Hydrology and water temperature influence recruitment dynamics of the threatened silver perch Bidyanus bidyanus in a regulated lowland river

Zeb Tonkin, Ivor Stuart, Adrian Kitchingman, Jason D. Thiem, Brenton Zampatti, Graeme Hackett, Wayne Koster, John Koehn, John Morrongiello, Martin Mallen-Cooper, Jarod Lyon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Understanding the influence of extrinsic factors such as hydrology and hydraulics on recruitment provides essential insight to inform management of fish populations. The critically endangered silver perch Bidyanus bidyanus is a long-lived, potamodromous pelagophil endemic to Australia's Murray-Darling Basin. Declines of this species are often attributed to river regulation, although quantitative studies linking hydrology and hydraulics to key aspects of its life cycle are sparse. We used a multidecadal age-structured dataset collected from a locally abundant population of silver perch to quantify the relative importance of different abiotic drivers on year-class strength (recruitment). Silver perch recruited across highly variable hydrological conditions. The strongest year classes were associated with a combination of low to average river discharge (i.e. within channel) and high water temperatures over the peak spawning period, followed in the next year by extended high flows and widespread flooding that promoted survival of age-1+ juvenile fish. We suggest that conditions affecting the growth and dispersal of juvenile fish, in addition to the spawning period, are critical in governing recruitment dynamics. This highlights the need for multiyear flow plans for freshwater fish populations.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMarine and Freshwater Research
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2019

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Bidyanus bidyanus
Hydrology
Perches
perch
Silver
Rivers
silver
hydrology
lowlands
Fishes
water temperature
rivers
Temperature
Water
fluid mechanics
fish
spawning
river
Population
hydraulics

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Tonkin, Zeb ; Stuart, Ivor ; Kitchingman, Adrian ; Thiem, Jason D. ; Zampatti, Brenton ; Hackett, Graeme ; Koster, Wayne ; Koehn, John ; Morrongiello, John ; Mallen-Cooper, Martin ; Lyon, Jarod. / Hydrology and water temperature influence recruitment dynamics of the threatened silver perch Bidyanus bidyanus in a regulated lowland river. In: Marine and Freshwater Research. 2019.
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Hydrology and water temperature influence recruitment dynamics of the threatened silver perch Bidyanus bidyanus in a regulated lowland river. / Tonkin, Zeb; Stuart, Ivor; Kitchingman, Adrian; Thiem, Jason D.; Zampatti, Brenton; Hackett, Graeme; Koster, Wayne; Koehn, John; Morrongiello, John; Mallen-Cooper, Martin; Lyon, Jarod.

In: Marine and Freshwater Research, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Tonkin, Zeb

AU - Stuart, Ivor

AU - Kitchingman, Adrian

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AU - Zampatti, Brenton

AU - Hackett, Graeme

AU - Koster, Wayne

AU - Koehn, John

AU - Morrongiello, John

AU - Mallen-Cooper, Martin

AU - Lyon, Jarod

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KW - age structure

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