Freshwater Biology (FRESHWATER BIOL )

Publisher: Freshwater Biological Association, Blackwell Publishing


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.

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    Freshwater Biology website
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    Freshwater biology
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    Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Journal / Magazine / Newspaper, Internet Resource

Publisher details

Blackwell Publishing

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    • 'Blackwell Publishing' is an imprint of 'Wiley'
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Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: 1. We assessed the influence of agricultural land use on aquatic-terrestrial linkages along streams arising from changes in the emergence of aquatic insects. We expected that terrestrial predators would respond to a change in the abundance and/or size structure of the emerging aquatic insects by an increase or decrease in population size. 2. We measured the flux of emergent aquatic insects and the abundance of terrestrial invertebrate predators and birds along 10 streams across a forest-to-agriculture land-use gradient. We also performed stable isotope analyses (hydrogen, carbon and nitrogen) of the terrestrial invertebrate predators. 3. High abundance of small aquatic insects (Nematocera) was associated with agricultural land use, whereas larger-bodied aquatic insects (Plecoptera and Trichoptera) were more associated with forest land use. Carabid beetles and linyphiid spiders were associated with agricultural streams (where there was a high abundance of small insects), whereas lycosid spiders and birds were associated with forest streams and a high abundance of large-sized aquatic insects. 4. The contribution of aquatic insects to the diets of riparian Lycosidae, Linyphiidae, and Carabidae was estimated to be 44%, 60% and 43%, respectively, indicating the importance of aquatic subsidies to the terrestrial system. 5. Our results show that agricultural land use in forested landscapes can have significant effects on terrestrial consumer abundance and diet through its impact on insect size structure, rather than overall quantity (numbers), of aquatic subsidies. Hence, our results suggest that the composition, not just quantity, of a cross-habitat resource may influence the recipient system.
    Freshwater Biology 12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: 1. Climate change is expected to not only raise water temperatures, but also to cause brownification of aquatic ecosystems via increased inputs of terrestrial dissolved organic matter. While efforts have been made to understand how increased temperature and brownification separately influence aquatic food webs, their interactive effects have been less investigated. Further, although climate change effects on aquatic ecosystems likely will propagate to terrestrial consumers via changes in aquatic insect emergence, this has rarely been studied. 2. We investigated the effect of climate change on aquatic insect emergence, in a large-scale outdoor pond facility where 16 sections – each containing natural food webs including a fish top-consumer population – were subjected to warming (3 °C above ambient temperatures) and/or brownification (by adding naturally humic stream water). Aquatic insect emergence was measured biweekly over 18 weeks. 3. We found no effect of warming or brownification on total emergent insect dry mass. However, warming significantly reduced the number of emergent Chironomidae, while numbers of larger taxa, Trichoptera and Ephemeroptera, remained unchanged. On average, 57% and 58% fewer Chironomidae emerged from the warmed clear and humic pond sections, respectively. This substantial decrease in emergent Chironomidae resulted in a changed community structure and on average larger individuals emerging from warm sections as well as from humic sections under ambient conditions. There was also a weak influence of fish biomass on the size structure of emergent aquatic insects, with a positive relationship between individual insect size and total fish biomass, but effects of fish were clearly subordinate to those of warming. 4. Climate change impacts on aquatic systems can have widespread consequences also for terrestrial systems, as aquatic insects are ubiquitous and their emergence represents an important resource flow from aquatic to terrestrial environments. While we found that neither warming nor brownification quantitatively changed total aquatic insect emergence biomass, the warming-induced decrease in number of emergent Chironomidae and the subsequent increase in average body size will likely impact terrestrial consumers relying on emergent aquatic insect as prey.
    Freshwater Biology 12/2014;
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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.
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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).
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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).
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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).