Living, growing, landscape-scale, long-term river

Posted by on | Comments

Interested in regularly-updated landscape-scale, long-term river data on Australian freshwater fish and estuarine vegetation assemblages? Curious about the seasonal arrival of tropical marine fauna, or the dynamics of forest animal assemblages in relation to dingo abundance? Within this mixed bag you may care to take a punt on the nature of unfolding patterns as climatic phases develop. The website source of this information - http://keithabishop.wixsite.com/living-growing-data - is likely to intrigue you with its unique depictions and trigger new paradigms when conceptualising the dynamics of biota in aquatic systems.

Keith Bishop’s interest in long-term, landscape-scale research commenced in the late 1970s with fish ecology studies within Kakadu National Park. In the late 1980s attention shifted to environmental flow investigations within the much less predictable NSW east coast rivers. For these systems it became clear that: i) the scientific community had a very poor understanding of how aquatic life responds to changing flows, and ii) this understanding could only be improved once changing river flows are related to changing patterns in key aquatic biota gathered across the landscape over long periods of time. Two long-term projects, focusing on the Hastings and Manning Rivers on the NSW Mid North Coast, provided an opportunity to gather such important data.

The website primarily aims to provide glimpses into the above datasets as they grow and develop - in this sense they can be viewed as 'living'.  Apart from increasing awareness of this information amongst colleagues, there is also hope that collaboration and other synergies may result. A more subtle motive for the development of the website, now clearer in hindsight, is the maintenance of enthusiasm to keep long-term datasets growing. The literature describes the considerable difficulties of maintaining long-term investigations. These challenges are accentuated during politically antagonistic periods – environmental dark ages - that we are currently experiencing.