Artificial tidal lakes: built for humans, home for fish

Waltham, Nathan J., and Connolly, Rod M. (2013) Artificial tidal lakes: built for humans, home for fish. Ecological Engineering, 60. pp. 414-420.

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Abstract

The construction of artificial, residential waterways to increase the opportunities for coastal properties with waterfrontage is a common and widespread practice. We describe the fish community from the world's largest aggregation of artificial, estuarine lakes, the Burleigh Lake system that covers 280 ha on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. Fish were collected from 30 sites in winter and spring of one year, and water salinity was measured 3-monthly for a 10 year period. Fish are not present in deep, bottom waters and the intensive sampling focussed on the shallow waters around lake margins. The fish fauna consisted of 33 species. All but three species are marine species that can tolerate some brackishness. The other three are freshwater species, normally found in rivers but also occurring in the upper reaches of estuaries. Fish communities differed among the lakes, reflecting a weak gradient in salinity in lakes at different distances from the single connection to the natural estuary and thus marine waters. Overall, the deeper (to 28 m), wider (700 m) characteristics of lake estates, and their incorporation of partial barriers to tidal exchange with natural reaches of estuaries, remove some of the hydrological concerns with very extensive canal estates. The shallow lake margins are habitat for a subset of fish species inhabiting adjacent natural wetlands. Where the lakes occupy space that was formerly land, this is novel habitat for fish. In place, however, where lakes have replaced natural wetlands, further comparisons of fish in lake and adjacent natural wetlands will be useful.

Item ID: 32213
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-6992
Keywords: fish, urbanization, canal estates, salinity, tidal lakes, water quality
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2014 23:13
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060204 Freshwater Ecology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960802 Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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