The Flinders, Gilbert and Mitchell Rivers flow into the southern Gulf of Carpentaria, supporting healthy ecosystems and nationally significant wetlands as well as important recreational and commercial fisheries. With increasing interest in developing water resources in northern Australia, further information is needed to understand how such developments will impact on the health and productivity of floodplains and coastal areas. Specifically, we need to know which flow characteristics of the rivers earmarked for future development are most important for the region’s plants and animals so we can make informed management decisions.
This study will help us to better understand the downstream impacts of water resource development in Gulf of Carpentaria catchments. Information from the study will enable State and Federal Government decision makers to identify which flows make the biggest contributions to aquatic production, wetland and coastal ecosystems, and biodiversity within the Gulf. The research will help inform future water allocation and improve our ability to ensure that development in the region is environmentally sustainable.
Field work will be undertaken in the southern Gulf of Carpentaria, specifically in the rivers and catchments indicated for possible development, i.e. the Mitchell, Flinders and Gilbert Rivers. The estuaries and coastal areas of these major rivers will be the focus of field work.
Additional research using remote sensing will be undertaken in selected sites in the southern Gulf to determine ‘hotspots’ of primary production.
|Use of otolith chemistry to trace life history variability in barramundi (presentation Dec 2018)|
|Environmental assessments: Support development and evaluation of Queensland Water Plans (presentation Dec 2018)|
|Stable Isotopes, Fatty Acids and Compound Specific Stable Isotopes of Fatty Acids as biomarkers (presentation Dec 2018)|
|Effect of flow alteration on estuaries in the Gulf of Carpentaria (presentation Feb 2018)|
The project leaders will be assisted by researchers from Griffith University, CSIRO, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Charles Darwin University and the Northern Territory Department of Primary Industry and Resources.
Michele Burford, Griffith University
(07) 3735 6723