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

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: 1. Nutrient limitation of the biofilm is fundamental to stream ecosystem processes, as microbial activity shapes the biological availability and biogeochemical cycling of carbon and nutrients. 2. We used nutrient-diffusing substrata (NDS) to investigate heterotrophic nutrient limitation of microbial respiration (MR) across 20 streams draining boreal landscapes in northern Sweden. We also explored variation in microbial biomass and community structure of biofilms that developed on NDS using phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) biomarkers. Limitation was determined as a significant response of MR and biomass production on cellulose surfaces to enrichment with nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) or N + P, relative to controls. 3. Microbial respiration was N-limited, with an average 3.3-fold increase on N-amended NDS. Nitrogen limitation decreased, and control rates of MR increased, with greater background concentrations of inorganic N across the sites. 4. In contrast to MR, microbial biomass was primarily N-limited but was greatest for the N + P NDS. Accordingly, differences in respiratory versus biomass responses to nutrient addition resulted in significantly greater biomass-specific MR on N-amended NDS compared to all other treatments. In addition, PLFA biomarkers indicated distinct microbial communities on N and N + P NDS compared to controls and/or P NDS. 5. Greater MR and biomass, and the development of distinct microbial communities, when supplied with inorganic N suggest that factors which alter aquatic N loading during autumn may have important implications for ecosystem processes and the biogeochemistry of boreal streams and rivers. Our findings add to a growing body of evidence that the productivity of Fennoscandian boreal landscapes is constrained by N availability.
    Freshwater Biology 04/2015; DOI:10.1111/fwb.12549
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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: 1. Climate extremes and their physical impacts – including droughts, fires, floods, heat waves, storm surges and tropical cyclones – are important structuring forces in riverine ecosystems. Climate change is expected to increase the future occurrence of extremes, with potentially devastating effects on rivers and streams. We synthesise knowledge of extremes and their impacts on riverine ecosystems in Australia, a country for which projected changes in event characteristics reflect global trends. 2. Hydrologic extremes play a major structuring role in river ecology across Australia. Droughts alter water quality and reduce habitat availability, driving organisms to refugia. Extreme floods increase hydrological connectivity and trigger booms in productivity, but can also alter channel morphology and cause disturbances such as hypoxic blackwater events. 3. Tropical cyclones and post-cyclonic floods damage riparian vegetation, erode stream banks and alter water quality. Cyclone-induced delivery of large woody debris provides important instream habitat, although the wider ecological consequences of tropical cyclones are uncertain. 4. Wildfires destroy catchment vegetation and expose soils, increasing inputs of fine sediment and nutrients to streams, particularly when followed by heavy rains. 5. Research on the impacts of heat waves and storm surges is scarce, but data on temperature and salinity tolerances, respectively, may provide some insight into ecological responses. 6. We identify research gaps and hypotheses to guide future research on the ecology of extreme climate events in Australia and beyond. A range of phenomenological, experimental and modelling approaches is needed to develop a mechanistic understanding of the ecological impact of extreme events and inform prediction of responses to future change.
    Freshwater Biology 12/2014; DOI:10.1111/fwb.12515
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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
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    ABSTRACT: 1. Over the past few decades, numerous floodplain restoration projects have attempted to re-establish complex and diverse river floodplains. They often aim to restore lateral connectivity (i.e. interactions between the main river channel and floodplain channels) and rejuvenate floodplain habitats which are no longer maintained or created by fluvial processes. Nonetheless, results of these experiences in terms of hydromorphological conditions and adjustments are rarely shared. 2. The Rhône River is a large, highly regulated system where lateral connectivity has been greatly reduced. We investigated habitat dynamics (using sedimentological indicators as proxies) in 18 floodplain channels that were restored between 1999 and 2006. Environmental data (bathymetry and grain size of surficial fine sediments) were acquired on 3–5 surveys for each channel covering 6–12 years after restoration. In addition, a pre-restoration survey was made in 12 of the 18 channels. 3. Using pressure sensors in the floodplain channels and rating curves in the main channel, we quantified the upstream overflow frequency and magnitude (i.e. maximum shear stress) in the channels and tested how these variables explain observed sedimentological patterns. 4. Between-channel diversity accounted for 81% of the sedimentological variability observed after restoration. Time-averaged sedimentological conditions were robust and well predicted from overflow frequency and magnitude. Similarly, an indirect index of lateral connectivity used by hydrobiologists was also predictable from overflow frequency and magnitude. 5. The remaining 19% of the sedimentological variability was attributed to temporal variation within channels and was mainly related to changes in longitudinal grain size gradient. This emphasises that grain size patterns are periodically reworked as a result of the flooding regime (backflow versus overflow) without significantly affecting average grain sizes. However, trajectories of grain size changes were stochastic and not always related to the hydrological regime. Accordingly, the partial pre-restoration data suggest that post-restoration sedimentological conditions were often similar to those observed before restoration, except in a few channels where major restoration works were performed. 6. Our results quantify how changes in upstream overflow frequency and magnitude can modify physical conditions in the floodplain channels. They can be used to design habitats that are infrequent or missing at the floodplain scale. These results also suggest that changes in upstream plug morphology are a primary habitat driver. Such changes could be more frequently implemented in the Rhône and elsewhere to maximise the diversity of physical conditions in floodplains.
    Freshwater Biology 10/2014; (in press). DOI:10.1111/fwb.12411
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    ABSTRACT: We conducted microcosm experiments to examine the effect of viruses and heterotrophic nanoflagellates (together referred to as top‐down factors) on prokaryotic standing stock and prokaryotic community composition during the clear water phase (autumn season) in the oligotrophic Lake Pavin in France.In the experimental treatments containing viruses and viruses plus flagellates, the dissolved organic matter released through top‐down activity appeared to stimulate prokaryotic biomass production and viral proliferation.About 68% of the total prokaryotic abundance detected by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) revealed the dominance of typical freshwater groups, which included Beta‐proteobacteria, Actinobacteria and Cytophaga‐Flavobacterium subgroups at the start of the experiments.The manipulation of viruses and flagellates (presence or absence) was successful in inducing significant changes in prokaryotic community composition at a broad phylogenetic level, suggesting that prokaryotic lifestyles are influenced by top‐down factors. The Beta‐proteobacteria subgroup, which outgrew other prokaryotic groups in the absence of viruses and flagellates, was strongly suppressed and vulnerable to mortality in the presence of both the factors. Alpha‐proteobacteria and Actinobacteria subgroups grew significantly in the presence of top‐down factors, suggesting that the dissolved organic matter (regenerated nutrients) released through their activity favoured the development of these groups. The Cytophaga‐Flavobacterium subgroup failed to show any functional response in the presence or absence of top‐down factors.Low prokaryotic diversity in the experimental treatment containing viruses and high diversity in the presence of both top‐down factors were observed. We found synergistic interactions in treatments when both top‐down factors were present, suggesting that the process of nutrient regeneration was crucial in sustaining stable prokaryotic communities.
    Freshwater Biology 09/2014; 59(9). DOI:10.1111/fwb.12398
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    ABSTRACT: Isotopic ratios of nitrogen are often used in food‐web studies to determine trophic position (including food chain length) and food sources, with greater ratios of 15N/14N (δ15N) usually considered indicative of higher trophic position. However, fasting and starving animals may also show a progressive increase in δ15N over time as they catabolise their own tissues.To determine the importance of starvation, we conducted a 4‐month laboratory experiment testing effects of starvation on body condition and isotope ratios in the muscle tissue of freshwater guppies (Poecilia reticulata). We also compared laboratory results and conclusions with analyses of body condition and isotope ratios in various small species of fish collected in four seasons from the Kansas River in north‐eastern Kansas, U.S.A.Fish starved in our laboratory experiment had significantly higher 15N values and poorer body condition than those fed more regularly. The diverse group of fish species collected in summer (July) from the Kansas River had higher weight‐to‐length ratios and lower 15N values than those retrieved in other seasons. Overall body condition resulting from reduced food consumption explained 44 and 53% of the variability in 15N for field and laboratory fish, respectively.These results are applicable to a wide variety of food‐web research but are especially pertinent to studies of organisms that undergo large changes in life history, dormancy, extended fasts or periods of significant nutritional allocation to young.
    Freshwater Biology 09/2014; 59(9). DOI:10.1111/fwb.12396