Thursday, October 13, 2011

Interesting Papers: Trophic levels matter, recharging aquifers, and a special issue on intermittent streams!

  • I saw Mary Power talk last night at UW-La Crosse.  Dr. Power is famous for having demonstrated the effect that trophic cascades can have on aquatic ecosystems.  She did this study where she showed adding fish to a mesocosm can decrease algal production, even though fish preferentially feed on algal grazers.  The reason is that fish aren't very good predators on these algal grazers (they hide effectively), but they are very good predators on invertebrate predators, which are themselves good predators of the algal grazers.  So the fish wipe out the intermediate predators and the grazers go crazy.  And what shows up here in my reader today?  An interesting article about a similar predator-induced cascade in the wolf-coyote-fox chain.  Very interesting. 
  • This paper on fish in a tropical river demonstrates the importance of floodplain nutrients (even when inundated for just a short time) on highly mobile big fish.  I'm not sure why people who build dams don't understand this, but river regulation is just plain bad for most fisheries. 
  • Recharging aquifers using surface water has become a bit of a hot topic.  There are lots of concerns about the quality of the water going back into the rock (does it have contaminants or not?).  I wasn't aware of any real scienctific studies exploring any of these issues, but now I am
  • Oooh look!  Apparently there's a special issue on intermittent streams being published in Aquatic Sciences.  As far as I can tell though, the only thing published so far is the foreword.  Looking forward to the rest of the articles getting out there.

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