Dryland Refugia Project Water Quality
Griffith University Author(s)
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Field and laboratory water quality data collected from a number of sites in the Cooper Creek (Lake Eyre Basin), Warrego River and Border Rivers (Murray-Darling Basin) between 2001 and 2004 as part of the CRC for Freshwater Ecology, Dryland River Refugia project.Field and laboratory water quality data collected from a number of sites in the Cooper Creek (Lake Eyre Basin), Warrego River and Border Rivers (Murray-Darling Basin) between 2001 and 2004 as part of the CRC for Freshwater Ecology, Dryland River Refugia project.
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Open Access. Files available via the Data Link.
Dryland rivers such as those in the northern regions of the Murray-Darling Basin and in the Lake Eyre Basin are renowned for their episodic floods that extend over vast floodplains. However, for much of the time they exist as a network of ephemeral channels and turbid waterholes. Many of these river systems are essentially unregulated but are under increasing pressure, especially for water resource development for irrigated agriculture. Land degradation from overgrazing and cropping, and invasions of exotic plants and animals also pose major threats. Although some aquatic organisms with desiccation resistant life stages can utilise ephemeral aquatic refugia on the floodplain (e.g. claypans), the larger waterbodies represent the only permanent aquatic habitat for much of the aquatic biota during extended periods of low or no flow. The major aim of this project is to determine the importance of waterholes as refugia for aquatic organisms in dryland river catchments. We propose to determine the relationship between biodiversity and the physical attributes of individual waterholes as well as their spatial and temporal pattern of connectivity in the landscape. We also propose to identify the biophysical processes that sustain biodiversity and ecosystem health in dryland river refugia. This information will enable us to predict the likely impacts of water resource development, as well as changed floodplain and riparian management, on biodiversity and ecosystem function in dryland river refugia. It will also assist us in identifying key environmental flow and land management criteria to restore dryland rivers where altered flow regimes and changed land management have affected connectivity and other key biophysical processes.
960604 - Environmental Management Systems