Optimising environmental watering of floodplain wetlands for fish

L. Beesley, A.J. King, B. Gawne, J.D. Koehn, A. Price, D. Nielsen, F. Amtstaetter, S.N. Meredith

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    10 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    1. 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. 2. 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? 3. 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.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2024-2037
    Number of pages14
    JournalFreshwater Biology
    Volume59
    Issue number10
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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    floodplains
    floodplain
    wetlands
    wetland
    irrigation
    fish
    fish production
    water
    rivers
    spawning
    constructed wetlands
    river
    habitats
    habitat
    managers
    connectivity
    biota
    organisms
    productivity
    attribute

    Cite this

    Beesley, L., King, A. J., Gawne, B., Koehn, J. D., Price, A., Nielsen, D., ... Meredith, S. N. (2014). Optimising environmental watering of floodplain wetlands for fish. Freshwater Biology, 59(10), 2024-2037. https://doi.org/10.1111/fwb.12404
    Beesley, L. ; King, A.J. ; Gawne, B. ; Koehn, J.D. ; Price, A. ; Nielsen, D. ; Amtstaetter, F. ; Meredith, S.N. / Optimising environmental watering of floodplain wetlands for fish. In: Freshwater Biology. 2014 ; Vol. 59, No. 10. pp. 2024-2037.
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    Beesley, L, King, AJ, Gawne, B, Koehn, JD, Price, A, Nielsen, D, Amtstaetter, F & Meredith, SN 2014, 'Optimising environmental watering of floodplain wetlands for fish', Freshwater Biology, vol. 59, no. 10, pp. 2024-2037. https://doi.org/10.1111/fwb.12404

    Optimising environmental watering of floodplain wetlands for fish. / Beesley, L.; King, A.J.; Gawne, B.; Koehn, J.D.; Price, A.; Nielsen, D.; Amtstaetter, F.; Meredith, S.N.

    In: Freshwater Biology, Vol. 59, No. 10, 2014, p. 2024-2037.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    Beesley L, King AJ, Gawne B, Koehn JD, Price A, Nielsen D et al. Optimising environmental watering of floodplain wetlands for fish. Freshwater Biology. 2014;59(10):2024-2037. https://doi.org/10.1111/fwb.12404