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Title: The response of aquatic communities to water quality, land use, flow variability and extraction in an unregulated Australian coastal river
Contributor(s): Thurtell, Lisa (author); Ryder, Darren  (supervisor); Boulton, Andrew  (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 2015
Copyright Date: 2014
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: Stream ecosystems are greatly influenced by their catchments through the contribution of water and nutrients. While nutrients are an essential component in driving biological stream functions and processes, the continuing impact of changing land use and diffuse inputs has increased nutrient loads within most aquatic environments around the world. These increasing nutrient loads have resulted in artificial or cultural eutrophication, impairing water quality and aquatic ecosystem function. It is hypothesised in this thesis that catchment properties and agricultural land use increase total nutrient concentrations within the Manning River system on the north coast of New South Wales, Australia. Increases in nutrient concentrations, coupled with reduced flows, will have ecological impacts through increases in primary productivity and algal biomass. To assess how land use and river discharge influences biogeochemical processes, this study measured water quality under various flow conditions and assessed the responses of biota to flow and water quality changes. Regionally-derived nutrient thresholds were identified, as was the influence of discharge on in-stream nutrient concentrations and ratios. Nutrient enrichment experiments, nocturnal water quality investigations and assessments of macroinvertebrate community structure responses were also undertaken to better understand ecosystem functioning.
Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 060204 Freshwater Ecology
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 310304 Freshwater ecology
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 960999 Land and Water Management of Environments not elsewhere classified
Rights Statement: Copyright 2014 - Lisa Thurtell
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
Appears in Collections:Thesis Doctoral

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