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Temporal variation in benthic primary production in streams of the Australian wet–dry tropics


Garcia, EA and Pettit, NE and Warfe, DM and Davies, PM and Kyne, PM and Novak, P and Douglas, MM, Temporal variation in benthic primary production in streams of the Australian wet-dry tropics, Hydrobiologia, 760, (1) pp. 43-55. ISSN 0018-8158 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 Springer International Publishing, Switzerland

DOI: doi:10.1007/s10750-015-2301-6


In the Australian wet–dry tropics, seasonal changes in hydrology can influence abiotic conditions and consequently influence standing stocks of benthic biomass and production. While there is some understanding of these processes at riverscape scales, effects of seasonal hydrology on benthic biomass and production in low-order streams remain largely unquantified. We observed changes in water quality, algal and macroinvertebrate biomass, and stream benthic primary productivity over a 15-month period in three low-order streams with contrasting flow regimes in the wet–dry tropics of northern Australia. Water quantity and quality showed a distinct seasonal signature reflected in seasonal peaks in algal (maximum 1.29 µg cm−2) and macroinvertebrate biomass (maximum 0.24 g m−2), and productivity (maximum 0.41 g C m−2 days−1). In particular, transitional periods between dry and wet seasons were key times of elevated production and algal biomass. Overall, variation in biomass and benthic primary production was greater between seasons than among streams indicating that extrapolation between seasons may not be appropriate.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:benthic algae, gross primary production, intermittent streams, macroinvertebrates, metabolism, seasonal hydrology, water quality
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Freshwater ecology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Other environmental management
Objective Field:Other environmental management not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Warfe, DM (Dr Danielle Warfe)
ID Code:106722
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:12
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2016-02-18
Last Modified:2016-05-30

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