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Rehabilitating submerged macrophytes enhances survival of larval and juvenile fish

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posted on 2023-03-23, 20:29 authored by Chester Merrick, Rod L Oliver, Paul Humphries, John H Hawking, Daryl L Nielsen, Kathie Le Busque, Zgymunt Lorenz
"July 2003".

Project Number: AFFA FishRehab Program - Project MD2001.

MDFRC item.

The aim of this project was to demonstrate whether the re-establishment of submerged macrophytes in lowland rivers would improve the availability of nursery habitat and enhance the food resources to support larval and juvenile fish. The hypothesis to be tested is that the provision of macrophyte beds increases the occurrence of newly hatched fish by improving both food availability and habitat structure. Several specific objectives were identified to address the aim: Measure the change in primary productivity resulting from the installation of artificial macrophytes (AM). Measure the change in zooplankton and macro-invertebrates resulting from the installation of AM. Measure the abundance of larval and juvenile fish with and without AM. Assess if the provision of macrophyte beds increases the occurrence and persistence of larval and juvenile fish. Assess the major food sources used by the larval and juvenile fish during their development phase in the AM. Identify the influence of AM patch size on biological responses.


Funding agency: Cooperative Reserach Centre for Freshwater Ecology. Client: Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.


Publication Date



Murray-Darling Freshwater Research Centre.

Report Number

MDFRC Technical Report.

Rights Statement

Open Access. This report has been reproduce with the publishers permission. Permission to reproduce this report must be sought from the publisher. Copyright (2003) Murray-Darling Freshwater Research Centre.

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