Movement ecology and the distribution of stream shrimp assemblages

It’s not only fish that move in rivers, also shrimps exhibit movements in river ecosystems. That is the research topic of James Dyer, a PhD candidate at the Charles Sturt University in Australia. James is studying the habitat associations and the role of closely related movement behavior and swimming performance in explaining the distribution three riverine species of shrimp that commonly occur in the Murray-Darling Basin: Paratya australiensis, Caridina mccullochi and Macrobrachium australiense.

Sounds like a really interesting project. More information is provided at Paul Humphries’ blog.

River Ecology and Research

Macrobrachium australiense

By James Dyer, PhD candidate, School of Environmental Sciences, Charles Sturt University

Researchers have long wished to understand what governs the distribution of organisms. For riverine animals and plants, hydrology (flow) almost always seems to have a strong influence (Schlosser 1985). At small spatial scales, these organisms tend to be distributed along gradients of current velocity and depth (Aadland 1993), and at large scales, they tend to be distributed along upstream-downstream gradients  (Evans & Noble 1979). Populations also typically change at small (daily) and large (annually) temporal scales in response to low- and high-flow events (Fausch & Bramblet 1991). And riverine organisms have evolved morphological, physiological, life history and behavioural traits  to enable them to survive, grow and reproduce within the context of spatial and temporal variations in flow (Gatz 1979; Vogel 1994; Leavy & Bonner 2009).

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