The relationship between discharge, reach hydraulic complexity, zooplankton production and retention in a lowland river system

This project aims to test key elements of a conceptual flow-fish recruitment synthesis, that relates structural and geomorphic complexity with retentiveness of river reaches, as they relate to the retention and production of riverine zooplankton. Ultimately, we are interested in identifying the key features in rivers that are conducive to the growth and survival during early life history of riverine fishes. The project will document the nutrient and thermal landscapes in river reaches of varying hydraulic complexity, to determine if reaches with greater retentiveness are both conducive nutritionally and thermally for the growth and survival of fish larvae. The project is funded by the Murray-Darling Environmental Water Knowledge and Research Program.

Collaborators: Amina Price (MDFRC), Rick Stoffels (MDFRC), Luke McPhan (CSU), Rochelle Petrie (MDFRC) and Geoff Vietz (Uni of Melbourne, Streamology).

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