Research partnership to protect the Coorong

aterbirds," said Dr. Sebastien Lamontagne, research leader, CSIRO.

The field component of the research program will study in detail the ecological responses observed during planned water regime manipulations, in particular, the release of water from the Lower Lakes barrages to the Murray estuary. The information gathered will be used to develop improved models to predict ecological responses to future climate and water management scenarios.

The Cluster will be involved in four key research activities, these include documenting the responses of key species to changes in aquatic environments under different management regimes. The study will look at a range of species, including those of conservation value (migratory waders), ecosystem value (aquatic plant) or recreational value (black bream or mulloway) for the region.

Linked to this will be examining the effects of increased water flows and whether these lead to increased productivity in the food-chain. The research will also examine food-webs and explore how energy is transferred through estuarine invertebrates to fish and birds.

The study will produce a dynamic model of the extent and quality of the habitats, such as the mudflats extensively used by waders, enabling researchers and water managers to predict the impact of future changes in the water regime.

Dr Geddes said the study aims to deliver a set of ecosystem-level models which can be used to evaluate alternative future scenarios within the larger Coorong region.

In combination with other research projects led by CSIRO, these ecological models will help water managers better evaluate the social, environmental and economic trade-offs between different water management scenarios for the region.


Contact: Leane Regan
CSIRO Australia

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