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How fast does your little fish grow?


How fast does your little fish grow?

Recent research has looked at how the growth rate of fish is related to river flows. Researchers looked at the growth of the common, and short‐lived Australian smelt in a non‐flow‐altered, temperate Australian floodplain river. Over a five‐year period, they found that the condition of larval and juvenile fish was positively related to annual discharge, but timing, river height, the duration of in‐channel flow events and later flood events were all significant factors influencing the fishes’ early growth. Australian smelt, at least, are flexible in how they respond to these factors, which appears to be an effective early life history strategy for a short‐lived species occupying a highly variable environment. The research also suggested that not one of the existing models used to describe fish productivity in temperate Australian floodplain rivers was adequate: instead, aspects of each model are likely to be relevant under different flow conditions. Read more of this research by Zeb Tonkin and others in Freshwater Biology:

Australian smelt are able to change their growth patterns in response to the highly variable conditions experienced in Australian temperate rivers.

Source: NSW DPI
Image: Gunther Schmida


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