Bradley James Pusey

Bradley James Pusey
University of Western Australia | UWA · Biological Sciences

PhD (UWA) 1991

About

150
Publications
60,976
Reads
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7,560
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2011 - June 2012
University of Western Australia
Position
  • Professor
January 1988 - December 2012
Griffith University
Position
  • Senior Researcher

Publications

Publications (150)
Article
The critical role of hydrology in tropical floodplain river systems is well established, but there is limited information on the drivers of larval and juvenile recruitment of freshwater fishes in small tropical rivers. Herein we describe the patterns of occurrence and abundance of fish larvae, juveniles and adults in the lower reaches of a short, d...
Article
• River flows are commonly altered by water resource development, with changes to the natural flow regime potentially impacting riparian vegetation. Increasingly, water resource managers seek to design policy to maintain healthy riparian ecosystems. Models that make explicit the relationship between hydrological variables and vegetation can be used...
Article
• The cultural and ecological importance of fork‐tailed catfish, Neoarius graeffei, in northern Australia is linked to its energy stores, or how fat fish are. Water resource development that alters river flow has the potential to impact the energy stores of fork‐tailed catfish. • We investigated the influence of flow and habitat on the energy reser...
Article
Both brown (detrital-based) and green (algal-based) food pathways support freshwater food webs, although the importance of either source may vary within species, regions and different phases of the flow regime. The bony bream (Nematalosa erebi Clupeidae: Dorosomatinae) is one of Australia's most widely distributed freshwater fish species and is a k...
Article
Full-text available
Rivers around the world are threatened by altered flow due to water resource development. Altered flow can change food webs and impact riverine energetics. The Fitzroy River, in northern Australia, is targeted for development but uncertainty remains about the sources of carbon supporting the food web, particularly in the lowlands—the region most li...
Article
Full-text available
• Environmental water management seeks to balance competing demands between the water needed to sustain human populations and their economic activities and that required to sustain functioning freshwater ecosystems and the species they support. It must be predicated on an understanding of the environmental, hydrological, and biological factors that...
Article
• While fish reproduction has played a critical role in development of life‐history theory, the collective effects of a marine‐to‐freshwater invasion on a clade's reproductive ecology have rarely been explored in a phylogenetic context. We analysed and compared a range of quantitative and qualitative components of reproductive ecology in the Austra...
Article
Full-text available
Benthic algae are a major source of carbon supporting aquatic food webs in northern Australia, but little is known about the factors that regulate algal production. We surveyed benthic algal biomass in mainstem habitats of an unregulated sandy tropical river (the Fitzroy River) during a base-flow period. We used predictive models to reveal the phys...
Article
Both brown (detrital-based) and green (algal-based) food pathways support freshwater food webs, although the importance of either source may vary within species, regions and different phases of the flow regime. The bony bream (Nematalosa erebi Clupeidae: Dorosomatinae) is one of Australia’s most widely distributed freshwater fish species and is a k...
Article
Flooding of the terminal floodplains of northern Australian rivers provides a greatly expanded, productive habitat accessed by both freshwater and estuarine fishes. This study aimed to determine the extent to which sea catfishes (Ariidae) make use of floodplains and the reasons for doing so (i.e. spawning, feeding). Nine species were collected from...
Article
There is limited information available on the ecology of planktonic invertebrate assemblages of small tropical lowland rivers, despite zooplankton being a vital resource for larval fish. Herein we describe the spatial patterns and temporal dynamics of invertebrate zooplankton at 8 locations over a 25-month period in the lowland section of a short c...
Article
Full-text available
Environmental flow assessments (e-flows) are widely used within water allocation planning to address the threat to rivers and human communities posed by water extraction. However, conceptual models underpinning e-flows tend to include only biophysical interactions, eschewing socio-cultural complexity, local knowledge, and governance arrangements. T...
Article
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• Predator–prey interactions are an inherently local‐scale phenomenon, but the intensity of these interactions can be mediated by abiotic conditions that can exert a multi‐scaled influence through space and time. Understanding how multi‐scale abiotic factors may influence local‐scale biotic processes has proven challenging; however, the hierarchica...
Article
Full-text available
The modification of river flow regimes poses a significant threat to the world’s freshwater ecosystems. Northern Australia’s freshwater resources, particularly dry season river flows, are being increasingly modified to support human development, potentially threatening aquatic ecosystems and biodiversity, including fish. More information is urgentl...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Changing preferences regarding which species humans have transported to new regions can have major consequences for the potential distribution of alien taxa, but the mechanisms shaping these patterns are poorly understood. We assessed the extent to which changes in human preferences for transporting and introducing alien freshwater fishes have...
Article
While flow regime is widely recognised as an over‐arching feature structuring aquatic ecosystems, the influence of flood events on feeding habits in fish assemblages inhabiting variable environments remains largely unknown. In this study, we investigated how diets of a fish assemblage changed in response to fluctuations in hydrology in a highly var...
Article
We examined the influence of past and present landscape structure across five regions of northern and eastern Australia on phylogeographic structure in the freshwater fish Glossamia aprion. We predicted the geological isolation of North West Australia would promote the strongest phylogeographic structure, including highest endemism of candidate spe...
Article
Full-text available
Northern Australia is biologically diverse and of national and global conservation signicance. Its ancient landscape contains the world’s largest area of savannah ecosystem in good ecological condition and its rivers are largely free-flowing. Agriculture, previously confined largely to open range-land grazing, is set to expand in extent and to focu...
Article
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The upstream migration of juvenile amphidromous shrimps has been proposed as a source of marine or estuarine-derived nutrients into fresh water. Little is known about the size and ecological importance of any such subsidy as there have been few observational or empirical studies on the topic. We investigated the upstream migration of the amphidromo...
Article
Food web studies integrate ecological information and provide understanding of ecosystem function. Aquatic ecosystems of the Kimberley region (north-Western Australia) have high conservation significance as hotspots for maintaining local and regional biodiversity. This study investigated the influence of waterhole type and persistence on the streng...
Article
Full-text available
Caridean shrimp have considerable effects on ecosystem processes and, thus, understanding their use of key habitats is important for determining their potential ecological effect. The present study examined the meso-habitat use of Macrobrachium spinipes, a large-bodied and important amphidromous species, in the Daly River, northern Australia. We ex...
Article
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Aquatic ecosystems are critical to the long-term viability and vibrancy of communities and economies across northern Australia. In a region that supports significant cultural and ecological water values, partnerships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous stakeholders can benefit aquatic ecosystem management. We present, as a case study from the Kim...
Article
Intermittent rivers make up a large portion of the global river network and are the dominant river type in northern Australia. Increased pressure is being placed on such systems, and a better understanding of their ecology is needed. We examined, over a 7-year period, the fish fauna of the intermittent Fergusson River, a major tributary of the Daly...
Article
Full-text available
The Australasian Saratoga (Pisces: Osteoglossidae) is currently recognised as comprised of two species Scleropages leichardti and S. jardinii. The Prussian explorer Ludwig Leichhardt (1813–c.1848) collected specimens of both species on his first major expedition across northern Australia but believed at the time that all specimens collected were fr...
Article
Contrasting evolutionary histories may be revealed by mitochondrial and nuclear information. Divergent New Guinean and eastern and western Australian lineages of Hephaestus fuliginosus (sooty grunter) were detected using mitochondrial data, with the extent of divergence consistent with cryptic speciation events. However, this phylogeographic patter...
Article
Amphidromous shrimp inhabiting large river systems are thought to migrate downstream to hatch larvae close to the estuary or sea. Recent work on Macrobrachium spinipes in northern Australia challenged this hypothesis, with the discovery of abundant females in reproductive condition over 400 km upstream. We investigated the early life history of M....
Article
Estuaries are recognised globally as areas of high production, diversity and high economic value. Exploitation of the economic potential of estuaries and attendant infrastructural development plus expansion of human populations has resulted in degradation of estuaries worldwide. Many estuaries of northern Australia, in contrast, remain in good ecol...
Article
Full-text available
Accelerating environmental change is perhaps the greatest challenge for natural resource management; successful strategies need to be effective for decades to come. Our objective is to identify opportunities that new environmental conditions may provide for conservation, restoration, and resource use in a globally recognized biodiversity hotspot in...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The Fitzroy River is the largest river in the Kimberley region of Western Australia and contains significant biological, conservation and geoheritage values. Socio/cultural values, especially Indigenous values, are significant also but are not considered here. Current land use is dominated by rangeland grazing and very limited irrigated agriculture...
Article
Full-text available
Rivers in tropical Australia are largely pristine, and ecosystem connectivity is intact, but water resources in northern Australia are under increasing development pressure. A better understanding of the role and life histories of key migratory species is urgently needed to manage the risks posed by development. We investigated the life history of...
Article
Full-text available
Biotic communities are shaped by adaptations from generations of exposure to selective pressures by recurrent and often infrequent events. In large rivers, floods can act as significant agents of change, causing considerable physical and biotic disturbance while often enhancing productivity and diversity. We show that the relative balance between t...
Article
Full-text available
Using the Australian marine-freshwater terapontid fishes as a model system, we examined the role of dietary phenotypic optima in an adaptive macro-evolutionary landscape. Comparative modelling relying on both a priori and data-driven identification of selective regimes suggested multi-peak models as best describing much of the dietary phenotypic la...
Article
Full-text available
More than 80 incidences of fish predation by semi-aquatic spiders - observed at the fringes of shallow freshwater streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, swamps, and fens - are reviewed. We provide evidence that fish predation by semi-aquatic spiders is geographically widespread, occurring on all continents except Antarctica. Fish predation by spiders appea...
Article
Full-text available
Studies that apply indigenous ecological knowledge to contemporary resource management problems are increasing globally; however, few of these studies have contributed to environmental water management. We interviewed three indigenous landowning groups in a tropical Australian catchment subject to increasing water resource development pressure and...
Article
Full-text available
Studies that apply indigenous ecological knowledge to contemporary resource management problems are increasing globally; however, few of these studies have contributed to environmental water management. We interviewed three indigenous landowning groups in a tropical Australian catchment subject to increasing water resource development pressure and...
Data
The recruitment of wood from the riparian zone to rivers and streams provides a complex habitat for aquatic organisms and can influence both aquatic biodiversity and ecosystem function. The Daly River in the wet–dry tropics of northern Australia is a highly seasonal, perennially flowing sand-bed river where surveys of river wood aggregations at the...
Article
Full-text available
A fundamental goal of evolutionary ecology is understanding the processes responsible for contemporary patterns of morphological diversity and species richness. Transitions across the marine–freshwater interface are regarded as key triggers for adaptive radiation of many clades. Using the Australian terapontid fish family as a model system we emplo...
Article
Full-text available
The food web is one of the oldest and most central organising concepts in ecology and for decades, food chain length has been hypothesised to be controlled by productivity, disturbance, and/or ecosystem size; each of which may be mediated by the functional trophic role of the top predator. We characterised aquatic food webs using carbon and nitroge...
Data
Photos of selected sampling sites. (DOC)
Data
Ranges (and consumer identity) of δ 13C and δ 15N values, and the trophic class of top consumers, from each food web. (DOC)
Article
We use data and insights from several inter-related but independent projects conducted over 6 years (2006–11) in the Daly River catchment in Australia’s Northern Territory to explore the potential impacts of ‘development’ on Indigenous and non-Indigenous residents. We do this by combining economic, hydrological, and ecological data and models into...
Article
Full-text available
Background One of the most widely accepted ecomorphological relationships in vertebrates is the negative correlation between intestinal length and proportion of animal prey in diet. While many fish groups exhibit this general pattern, other clades demonstrate minimal, and in some cases contrasting, associations between diet and intestinal length. M...
Data
Image of maximum likelihood tree for Terapontidae species derived in Davis et al. [45]. The maximum likelihood tree (-ln = -36324.681391) for Terapontidae species derived in Davis et al. (2012b), based on a combined analysis of cytochrome b and the recominbination activation 1 and 2 gene sequences (5952 bp). Species highlighted in bold indicate tho...
Data
Terapontid intestinal length scaling analyses. Results for scaling analyses of reduced major axis regressions of Log10 –transformed standard length versus Log10 – transformed intestinal length for 27 terapontid species. Statistically significant allometric scaling relationship (i.e., where the 95% confidence interval for slope does not overlap with...
Data
Full-text available
Bayesian *BEAST species tree for Terapontidae based on analysis of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene and the combined nuclear recombination activation genes 1 and 2. The analysis was based on 50 million generations, with parameters logged every 5000 generations with a burn-in of 10%. The posterior probability is shown to the right of each node. F...
Article
The recruitment of wood from the riparian zone to rivers and streams provides a complex habitat for aquatic organisms and can influence both aquatic biodiversity and ecosystem function. The Daly River in the wet–dry tropics of northern Australia is a highly seasonal, perennially flowing sand-bed river where surveys of river wood aggregations at the...
Article
Full-text available
1. Understanding the processes that structure community assembly across landscapes is fundamental to ecology and for predicting and managing the consequences of anthropogenically induced changes to ecosystems. 2. We assessed the community similarity of fish, macroinvertebrate and vegetation communities against geographic distances ranging from 4 to...
Article
Hydrological changes associated with irrigation, in conjunction with increased nutrient concentrations and aquatic plant densities, have greatly impacted fish habitat values on the Burdekin River floodplain. The two most significant weeds in the Burdekin floodplain are water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) and para grass (Urochloa mutica). Water hy...
Article
1. Conservation adequacy is defined as the ability of conservation measures to sustain biodiversity. Although river network connectivity is important for maintaining key ecological processes and ensuring persistence of biodiversity, it also facilitates the propagation of threats along river networks, which may compromise the sustainability of fresh...
Article
Full-text available
1. Despite widespread recognition of the role of body size in fish trophic ecology, little attention has been focused on this issue in isotopic studies, particularly in tropical systems. 2. We used analyses of stomach contents and stable isotopes to examine size-related shifts in diet in a terapontid fish assemblage in the Australian wet–dry tropic...
Article
Full-text available
Hydrologic classification is one of the most widely applied tasks in ecohydrology. During the last two decades, a considerable effort has gone into analysis and development of methodological approaches to hydrologic classification. We reviewed the process of hydrologic classification, differentiating between an approach based on deductive reasoning...
Article
The ecological opportunities associated with transitions across the marine-freshwater interface are regarded as an important catalyst of diversification in a range of aquatic taxa. Here, we examined the role of these major habitat transitions and trophic diversification in a radiation of Australasian fishes using a new molecular phylogeny incorpora...
Article
This paper reports the development and application of two Bayesian Network models to assist decision making on the environmental flows required to maintain the ecological health of the Daly River (Northern Territory, Australia). Currently, the Daly River is unregulated, with only a small volume of water extracted annually for agriculture. However,...
Article
Full-text available
High levels of hydrological connectivity during seasonal flooding provide significant opportunities for movements of fish between rivers and their floodplains, estuaries and the sea, possibly mediating food web subsidies among habitats. To determine the degree of utilisation of food sources from different habitats in a tropical river with a short f...
Article
Full-text available
With the covariation between fish form and function of long-standing interest to fish biologists, ecomorphological research provides a framework for assessing the interaction between the morphology of an organism and their ecology. Whereas ecomorphological studies of Australian fishes are rare, the terapontid grunters are an ideal candidate for stu...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The Northern Australia Water Futures Assessment (NAWFA) is a five-year multidisciplinary program, jointly delivered by the National Water Commission (NWC) through the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Populations and Communities (DSEWPaC). The overarching objective of the NAWFA is to create an enduring Knowledge Base that provides e...
Article
Full-text available
The declining condition of river systems associated with rapid development of human societies has led to substantial declines in fish diversity. One cause of decline is the loss of in-stream Structural Woody Habitat (SWH), an important component of stream ecosystems, particularly as fish habitat. As a result there has been an increase in the number...