Freshwater Biology (FRESHWATER BIOL)

Publisher: Freshwater Biological Association, Wiley

Journal description

With a ISI Impact Factor of 1.392, Freshwater Biology is among the leading journals in the field of limnological research.The Journal publishes papers on all aspects of the ecology of lakes and rivers, including studies of micro-organisms, algae, macrophytes, invertebrates, fish and other vertebrates, as well as those concerning whole systems and related physical and chemical aspects of the environment. Manuscripts with an experimental or conceptual flavour are especially welcome, as are those which integrate laboratory and field work, and studies from less well researched areas of the world.

Current impact factor: 2.91

Impact Factor Rankings

2015 Impact Factor Available summer 2015
2013 / 2014 Impact Factor 2.905
2012 Impact Factor 3.933
2011 Impact Factor 3.29
2010 Impact Factor 3.082
2009 Impact Factor 2.861
2008 Impact Factor 2.704
2007 Impact Factor 2.65
2006 Impact Factor 2.502
2005 Impact Factor 2.797
2004 Impact Factor 2.205
2003 Impact Factor 1.936
2002 Impact Factor 1.595
2001 Impact Factor 1.597
2000 Impact Factor 1.571
1999 Impact Factor 2.083
1998 Impact Factor 1.687
1997 Impact Factor 1.392
1996 Impact Factor 1.542
1995 Impact Factor 1.351
1994 Impact Factor 1.305
1993 Impact Factor 1.371
1992 Impact Factor 1.218

Impact factor over time

Impact factor

Additional details

5-year impact 3.82
Cited half-life 8.90
Immediacy index 0.52
Eigenfactor 0.02
Article influence 1.20
Website Freshwater Biology website
Other titles Freshwater biology
ISSN 0046-5070
OCLC 1793027
Material type Periodical, Internet resource
Document type Journal / Magazine / Newspaper, Internet Resource

Publisher details


  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author cannot archive a post-print version
  • Restrictions
    • 12 months embargo
  • Conditions
    • Some journals have separate policies, please check with each journal directly
    • On author's personal website, institutional repositories, arXiv, AgEcon, PhilPapers, PubMed Central, RePEc or Social Science Research Network
    • Author's pre-print may not be updated with Publisher's Version/PDF
    • Author's pre-print must acknowledge acceptance for publication
    • On a non-profit server
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • Publisher source must be acknowledged with citation
    • Must link to publisher version with set statement (see policy)
    • If OnlineOpen is available, BBSRC, EPSRC, MRC, NERC and STFC authors, may self-archive after 12 months
    • If OnlineOpen is available, AHRC and ESRC authors, may self-archive after 24 months
    • Publisher last contacted on 07/08/2014
    • This policy is an exception to the default policies of 'Wiley'
  • Classification
    ​ yellow

Publications in this journal

  • Freshwater Biology 06/2015; DOI:10.1111/fwb.12607
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    ABSTRACT: Freshwater habitats have been severely altered by human activities, and legislation has variously been passed requiring assessment of the damage in preparation for its repair. The current condition is generally measured against a reference state, which may be ‘natural’, meaning pre-Columbian, in the United States, pre-European in Australia or, in Europe, a habitat with ‘no, or negligible human influence’. Such standards are mostly unachievable at present because of a current economic philosophy that promotes exploitation of nature, but they are also nebulous. Even pristine habitats naturally change, so that there can be no single immutable reference state. Nonetheless, in Europe at least, the concept of the reference state has been particularly compromised, compared with the aspirations of the legislation.Apart from a very liberal approach to setting reference standards, there has been a major omission in contemplating the general nature of the reference state. The potential former roles of large herbivorous land mammals, such as horses, bovines, deer and, early in the Holocene, elephants and rhinoceri, and their predators, in nutrient transfers, have been ignored. The effects of such large mammals, particularly in influencing lakes, are assessed in the light of major losses of much of the Pleistocene fauna during the hunter-gatherer phase of human colonisation, and then subsequent near-complete attrition when agriculture, husbandry and forestry converted the majority of biomes to ‘anthromes’.Animals, and particularly large herbivorous mammals, transfer nutrients across catchments. Large mammals are likely to have maintained a state of turbid water and algal blooms in pristine, poorly flushed, shallow floodplain lakes. In contrast, we currently perceive these to be in a reference state when dominated by submerged plant communities in clear water. Although of conceptual interest, this may seem to have little practical relevance because the reference state has become a pragmatic and political construct rather than an ecological one.I counter such a view by arguing that mitigation of climate change must require replacement of substantial carbon sinks that have been lost, that ecological sinks within restored biomes are likely to be the most effective and that restoration of such systems must involve the important roles of large mammals, with the implications these have for our concepts of lake restoration.
    Freshwater Biology 06/2015; DOI:10.1111/fwb.12614
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    ABSTRACT: Although commonly used by those tasked with lake management, the statistical approach of data averaging (DA) followed by ordinary least-squares regression (OLSR) to generate nutrient limitation models is outdated and may impede the understanding and successful management of lake eutrophication.Using a 21-year data set from Lake Champlain as a case study, the traditional DA-OLSR-coupled approach was re-evaluated and improved to quantify the cause-effect relationships between chlorophyll (Chl) and total nitrogen (TN) or total phosphorus (TP).We confirmed that the commonly used DA-OLSR approach results in misleading cause-effect nutrient limitation inferences by illustrating how the process of DA reduces the range of data distribution considered and masks meaningful temporal variation observed within a given period.Our model comparisons demonstrate that using quantile regression (QR) to fit the upper boundary of the response distribution (99th quantile model) is more robust than the OLSR analysis for generating eutrophication models and developing nutrient management targets, as this method reduces the effects of unmeasured factors that plague the OLSR-derived model. Because our approach is statistically in line with the ecological ‘law of the minimum’, it is particularly powerful for inferring resource limitation with broad potential utility to the ecological research community.By integrating percentile selection (PS) with QR-derived model output, we developed a PS-QR-coupled approach to quantify the relative importance of TN and TP reductions in a eutrophic system. Utilising this approach, we determined that the reduction in TP to meet a specific Chl target should be the first priority to mitigate eutrophication in Lake Champlain. The structure of this statistically robust and straightforward approach for developing nutrient reduction targets can be easily adopted as an individual lake-specific tool for the research and management of other lakes and reservoirs with similar water quality data sets.Moreover, the PS-QR-coupled approach developed here is also of theoretical importance to understanding and modelling the interacting effects of multiple limiting factors on ecological processes (e.g. eutrophication) with broad application to aquatic research.
    Freshwater Biology 06/2015; DOI:10.1111/fwb.12615
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    ABSTRACT: The flow regime of a river is fundamental in determining its ecological characteristics. Impoundment of rivers has been documented to severely impact the natural flow regime, resulting in abiotic and biotic changes in downstream ecosystems. Contemporary water legislation is driving increasing concern among environmentalists and water resource managers with respect to how these impacts can be mitigated. This has stimulated research aimed at assessing the relationship between reservoir outflow modification (i.e. managed environmental flows) and downstream ecosystem responses.We carried out a critical review and synthesis of the global literature concerning post-impoundment reservoir outflow modification and associated downstream biotic and abiotic responses. Seventy-six studies published between 1981 and 2012 were analysed. In contrast to previous studies of this subject, we systematically assessed the methodological quality of research to identify strengths and weaknesses of the approaches. We also undertook a novel quantification of ecosystem responses to flow modification, thus enabling identification of priorities for future research.We identified that: (i) there was a research bias towards North American and Western European studies; (ii) the majority of studies reported changes in flow magnitude (e.g. artificial floods) and primarily focused on traditionally monitored ecological groups (e.g. fish); (iii) relationships between flow, biota (e.g. macroinvertebrates) and water quality (e.g. electrical conductivity and suspended solids concentration) were evident, demonstrating the potential for managed environmental flows to manipulate river ecosystems; (iv) site-specific factors (e.g. location, climate) are likely to be important as some ecosystem responses were inconsistent between studies (e.g. fish movement in response to increases in flow magnitude); and (v) quality of study design, methodological and analytical techniques varied, and these factors may have contributed to the reported variability of ecosystem response.To advance scientific understanding and guide future management of regulated flow regimes, we highlight a pressing need for: (i) diversification of study locations as well as flow modification and ecosystem response types assessed; (ii) a focus on understanding flow–ecosystem response relationships at regional scales; (iii) further quantitative studies to enable robust statistical analyses in future meta-analyses; and (iv) robust monitoring of flow experiments and the use of contemporary statistical techniques to extract maximum knowledge from ecological response data.
    Freshwater Biology 02/2015; 60(2):410-425. DOI:10.1111/fwb.12506
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    ABSTRACT: Polyaluminium chloride (PAC) addition has been proposed as a technique to precipitate dissolved phosphorus (P) and reduce the internal loading of P in eutrophic hardwater lakes. However, the direct and indirect detrimental effects of PAC on aquatic communities and ecosystem processes are virtually unknown.We determined how PAC may affect a leaf litter–fungus–shredder decomposition system in the littoral habitat of eutrophic hardwater lakes.We hypothesised that PAC will exert little direct toxicity on aquatic organisms at high pH but trigger indirect bottom-up effects by affecting fungal biomass, leaf litter food quality (Al, N and P contents), trophic transfer and the behaviour and performance of a leaf-shredding consumer.We tested these hypotheses in a microcosm experiment involving a leaf-shredding amphipod, Gammarus pulex, offered conditioned aspen leaves as food. We measured concentrations of Al, N, P and organic C in water, leaves and gammarids; fungal biomass associated with leaf litter; gammarid survival, body mass, feeding rate (FR) and N assimilation efficiency; and fine-particulate organic matter (FPOM) generation in microcosms receiving 0, 2 and 20 g Al flakes per m2.Survival rates of G. pulex were similar in all microcosms, suggesting that even the high dose of Al flakes was below lethal levels. However, exposure to Al flakes decreased fungal biomass in leaves, the FR of gammarids, FPOM production and N assimilation efficiency. The C/N and C/P ratios of both leaves and gammarids also decreased in microcosms receiving Al flakes, supporting the hypothesis that stoichiometric imbalances between food and consumers were altered by exposure to Al flakes.These results point to the importance of indirect effects of PAC on lake communities and ecosystems beyond direct toxicity on invertebrates. Although not all those effects are necessarily undesirable, their numbers, interdependencies and potential to act in concert suggest they need to be considered in ecotoxicological assessments.
    Freshwater Biology 01/2015; DOI:10.1111/fwb.12529
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    ABSTRACT: Climate change scenarios predict an increase in global temperature and alterations in precipitation regimes, which may change nutrient concentrations in waterbodies. In forested streams, decomposition of allochthonous organic matter is a key ecosystem process that is affected by the quality of plant litter entering the streams and several environmental factors, including nutrient concentrations, whose interactive effects are difficult to predict.We examined the concomitant effects of increased temperature, concentration of inorganic nutrients in stream water and litter quality on leaf decomposition and activity of microbial decomposers. Leaves of alder (Alnus glutinosa) and oak (Quercus robur), representative of high and low initial N content, respectively, were immersed in a stream (NW Portugal) to allow microbial colonisation and then were exposed in microcosms to increasing concentrations of N-NO3 (0.09–5 mg L−1; six levels) and P-PO4 (0.003–0.3 mg L−1; three levels) alone or in all possible combinations. One set of microcosms was kept at 12 °C, a temperature typically found in Iberian streams in autumn, and the other set at 18 °C to simulate a warming scenario.Nitrogen immobilisation was higher in alder than in oak leaves, and increased with temperature and N concentration in stream water for both leaf species.Leaf decomposition, fungal biomass accrual and reproduction were not affected by P concentration, but overall microbial activity increased asymptotically (Michaelis–Menten kinetics) with N concentration. Increased temperature led to an increase in maximum activity of fungal decomposers and to a decrease in N concentration needed to achieve it, especially in alder leaves.Under the predicted warming scenario, leaf decomposition may become faster in streams with lower nutrient levels, especially those receiving high-quality leaf litter.
    Freshwater Biology 11/2014; 59(11):2390-2399. DOI:10.1111/fwb.12445