Drivers of zooplankton dynamics in a small tropical lowland river.

Godfrey, Paul C., Pearson, Richard G., Pusey, Bradley J., and Arthington, Angela H. (2021) Drivers of zooplankton dynamics in a small tropical lowland river. Marine and Freshwater Research, 72 (2). MF20067. pp. 173-185.

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Abstract

There is limited information available on the ecology of planktonic invertebrate assemblages of small tropical lowland rivers, despite zooplankton being a vital resource for larval fish. Herein we describe the spatial patterns and temporal dynamics of invertebrate zooplankton at 8 locations over a 25-month period in the lowland section of a short coastal river in the Australian Wet Tropics. Zooplankton were more abundant in slack than flowing waters and assemblages were dominated by Copepoda, but contained many less numerous taxa, including freshwater invertebrates at the more upstream sites. Taxonomic richness, total density and the densities of the most abundant taxa were greatest in the most downstream sites. Seasonal patterns in the density of zooplankton did not differ between the 2 years. Distance-based linear modelling of assemblages identified distance downstream and associated variables, such as salinity, as the most important environmental effects on zooplankton. The zooplankton assemblage in the lower Mulgrave River is strongly influenced by the incised nature of the river, perennial flows, the presence of slack waters, wet season floods and estuarine incursion. Zooplankton dynamics differ from the typical pattern of tropical floodplain systems in that their maximum proliferation occurs during the benign but productive late dry season.

Item ID: 67649
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1448-6059
Keywords: Australia, estuary, flood plain, flow regime, microcrustacea.
Copyright Information: © CSIRO 2021.
Funders: Cooperative Research Centre for Tropical Rainforest Ecology and Management, Griffith University
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2021 01:57
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310304 Freshwater ecology @ 50%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1803 Fresh, ground and surface water systems and management > 180303 Fresh, ground and surface water biodiversity @ 50%
18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1802 Coastal and estuarine systems and management > 180203 Coastal or estuarine biodiversity @ 50%
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