The food webs of Australia’s tropical rivers are poorly understood yet provide the foundation for healthy rivers. This project explored how these food webs are structured to support complex river ecosystems. Using a variety of experiments scientists identified the sources of organic matter which kick-start tropical river food webs, which animals exert a strong control in the food chain and how land and water based food webs relate to one another.
Garcia, Pettit, Warfe, Davies, Kyne, Novak, & Douglas. (2015). Temporal variation in benthic primary production in streams of the Australian wet-dry tropics. Hydrobiologia, 760(1), 43-55. doi: 10.1007/s10750-015-2301-6
Garcia, E., Townsend, S., Douglas, M. 2015, 'Context dependency of top-down and bottom-up effects in a Northern Australian tropical river', Freshwater Science, 34, 2, pp. 679-690. doi: 10.1086/681106
Faggotter, S., Webster, I., & Burford, M. (n.d.). Factors controlling primary productivity in a wet–dry tropical river. Marine and Freshwater Research, 64(7), 585-598. doi: 10.1071/MF12299
Jardine, T., Pusey, D., Hamilton, B., Pettit, J., Davies, S., Douglas, K., . . . Bunn, P. (2012). Fish mediate high food web connectivity in the lower reaches of a tropical floodplain river. Oecologia, 168(3), 829-838. doi: 10.1007/s00442-011-2148-0
Townsend, S., Garcia, E., & Douglas, M. (2012). The response of benthic algal biomass to nutrient addition over a range of current speeds in an oligotrophic river. Freshwater Science, 31(4), 1233-1243. doi: 10.1899/11-163.1
Jardine, T., Pettit, N., Warfe, D., Pusey, B., Ward, D., Douglas, M., . . . Bunn, S. (2012). Consumer–resource coupling in wet–dry tropical rivers. Journal of Animal Ecology, 81(2), 310-322. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2011.01925.x
The project was led by Professor Michael Douglas from Charles Darwin University. Professor Douglas was supported by scientists from Griffith University, University of WA, and the Northern Territory and Western Australian Governments.