Contribution of floodplain wetland pools to the ecological functioning of the Fitzroy River Estuary

Sheaves, Marcus, Collins, John, Houston, Wayne, Dale, Pat, Revill, Andrew, Johnston, Ross, and Abrantes, Katya (2006) Contribution of floodplain wetland pools to the ecological functioning of the Fitzroy River Estuary. Report. Cooperative Research Centre for Coastal Zone, Estuary and Waterway Management, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.

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Abstract

Coastal wetlands function as links between terrestrial and marine ecosystems throughout the world. They have vibrant and diverse flora and fauna, and are crucial habitats for fish and invertebrates, often providing critical nursery grounds and are major contributors of nutrients to coastal systems. However, our present understanding of tropical and subtropical estuarine floodplain wetlands is limited, particularly in tropical and subtropical areas. This lack of understanding, together with their extensive ecological importance and their value to so many user groups, makes detailed understanding of estuarine floodplain wetlands an important research priority. The delta of the Fitzroy River, in Central Queensland, has extensive wetlands clustered around its large estuary system. Except during flooding, the aquatic environment of the wetlands is restricted to a number of semi-permanent pools of varying types and sizes, which are recognised as important nursery habitats for marine fish, such as barramundi. Unfortunately, the way these habitats provide for juvenile fish, and how juvenile fish interact with other animals and plants associated with the pools (as prey or predators) is unknown. Similarly, there is no knowledge of how aquatic animals are influenced by the type of pool environment (eg. marine or freshwater influenced), or how the compositions and fates of pool inhabitants are influenced by the degree and regularity of connection to other habitats. Thus the current project aims to extend, broaden and refine our understanding by investigating the in luence of connectivity on faunal dynamics and food webs of Fitzroy Estuarine Floodplain Wetland Pools. The current study was conducted during a drought period, with no substantial wet season flows during the project. This has two consequences: (1) the study is limited to wetland pools, with little ability to generalise the results to the whole wetland, and (2) the results of the study are not necessarily representative of the situation during wet years.

Item ID: 8358
Item Type: Report (Report)
Related URLs:
ISBN: 1-921017-70-8
Funders: Cooperative Research Centre for Coastal Zone, Estuary and Waterway Management
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2010 23:18
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050209 Natural Resource Management @ 25%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 25%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960502 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic Environments @ 100%
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