve  understanding of the biogeochemical and ecological functioning of Australian dryland tropical  rivers, we measured water quality, primary productivity, fish and zooplankton numbers in  in-­‐channel and off-­‐ channel waterhole sites of the Flinders River (Queensland) in the early-­‐  mid-­‐ and late-­‐dry season of 2009. We found that waterhole depth influenced water quality as  well as hydrology and that phytoplankton reached a maximum biomass early in the dry season, limited  by dissolved inorganic nutrient availability. Nutrient and chlorophyll concentrations increased over the course of the dry season, but this was due to evapo-­‐concentration as waterhole volumes declined rather than to any biological effect. We found no evidence for top-­‐down control of primary productivity in this system.

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Created: Tue, 08 Mar 2016, 11:00:07 CST by Marion Farram