3rd Seminar: 9th May 2013
Jamie Hearn - Project Officer - The Living Murray
The Koondrook-Perricoota Forest Flood Enhancement Project - Efficient use of environmental water through strategic construction works."
"Nearing completion, this $75M project will allow the diversion of environmental water into the Ramsar listed Koondrook-Perricoota Forest. It will enable managers to target specific ecological objectives identified within The Living Murray Program for this significant Icon Site. The construction of these environmental works will mean up to 17,000 Ha of Red Gum forest, creeks and wetlands can be maintained for future generations through the efficient use of environmental water."
Venue: La Trobe University – Room 6101
Drinks and locally produced gourmet food to follow
Missed Keith Ward's presentation on the 'Evolution of Monitoring and Evaluation in the Barmah-Millewa Forest. See it here on Youtube.t here on Youtube http://youtu.be/9oRPSrhRoS0
|Murray hardyhead (image: Iain Ellis)|
Murray hardyhead (Craterocephalus fluviatilis) are small-bodied native fish endemic to the lowland floodplains of the Murray and Murrumbidgee River systems. The species was historically common throughout South Australia, southern New South Wales and northern Victoria, having been collected as far upstream as Yarrawonga and as far downstream as Lake Alexandrina at the mouth of the Murray (Ivantsoff and Crowley 1996). The range of Murray hardyhead has declined drastically over recent years, largely due to the impacts of drought and human processes which impact on water quality, isolation of wetlands from the river and competition or predation from introduced fish species like Mosquito fish and Redfin perch. The Murray hardyhead is listed as threatened under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 and vulnerable under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC 2004).
MDFRC leading the field in application of genetic bar-coding
|Michael Shackleton sampling for macroinvertebrates on the Upper Yarra River|
Accurate identification of organisms is fundamental to assessing the condition of water dependent ecosystems. Monitoring the outcomes of restoration activities and undertaking research on food web dynamics relies heavily on such identification. A number of factors can inhibit our ability to identify an organism to species, including if specimens are damaged, of young life stages, or have un-known or ambiguous taxonomy.
The development of genetic approaches to taxonomy will increase the capacity of MDFRC to identify animals to species level, increase the efficiency of sample processing, and provide new insights into water dependent ecosystem function. This new project, led by MDFRC's Gavin Rees and Michael Shackleton on the Wodonga Campus will see the team carrying out complementary classical identification procedures and DNA bar-coding on macroinvertebrates encountered in our Murray monitoring programs.
The project will initially aim at producing a bar-code reference library for three sites on the River Murray. This library will form the backbone for future studies by providing a means of identifying unknown specimens to known vouchered species through analyses of bar-code DNA sequences. The database of sequence information that will be generated by MDFRC will contribute to the move toward more accurate and cost-effective monitoring of macroinvertebrate biodiversity.
Two further studies will be undertaken in conjunction with, and dependent on, the DNA bar-code library project. Firstly, MDFRC will be trialling methods of obtaining DNA sequences from environmental samples such as samples taken directly from water columns or substrates. This study will assess our ability to characterise the community structure at a river site using only DNA barcode data. Secondly, MDFRC will undertake a trial application of genetic techniques to examine the gut contents of predatory animals to evaluate the application of the method to food web analysis. This component will inform the MDFRC plans to use the 30 year macroinvertebrate data set as the basis for a food web project.
Fish-in-Wetlands Decision Support Tool - prepared for the National Water Commission by The Murray-Darling Freshwater Research Centre.
Video Coonancoocabil Lagoon - Demonstration Wetland for Native Fish