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Summary 1. Historically, biogeographic barriers to the movement of aquatic organisms existed at multiple spatial scales and contributed to the development of unique regional faunas. At increasing spatial scales, these barriers consisted of waterfalls and cascades; catchment divides; major mountain ranges and oceans. This hierarchy of movement barriers produced increasingly distinct aquatic biotas at larger drainage units. 2. Humans have provided a variety of pathways by which aquatic species can circumvent historical biogeographic barriers. These include both authorised and unauthorised stocking, construction of canals and water conveyance systems, transport in ship ballast water, fishing and angling gear (including...
1. Field and laboratory experiments were conducted to assess the relative influence of water quality and substratum quality on benthic macroinvertebrate communities in the Animas River, a metal-polluted stream in south-western Colorado (U.S.A.). 2. A community-level in situ toxicity test measured direct effects of Animas River water on benthic invertebrates collected from a reference stream (Elk Creek). The effects of metal-contaminated biofilm were examined by comparing macroinvertebrate colonisation of clean and contaminated substrata placed in Elk Creek. A feeding experiment with the mayfly Baetis tricaudatus Dodds (Ephemeroptera: Baetidae) examined metal bioaccumulation and effects of metal-contaminated biofilm...
Summary 1. Fishes can often rebound numerically and distributionally from short-term (i.e. seasonal) drought, yet their capacity to recover from decades or centuries of drought is less apparent. An exceedingly warm and dry period swept the intermontane west of North America ca. 7500 years BP, concomitant with an abrupt extinction of >35 mammal species. Were larger fishes in mainstem rivers also impacted by this drought? 2. The Colorado River Basin encompasses seven states in western North America and drains 600 000 km2. Its endemic mainstem fish community is ancient (i.e. Miocene) but depauperate. 3. We evaluated one widely distributed candidate species (flannelmouth sucker, Catostomus latipinnis) for basin-wide...
1. The growth of riparian trees in semi-arid regions is influenced by stream flow regime, but the relative importance of base flow and seasonal floods on growth has not been explored. I examined abiotic influences on the growth of Platanus wrightii in four stream reaches in Arizona. All reaches had a bimodal pattern of discharge, but only two had continuous flow throughout the growing season. 2. In two reaches of Sycamore Creek without perennial flow, a large percentage of the annual variation in radial growth rate of P. wrightii was explained by annual and growing season flow rate. Growth was related to these same variables in a perennial reach of Sycamore Creek, but trees maintained higher growth during drought...
1. Riparian vegetation in dry regions is influenced by low-flow and high-flow components of the surface and groundwater flow regimes. The duration of no-flow periods in the surface stream controls vegetation structure along the low-flow channel, while depth, magnitude and rate of groundwater decline influence phreatophytic vegetation in the floodplain. Flood flows influence vegetation along channels and floodplains by increasing water availability and by creating ecosystem disturbance. 2. On reference rivers in Arizona's Sonoran Desert region, the combination of perennial stream flows, shallow groundwater in the riparian (stream) aquifer, and frequent flooding results in high plant species diversity and landscape...
1. The aquatic snail Valvata utahensis (Gastropoda: Valvatidae) is a federally endangered aquatic mollusk known only from the Snake River in southern Idaho, U.S.A. The Snake River, like many other large river systems in the western United States, has undergone substantial anthropogenic modifications in recent history that have altered water flows, changed physicochemical attributes of the water and produced an overall spatially fragmented aquatic system. 2. Because little is currently known about the basic biology and life history of V. utahensis, we conducted a detailed genetic analysis of amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) and mitochondrial DNA sequence variation in this species from six locations along...
1. Data from the literature were used to document colonization patterns by introduced freshwater fishes in 125 drainages across temperate North America. We analysed this data set to quantify susceptibility to invasion, success of the invaders and changes in species richness. 2. Drainages with a high number of impoundments, large basin area and low native species diversity had the greatest number of introduced species. Those drainages containing few native fishes exhibited great variation in the number of invaders, while waters with a rich native fauna contained few introduced species. However, this pattern did not differ significantly from random simulations because the pool of potential invaders is greater for...
1. The effects of phosphorus enrichment and grazing snails on a benthic microbial community that builds stromatolic oncolites were examined in an experiment at Rio Mesquites, Cuatro Ci´┐Żnegas, Mexico. Chemical analyses of stream water samples indicated that overall atomic ratios of total nitrogen (N) to total phosphorus (P) were approximately 110, indicating a strong potential for P-limitation of microbial growth. 2. Phosphorus enrichment involved addition of 5 ?mol Na2HPO4 L-1 to streamside microcosms receiving intermittent inputs of stream water while grazer manipulation involved removal of the dominant grazer, the snail Mexithauma quadripaludium. After 7 weeks, we examined responses in organic matter content,...