Warfe, DM and Pettit, NE and Davies, PM and Pusey, BJ and Hamilton, SK and Kennard, MJ and Townsend, SA and Bayliss, P and Ward, DP and Douglas, MM and Burford, MA and Finn, M and Bunn, SE and Halliday, IA, The 'wet-dry' in the wet-dry tropics drives river ecosystem structure and processes in northern Australia, Freshwater Biology, 56, (11) pp. 2169-2195. ISSN 0046-5070 (2011) [Refereed Article]
Copyright 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
2. At present, the relatively low human population density and demand for water in the region means that most rivers have largely unmodified flow regimes. These rivers therefore provide a good opportunity to understand the role of natural flow variability in river ecosystem structure and processes.
3. This review describes the major flow regime classes characterising northern Australian rivers, from perennial to seasonally intermittent to extremely intermittent, and how these regimes give rise to marked differences in the ecological character of these tropical rivers, particularly their floodplains.
4. We describe the key features of these flow regimes, namely the wet and dry seasons and the transitions between these seasons, and how they regulate the biophysical heterogeneity, primary productivity and movement of biota in Australia’s wet–dry tropical rivers.
5. We develop a conceptual model that predicts the likely hydrological and ecological consequences of future increases in water abstraction (e.g. for agriculture), and suggest how such impacts can be managed so that the distinctive ecological character of these rivers is maintained.
|Item Type:||Refereed Article|
|Keywords:||environmental flows, estuaries, flow regime, hydrological connectivity, tropical floodplains|
|Research Division:||Biological Sciences|
|Research Field:||Freshwater ecology|
|Objective Division:||Environmental Management|
|Objective Group:||Marine systems and management|
|Objective Field:||Assessment and management of benthic marine ecosystems|
|UTAS Author:||Warfe, DM (Dr Danielle Warfe)|
|Web of Science® Times Cited:||84|
|Deposited By:||Biological Sciences|
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