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A compendium of ecological knowledge for restoration of freshwater fishes in Australia's Murray-Darling Basin

journal contribution
posted on 21.12.2020, 01:05 authored by JD Koehn, SM Raymond, I Stuart, CR Todd, Stephen BalcombeStephen Balcombe, BP Zampatti, H Bamford, BA Ingram, CM Bice, K Burndred, G Butler, L Baumgartner, P Clunie, I Ellis, JP Forbes, M Hutchison, WM Koster, M Lintermans, JP Lyon, M Mallen-Cooper, M McLellan, L Pearce, J Ryall, C Sharpe, DJ Stoessel, JD Thiem, Z Tonkin, A Townsend, Q Ye
© 2020 Journal Compilation Many freshwater fishes are imperilled globally, and there is a need for easily accessible, contemporary ecological knowledge to guide management. This compendium contains knowledge collated from over 600 publications and 27 expert workshops to support the restoration of 9 priority native freshwater fish species, representative of the range of life-history strategies and values in south-eastern Australia's Murray-Darling Basin. To help prioritise future research investment and restoration actions, ecological knowledge and threats were assessed for each species and life stage. There is considerable new knowledge (80% of publications used were from the past 20 years), but this varied among species and life stages, with most known about adults, then egg, juvenile and larval stages (in that order). The biggest knowledge gaps concerned early life stage requirements, survival, recruitment, growth rates, condition and movements. Key threats include reduced longitudinal and lateral connectivity, altered flows, loss of refugia, reductions in both flowing (lotic) and slackwater riverine habitats, degradation of wetland habitats, alien species interactions and loss of aquatic vegetation. Examples and case studies illustrating the application of this knowledge to underpin effective restoration management are provided. This extensive ecological evidence base for multiple species is presented in a tabular format to assist a range of readers.


This paper was funded by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority through the Native Fish Population Modelling Project and the Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research. Most authors have also received support from their individual workplaces.


Publication Date



Marine and Freshwater Research






73p. (p. 1391-1463)


CSIRO Publishing



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