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April 2013 Freshwater Matters Freshwater Matters is a monthly electronic bulletin of the most recent freshwater news from around the world, compiled by the Freshwater Biological Association (FBA). It includes updates of what is happening at the FBA and ways to get involved. Contents What’s happening at the FBA? This month’s articles Dolly Varden guts quadruple during yearly gorging session Mouth-breeding frog is coming back from extinction Study of dragonfly prey detection wins PNAS Cozzarelli Prize Disease threatens aquaculture in developing world Eel mystery deepens with shark chow-down Antarctic Lake Vostok yields ‘new bacterial life’ Risk management in fish: How cichlids prevent their young from being eaten Ladders to help voles get out more New products to speed up lake recovery examined Australia’s native frogs beat invasive toads What’s happening at the FBA? New job at the FBA - GIS Web-Developer (KTP Associate) The FBA and University of Cumbria are offering an exciting opportunity for a graduate or post-graduate wanting to develop skills and experience by working on an innovative GIS web-development project. For more information please see the FBAs job page at https://www.fba.org.uk/jobs-notices. This month’s articles Dolly Varden guts quadruple during yearly gorging session Research published this month in the Journal of Animal Ecology shows that the Dolly Varden, (Salvelinus malma) can expand its gut to four times its usual size to take advantage of the feast provided by the eggs of spawning salmon. What is interesting is that this increased capacity is not a result of stretching, but rather the fish lays down extra tissue to increase the size of their digestive tract. http://www.scienceworldreport.com/articles/5709/20130321/dolly-varden-trout- guts-quadruple-during-yearly-gorging-session.htm Mouth-brooding frog is coming back from extinction Habitat destruction drove the Australian gastric-brooding frog to extinction in 1983. But using advanced cloning techniques researchers from the University of New South Wales have demonstrated that it may be possible to bring them back. The research was presented at a conference this month held in Washington that discussed the science of “de-extinction”. http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2013/03/mouth-breeding- frog.html Study of dragonfly prey detection wins PNAS Cozzarelli Prize A study on the physiology of hunting in dragonflies has won the Cozzarelli Prize for “scientific excellence and originality” awarded by the editorial board of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The study examined how dragonflies are able to intercept their prey with 95% efficiency. The authors examined a set of motor neurons linked to wing muscle that can detect movement of prey through 360 degrees. http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-03/mbl-sod031813.php Disease threatens aquaculture in developing world Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation. However, an analysis published this month in the Journal of Applied Ecology indicates that disease may threaten the ability of
aquaculture to meet growing demands, just as wild fish stocks decline and climatechange threatens food production from other sources.http://www.enn.com/sustainability/article/45726Eel mystery deepens with shark chow-downEfforts to track the migration root of the American eel (Anguilla rostrata) metan untimely end when 6 of the 8 individuals being tracked by satellite whereeaten by Porbeagle sharks (Lamna nasus). However, the results have importantimplications for efforts to conserve eels whose numbers have significantly declinedin recent years. There is now a need to build up a more detailed understanding ofthe importance of predation in order to design effective conservation strategies.http://news.yahoo.com/eel-mystery-deepens-shark-chow-down-160610427.htmlAntarctic Lake Vostok yields ‘new bacterial life’Russian scientists think that they have discovered a new type of bacteria afterdrilling 4km through the ice to retrieve a sample of water from Lake Vostok. Thelake is the largest sub-glacial lake in Antarctica and estimated to have been cutoff from the outside world for around 15 million years.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21709225Risk management in fish: How cichlids prevent their young from beingeatenA species of cichlid in Lake Tanganyika may increase the chance of their offspringsurviving by putting them out for “adoption” by other parents, according togenetic tests carried out on over 350 parents. The strategy ensures that shouldthe parents lose their nest to predation at least some of their offspring are likelyto survive.http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-03/uovm-rmi031913.phpLadders to help voles get out moreIsolated water vole populations in London are being provided with mini laddersto help them cross the high, vertical edges of the Grand Union Canal and accessnew territories. As numbers of water voles across the country have declinedthe remaining populations have become more fragmented. It is hoped that thescheme will encourage mixing and improve genetic diversity.http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/21804627New products to speed up lake recovery examinedA study published in the journal Science of the Total Environment examines hownew materials can speed up the recovery of lakes impacted by eutrophication.The recovery of such lakes often takes decades due to ‘legacy’ phosphorous in thelake bed sediments. However, a range of products now offer the potential to short-circuit the natural phosphorous cycle and speed up recovery.http://www.ceh.ac.uk/sci_programmes/water/lake-recovery-products-examined-news_2013_15.htmlAustralia’s native frogs beat invasive toadsA study published in Austral Ecology suggests that the tadpoles of the nativegreen tree frog can out-compete those of cane toads reducing their survival.Experts are now suggesting that introducing green tree frogs into suburban areascould represent one strategy to combat the invasive.http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/21629255 Please forward this bulletin to any of your colleagues who may be interested!