Estuarine fishes of the South Alligator River, Kakadu National Park, northern Australia

Bradley J. Pusey, Mark J. Kennard, Helen K. Larson, Quentin Alsop, Michael Hammer, Duncan J. Buckle

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    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 ecological condition. The estuarine fish fauna of the South Alligator River, Kakadu region of northern Australia was investigated to determine seasonal and spatial variation in composition. Beam trawls were used at 94 locations over the wet and dry seasons of 2012. In total, 81 taxa were collected, 26 of which had not previously been recorded in the river. Sciaenidae and Engraulidae dominated species richness and abundance. Samples were heterogeneous in terms of composition and abundance in a manner unrelated to any measured aspect of the habitat over which trawls occurred. Species richness was higher in the lower estuary than the upper estuary and more species were detected during the wet season. Turnover in assemblage structure between sampling occasions was associated with seasonal variation in discharge concordant with changes in salinity and potentially productivity. Compositional variation was largely ascribed to differential spawning phenology of adults and tolerance to fluctuating salinity. The Kakadu region supports a rich fish fauna moderately distinct from that observed elsewhere in the Northern Territory. Pronounced temporal turnover in assemblage structure and spatial variation at a variety of scales (i.e. within samples, and within and between rivers) collectively pose a challenge to management in light of ongoing and proposed development of the water resources of northern Australia, including its estuaries.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1797-1812
    Number of pages16
    JournalMarine and Freshwater Research
    Volume67
    Issue number12
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Fingerprint

    Alligators and Crocodiles
    Estuaries
    estuarine fish
    alligators
    Rivers
    national parks
    national park
    estuaries
    estuary
    rivers
    fish
    river
    Salinity
    wet season
    spatial variation
    turnover
    Fishes
    seasonal variation
    species richness
    Economics

    Cite this

    Pusey, B. J., Kennard, M. J., Larson, H. K., Alsop, Q., Hammer, M., & Buckle, D. J. (2016). Estuarine fishes of the South Alligator River, Kakadu National Park, northern Australia. Marine and Freshwater Research, 67(12), 1797-1812. https://doi.org/10.1071/MF15221
    Pusey, Bradley J. ; Kennard, Mark J. ; Larson, Helen K. ; Alsop, Quentin ; Hammer, Michael ; Buckle, Duncan J. / Estuarine fishes of the South Alligator River, Kakadu National Park, northern Australia. In: Marine and Freshwater Research. 2016 ; Vol. 67, No. 12. pp. 1797-1812.
    @article{18646807291a4fa6999b1ce40855b118,
    title = "Estuarine fishes of the South Alligator River, Kakadu National Park, northern Australia",
    abstract = "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 ecological condition. The estuarine fish fauna of the South Alligator River, Kakadu region of northern Australia was investigated to determine seasonal and spatial variation in composition. Beam trawls were used at 94 locations over the wet and dry seasons of 2012. In total, 81 taxa were collected, 26 of which had not previously been recorded in the river. Sciaenidae and Engraulidae dominated species richness and abundance. Samples were heterogeneous in terms of composition and abundance in a manner unrelated to any measured aspect of the habitat over which trawls occurred. Species richness was higher in the lower estuary than the upper estuary and more species were detected during the wet season. Turnover in assemblage structure between sampling occasions was associated with seasonal variation in discharge concordant with changes in salinity and potentially productivity. Compositional variation was largely ascribed to differential spawning phenology of adults and tolerance to fluctuating salinity. The Kakadu region supports a rich fish fauna moderately distinct from that observed elsewhere in the Northern Territory. Pronounced temporal turnover in assemblage structure and spatial variation at a variety of scales (i.e. within samples, and within and between rivers) collectively pose a challenge to management in light of ongoing and proposed development of the water resources of northern Australia, including its estuaries.",
    keywords = "assemblage structure, estuarine fishes, productivity, salinity",
    author = "Pusey, {Bradley J.} and Kennard, {Mark J.} and Larson, {Helen K.} and Quentin Alsop and Michael Hammer and Buckle, {Duncan J.}",
    year = "2016",
    doi = "10.1071/MF15221",
    language = "English",
    volume = "67",
    pages = "1797--1812",
    journal = "Marine & Freshwater Research",
    issn = "0067-1940",
    publisher = "CSIRO Publishing",
    number = "12",

    }

    Pusey, BJ, Kennard, MJ, Larson, HK, Alsop, Q, Hammer, M & Buckle, DJ 2016, 'Estuarine fishes of the South Alligator River, Kakadu National Park, northern Australia', Marine and Freshwater Research, vol. 67, no. 12, pp. 1797-1812. https://doi.org/10.1071/MF15221

    Estuarine fishes of the South Alligator River, Kakadu National Park, northern Australia. / Pusey, Bradley J.; Kennard, Mark J.; Larson, Helen K.; Alsop, Quentin; Hammer, Michael; Buckle, Duncan J.

    In: Marine and Freshwater Research, Vol. 67, No. 12, 2016, p. 1797-1812.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Estuarine fishes of the South Alligator River, Kakadu National Park, northern Australia

    AU - Pusey, Bradley J.

    AU - Kennard, Mark J.

    AU - Larson, Helen K.

    AU - Alsop, Quentin

    AU - Hammer, Michael

    AU - Buckle, Duncan J.

    PY - 2016

    Y1 - 2016

    N2 - 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 ecological condition. The estuarine fish fauna of the South Alligator River, Kakadu region of northern Australia was investigated to determine seasonal and spatial variation in composition. Beam trawls were used at 94 locations over the wet and dry seasons of 2012. In total, 81 taxa were collected, 26 of which had not previously been recorded in the river. Sciaenidae and Engraulidae dominated species richness and abundance. Samples were heterogeneous in terms of composition and abundance in a manner unrelated to any measured aspect of the habitat over which trawls occurred. Species richness was higher in the lower estuary than the upper estuary and more species were detected during the wet season. Turnover in assemblage structure between sampling occasions was associated with seasonal variation in discharge concordant with changes in salinity and potentially productivity. Compositional variation was largely ascribed to differential spawning phenology of adults and tolerance to fluctuating salinity. The Kakadu region supports a rich fish fauna moderately distinct from that observed elsewhere in the Northern Territory. Pronounced temporal turnover in assemblage structure and spatial variation at a variety of scales (i.e. within samples, and within and between rivers) collectively pose a challenge to management in light of ongoing and proposed development of the water resources of northern Australia, including its estuaries.

    AB - 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 ecological condition. The estuarine fish fauna of the South Alligator River, Kakadu region of northern Australia was investigated to determine seasonal and spatial variation in composition. Beam trawls were used at 94 locations over the wet and dry seasons of 2012. In total, 81 taxa were collected, 26 of which had not previously been recorded in the river. Sciaenidae and Engraulidae dominated species richness and abundance. Samples were heterogeneous in terms of composition and abundance in a manner unrelated to any measured aspect of the habitat over which trawls occurred. Species richness was higher in the lower estuary than the upper estuary and more species were detected during the wet season. Turnover in assemblage structure between sampling occasions was associated with seasonal variation in discharge concordant with changes in salinity and potentially productivity. Compositional variation was largely ascribed to differential spawning phenology of adults and tolerance to fluctuating salinity. The Kakadu region supports a rich fish fauna moderately distinct from that observed elsewhere in the Northern Territory. Pronounced temporal turnover in assemblage structure and spatial variation at a variety of scales (i.e. within samples, and within and between rivers) collectively pose a challenge to management in light of ongoing and proposed development of the water resources of northern Australia, including its estuaries.

    KW - assemblage structure

    KW - estuarine fishes

    KW - productivity

    KW - salinity

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84998752968&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    U2 - 10.1071/MF15221

    DO - 10.1071/MF15221

    M3 - Article

    VL - 67

    SP - 1797

    EP - 1812

    JO - Marine & Freshwater Research

    JF - Marine & Freshwater Research

    SN - 0067-1940

    IS - 12

    ER -