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Southern Spring Flow productivity monitoring

During the 2019 Southern Spring Flow and 2020 Southern Spring Flow events water for the environment was added to flows in the River Murray to help provide food and habitat for fish and other aquatic animals.

The Southern Spring Flow events delivered water to major wetland sites through thousands of kilometres of rivers. Scientists measured changes in productivity along the length of the river to understand whether the spring flows boosted the aquatic food web.

Downloads

2020 Southern Spring Flow

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) measured how carbon, nutrients and stream metabolism changed at 7 key areas along the River Murray in response to the flows. This is the first time the stream metabolism method has been applied to these areas. The measured increases in carbon, nutrients and changes in stream metabolism demonstrated a boost in productivity to support aquatic food webs from the delivery of water for the environment.

Technical report

Monitoring productivity outcomes of the Southern Spring Flow 2020 – carbon, nutrients and stream metabolism.

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2019 Southern Spring Flow

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) monitored how carbon and nutrients changed along the length of the River Murray in response to the flows. A companion study (funded by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office) monitored how the amount of water bugs – called zooplankton – varied in response to the flows. The monitoring found increases in carbon, nutrients and zooplankton which provide important food for small yabbies, crays and small fish. These results indicate the River Murray food chain got a productivity boost from the delivery of water for the environment.

Summary report

Southern Spring Flow 2019 River Murray productivity monitoring.

Technical report

Monitoring Productivity Outcomes of the Southern Spring Flow 2019 – carbon and nutrients loads.

Please note this document was updated on 9 October 2020 to insert additional graphs. All other report content remains the same.