Responses of riverbank and aquatic vegetation to an instream environmental flow

Robyn Watts, Sascha Healy, Nicole McCasker

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paper

Abstract

Environmental flows can help restore rivers by creating conditions that improve recruitment, growth and survival of riverbank and aquatic vegetation. The study aim was to compare responses of riverbank and aquatic vegetation among hydrological zones with different flow regimes. The species richness and cover of riverbank and aquatic vegetation at sixteen sites across four hydrological zones in the Edward-Wakool system in south-eastern Australia were monitored monthly from October 2014 to June 2015. Three zones received an instream environmental flow and one zone did not. The cover of vegetation was significantly different among zones (F=21.548, p<0.000), with higher cover of vegetation in two of the zones that received the environmental flow. There were more taxa in all zones that received the environmental flow than in the zone that did not. The vegetation assemblage was significantly different among zones (ANOSIM R = 0.402, p = 0.001). Potamogeton tricarinatus, Myriophyllum spp. and Azolla spp. occurred only in zones receiving the environmental flow, and Chara spp., Eleocharis acuta and Limosella spp. were in low abundance in the zone with no environmental flow. There has been a gradual improvement in riverbank and aquatic vegetation in this system over the four years since environmental flows commenced.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication8th Australian Stream Management Conference
Subtitle of host publicationTwenty years on
Place of PublicationAustralia
PublisherRiver Basin Management Society
Pages483-493
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event8th Australian Stream Management Conference - Fairmont Resort, Leura, Australia
Duration: 31 Jul 201603 Aug 2016
https://rbms.com.au/event/asm/8asm/ (Conference proceedings)

Conference

Conference8th Australian Stream Management Conference
Abbreviated titleTwenty years on
CountryAustralia
CityLeura
Period31/07/1603/08/16
Internet address

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vegetation
species richness
river

Cite this

Watts, R., Healy, S., & McCasker, N. (2016). Responses of riverbank and aquatic vegetation to an instream environmental flow. In 8th Australian Stream Management Conference: Twenty years on (pp. 483-493). Australia: River Basin Management Society.
Watts, Robyn ; Healy, Sascha ; McCasker, Nicole. / Responses of riverbank and aquatic vegetation to an instream environmental flow. 8th Australian Stream Management Conference: Twenty years on. Australia : River Basin Management Society, 2016. pp. 483-493
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Watts, R, Healy, S & McCasker, N 2016, Responses of riverbank and aquatic vegetation to an instream environmental flow. in 8th Australian Stream Management Conference: Twenty years on. River Basin Management Society, Australia, pp. 483-493, 8th Australian Stream Management Conference, Leura, Australia, 31/07/16.

Responses of riverbank and aquatic vegetation to an instream environmental flow. / Watts, Robyn; Healy, Sascha; McCasker, Nicole.

8th Australian Stream Management Conference: Twenty years on. Australia : River Basin Management Society, 2016. p. 483-493.

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paper

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N2 - Environmental flows can help restore rivers by creating conditions that improve recruitment, growth and survival of riverbank and aquatic vegetation. The study aim was to compare responses of riverbank and aquatic vegetation among hydrological zones with different flow regimes. The species richness and cover of riverbank and aquatic vegetation at sixteen sites across four hydrological zones in the Edward-Wakool system in south-eastern Australia were monitored monthly from October 2014 to June 2015. Three zones received an instream environmental flow and one zone did not. The cover of vegetation was significantly different among zones (F=21.548, p<0.000), with higher cover of vegetation in two of the zones that received the environmental flow. There were more taxa in all zones that received the environmental flow than in the zone that did not. The vegetation assemblage was significantly different among zones (ANOSIM R = 0.402, p = 0.001). Potamogeton tricarinatus, Myriophyllum spp. and Azolla spp. occurred only in zones receiving the environmental flow, and Chara spp., Eleocharis acuta and Limosella spp. were in low abundance in the zone with no environmental flow. There has been a gradual improvement in riverbank and aquatic vegetation in this system over the four years since environmental flows commenced.

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Watts R, Healy S, McCasker N. Responses of riverbank and aquatic vegetation to an instream environmental flow. In 8th Australian Stream Management Conference: Twenty years on. Australia: River Basin Management Society. 2016. p. 483-493