The Goyder Institute for Water Research’s Ecological Connectivity of the River Murray project kicked off recently, and the first year of field work is now close to completed. The project aims to develop an understanding of ecological responses to changes in flow and hydraulics, focusing on cyanobacteria, hypoxic blackwater, transport of propagules (such as seeds or fish lavae) and transfer of energy within foodwebs.
The first year of sampling focused on Chowilla Creek, where the flow regime could be controlled to collect samples under different conditions. The project also includes an integration component, which will take the information from the field work and develop relationships with the flow and hydraulic variables that can be controlled. This information is intended to inform decision making along the Lower River Murray that will influence these flow and hydraulics variables: the operation weirs and floodplain regulators or the delivery of environmental water.
Photo: Nina Welti