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Title: Managing sources, sinks and transport of natural contaminants in regulated rivers: a case study in the Murrumbidgee River catchment, NSW
Contributor(s): Ryder, Darren  (author); Vink, Sue (author); Bleakley, Nerida Lynn (author); Burns, Adrienne  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2007
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Abstract: Environmental flows are assuming a central role in the sustainable management of Australian rivers. These flows are intended to recreate a flow regime and habitats which existed before the onset of flow regulation. Such flows, however, are now being implemented in a highly modified landscape, resulting in drastic changes to contaminant cycles which are now highly dependent on regulated, in-channel flows. This study examines the dynamics of contaminants (nutrients and salts) in each of three major riverine habitats; water column, sediments and biofilms, to identify sub-catchments with the highest potential for supplying salts to the main stem of the Murrumbidgee River, south-eastern Australia. Concentrations of contaminants in the sediments and biofilms were two orders of magnitude higher than in the water column in all sites, highlighting their importance as a sink for salts during low flows, and a potential source during in-stream freshes. By managing the timing and magnitude of regulated flow releases, environmental flows could be used to either enhance in-stream productivity by scouring nutrients and salts from in-channel habitats, diluting high loadings of unwanted contaminants (salts) transported from degraded sub-catchments, or reduce nutrient availability for downstream foodwebs by diluting nutrient rich floodwaters from catchment scale runoff events.
Publication Type: Conference Publication
Conference Details: 5ASM 2007: 5th Annual Australian Stream Management Conference, Thurgoona, Australia, 21st - 25th May, 2007
Source of Publication: Proceedings of the 5th Australian Stream Management Conference - Australian rivers: making a difference, p. 354-359
Publisher: Charles Sturt University
Place of Publication: Online
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 060204 Freshwater Ecology
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 960999 Land and Water Management of Environments not elsewhere classified
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: E1 Refereed Scholarly Conference Publication
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Appears in Collections:Conference Publication

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