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Does flood rhythm drive ecosystem responses in tropical riverscapes?

Jardine, Timothy D., Bond, Nicholas R., Burford, Michele A., Kennard, Mark J., Ward, Douglas P., Bayliss, Peter, Davies, Peter M., Douglas, Michael M., Hamilton, Stephen K., Melack, John M., Naiman, Robert J., Pettit, Neil E., Pusey, Bradley J., Warfe, Danielle M. and Bunn, Stuart E. (2015). Does flood rhythm drive ecosystem responses in tropical riverscapes?. Ecology,96(3):684-692.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID 75039815xPUB846
Title Does flood rhythm drive ecosystem responses in tropical riverscapes?
Author Jardine, Timothy D.
Bond, Nicholas R.
Burford, Michele A.
Kennard, Mark J.
Ward, Douglas P.
Bayliss, Peter
Davies, Peter M.
Douglas, Michael M.
Hamilton, Stephen K.
Melack, John M.
Naiman, Robert J.
Pettit, Neil E.
Pusey, Bradley J.
Warfe, Danielle M.
Bunn, Stuart E.
Journal Name Ecology
Publication Date 2015
Volume Number 96
Issue Number 3
ISSN 0012-9658   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84929658590
Start Page 684
End Page 692
Total Pages 9
Place of Publication United States of America
Publisher John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Biotic communities are shaped by adaptations from generations of exposure to selective pressures by recurrent and often infrequent events. In large rivers, floods can act as significant agents of change, causing considerable physical and biotic disturbance while often enhancing productivity and diversity. We show that the relative balance between these seemingly divergent outcomes can be explained by the rhythmicity, or predictability of the timing and magnitude, of flood events. By analyzing biological data for large rivers that span a gradient of rhythmicity in the Neotropics and tropical Australia, we find that systems with rhythmic annual floods have higher fish species richness, more stable avian populations, and elevated rates of riparian forest production compared with those with arrhythmic flood pulses. Intensification of the hydrological cycle driven by climate change, coupled with reductions in runoff due to water extractions for human use and altered discharge from impoundments, is expected to alter the hydrologic rhythmicity of floodplain rivers with significant consequences for both biodiversity and productivity.
Keywords Arrhythmic systems
Flood pulse
Hydrologic cycle
River basins
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