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Clear as mud: the ecology and conservation of a secretive wetland fish (Neochanna cleaveri:Galaxiidae) in a heavily altered landscape


Whiterod, NS and Hammer, MP and Barnes, TC and Tucker, M and Adams, M and Raadik, TA, Clear as mud: the ecology and conservation of a secretive wetland fish (Neochanna cleaveri:Galaxiidae) in a heavily altered landscape, Wetlands Ecology and Management, 28 pp. 779-795. ISSN 0923-4861 (2020) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright Springer Nature B.V. 2020

DOI: doi:10.1007/s11273-020-09748-7


The rediscovery of presumed extirpated populations provides a second chance opportunity for species and habitat conservation. This study details the redetection of a westerly outlying population of a secretive wetland fish, the Australian Mudfish Neochanna cleaveri, as a positive note in the face of major environmental change. It also documents the basic ecology of the population to inform natural resource management and better understand the needs of similar habitat specialists. Nuclear genetic markers (allozymes) revealed the rediscovered population to be closely related to those in other parts of the range. Targeted sampling in the south east of South Australia indicated a robust population, occupying vegetated ephemeral wetlands and drains across two fragmented and contrasting systems. Movement sampling failed to detect migrating juveniles, which was supported by otolith trace elemental chemistry, that implied a wholly freshwater or at least non-marine lifecycle. Together these data indicate specific conservation management is warranted for a regionally disjunct and independent population and emphasises the importance of both remnant ephemeral wetlands and some artificial habitats for maintaining freshwater biodiversity across heavily altered landscapes.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:fish, conservation, wetlands, freshwater fish, rediscovery, disjunct populations, Galaxiidae
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Freshwater ecology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Fresh, ground and surface water systems and management
Objective Field:Fresh, ground and surface water biodiversity
UTAS Author:Barnes, TC (Dr Thomas Barnes)
ID Code:142786
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Fisheries and Aquaculture
Deposited On:2021-02-11
Last Modified:2021-12-08

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