Using abiotic drivers of fish spawning to inform environmental flow management

Alison Jane King, Daniel Gwinn, Zeb Tonkin, John Mahoney, Scott Raymond, Leah Beesley

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    1. Environmental flows are a key restoration technique for conserving ecological function in flow-degraded rivers. Species-specific, flow–biota relationships are increasingly being used to determine environmental flow needs and manage their use; however, many of these relationships are poorly described.

    2. We evaluate relationships between environmental variables and spawning intensity for a fish assemblage from the Murray River, Australia, over a ten-year period. We developed a hierarchical multispecies model that accounted for incomplete detection to compare spawning outcomes of native and non-native species using realistic, alternative, water management scenarios.

    3. Temperature was an important predictor of spawning intensity for all seven species studied, while both concurrent and antecedent flow conditions were important for many species. Our water management scenario testing accounted for these relationships and indicated that increasing the magnitude of smaller floods following lower antecedent flow conditions, at water temperatures of 18–20°C, achieves the greatest spawning outcome for native fish.

    4. Synthesis and applications. Our results indicate that principally temperature, and flow as a secondary variable, influence the timing and strength of fish spawning. The synthesis of these spawning relationships predicts that managers will achieve the greatest spawning return per unit of environmental water when flows are applied on top of an existing flow pulse. This study highlights the importance of considering a range of abiotic factors and the use of modelling scenarios to improve environmental flow outcomes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)34-43
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Applied Ecology
    Volume53
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Fingerprint

    spawning
    fish
    water management
    river flow
    water flow
    water temperature
    temperature
    river
    modeling

    Cite this

    King, Alison Jane ; Gwinn, Daniel ; Tonkin, Zeb ; Mahoney, John ; Raymond, Scott ; Beesley, Leah. / Using abiotic drivers of fish spawning to inform environmental flow management. In: Journal of Applied Ecology. 2016 ; Vol. 53, No. 1. pp. 34-43.
    @article{aa1795489f6141e889833c4769042e3b,
    title = "Using abiotic drivers of fish spawning to inform environmental flow management",
    abstract = "1. Environmental flows are a key restoration technique for conserving ecological function in flow-degraded rivers. Species-specific, flow–biota relationships are increasingly being used to determine environmental flow needs and manage their use; however, many of these relationships are poorly described.2. We evaluate relationships between environmental variables and spawning intensity for a fish assemblage from the Murray River, Australia, over a ten-year period. We developed a hierarchical multispecies model that accounted for incomplete detection to compare spawning outcomes of native and non-native species using realistic, alternative, water management scenarios.3. Temperature was an important predictor of spawning intensity for all seven species studied, while both concurrent and antecedent flow conditions were important for many species. Our water management scenario testing accounted for these relationships and indicated that increasing the magnitude of smaller floods following lower antecedent flow conditions, at water temperatures of 18–20°C, achieves the greatest spawning outcome for native fish.4. Synthesis and applications. Our results indicate that principally temperature, and flow as a secondary variable, influence the timing and strength of fish spawning. The synthesis of these spawning relationships predicts that managers will achieve the greatest spawning return per unit of environmental water when flows are applied on top of an existing flow pulse. This study highlights the importance of considering a range of abiotic factors and the use of modelling scenarios to improve environmental flow outcomes.",
    keywords = "Cyprinus carpio, Maccullochella macquariensis, Maccullochella peelii peelii, Macquaria ambigua",
    author = "King, {Alison Jane} and Daniel Gwinn and Zeb Tonkin and John Mahoney and Scott Raymond and Leah Beesley",
    year = "2016",
    doi = "10.1111/1365-2664.12542",
    language = "English",
    volume = "53",
    pages = "34--43",
    journal = "Journal of Applied Ecology",
    issn = "0021-8901",
    publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
    number = "1",

    }

    Using abiotic drivers of fish spawning to inform environmental flow management. / King, Alison Jane; Gwinn, Daniel; Tonkin, Zeb; Mahoney, John; Raymond, Scott; Beesley, Leah.

    In: Journal of Applied Ecology, Vol. 53, No. 1, 2016, p. 34-43.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Using abiotic drivers of fish spawning to inform environmental flow management

    AU - King, Alison Jane

    AU - Gwinn, Daniel

    AU - Tonkin, Zeb

    AU - Mahoney, John

    AU - Raymond, Scott

    AU - Beesley, Leah

    PY - 2016

    Y1 - 2016

    N2 - 1. Environmental flows are a key restoration technique for conserving ecological function in flow-degraded rivers. Species-specific, flow–biota relationships are increasingly being used to determine environmental flow needs and manage their use; however, many of these relationships are poorly described.2. We evaluate relationships between environmental variables and spawning intensity for a fish assemblage from the Murray River, Australia, over a ten-year period. We developed a hierarchical multispecies model that accounted for incomplete detection to compare spawning outcomes of native and non-native species using realistic, alternative, water management scenarios.3. Temperature was an important predictor of spawning intensity for all seven species studied, while both concurrent and antecedent flow conditions were important for many species. Our water management scenario testing accounted for these relationships and indicated that increasing the magnitude of smaller floods following lower antecedent flow conditions, at water temperatures of 18–20°C, achieves the greatest spawning outcome for native fish.4. Synthesis and applications. Our results indicate that principally temperature, and flow as a secondary variable, influence the timing and strength of fish spawning. The synthesis of these spawning relationships predicts that managers will achieve the greatest spawning return per unit of environmental water when flows are applied on top of an existing flow pulse. This study highlights the importance of considering a range of abiotic factors and the use of modelling scenarios to improve environmental flow outcomes.

    AB - 1. Environmental flows are a key restoration technique for conserving ecological function in flow-degraded rivers. Species-specific, flow–biota relationships are increasingly being used to determine environmental flow needs and manage their use; however, many of these relationships are poorly described.2. We evaluate relationships between environmental variables and spawning intensity for a fish assemblage from the Murray River, Australia, over a ten-year period. We developed a hierarchical multispecies model that accounted for incomplete detection to compare spawning outcomes of native and non-native species using realistic, alternative, water management scenarios.3. Temperature was an important predictor of spawning intensity for all seven species studied, while both concurrent and antecedent flow conditions were important for many species. Our water management scenario testing accounted for these relationships and indicated that increasing the magnitude of smaller floods following lower antecedent flow conditions, at water temperatures of 18–20°C, achieves the greatest spawning outcome for native fish.4. Synthesis and applications. Our results indicate that principally temperature, and flow as a secondary variable, influence the timing and strength of fish spawning. The synthesis of these spawning relationships predicts that managers will achieve the greatest spawning return per unit of environmental water when flows are applied on top of an existing flow pulse. This study highlights the importance of considering a range of abiotic factors and the use of modelling scenarios to improve environmental flow outcomes.

    KW - Cyprinus carpio

    KW - Maccullochella macquariensis

    KW - Maccullochella peelii peelii

    KW - Macquaria ambigua

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84953840103&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    U2 - 10.1111/1365-2664.12542

    DO - 10.1111/1365-2664.12542

    M3 - Article

    VL - 53

    SP - 34

    EP - 43

    JO - Journal of Applied Ecology

    JF - Journal of Applied Ecology

    SN - 0021-8901

    IS - 1

    ER -