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Freshwater Matters from the FBA Feb 2013

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  1. 1. February 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 Loch Ken’s biodiversity ‘destroyed’ by invasive crayfish Removing doubt over croc snout clout Trading wetland no longer a deal with the devil The politics of freshwater science Salmon runs boom and bust over centuries Secret of fish’s climbing ability revealed Dragonfly shows human like power of concentration New fish named after author of Darwin’s Dreampond Genetic matchmaking saves endangered frogs The one that didn’t get away What’s happening at the FBA? FBA 2013 Course Programme We offer a range of courses developed for both enthusiasts and professionals including a wide range of identification courses on freshwater invertebrates including our first course in March on general freshwater invertebrate identification; and a number of fish health and disease courses. Other identification and specialist courses include: Chironomid Pupal Exuvial Technique (CPET); entomology for anglers Level 1 and Level 2; River InVertebrate Prediction And Classification System (RIVPACS)/River Invertebrate Classification Tool (RICT) bioassessment training. We also offer an accredited course - invertebrate identification for biotic assessment (including examination). NEW FOR 2013 – Identifying chironomid larvae For more information and to book a place, please contact us at events@fba.org.uk. For a full course programme and downloadable booking form, please visit www. fba.org.uk/fba-training-courses. Latest issue of Freshwater Reviews published The latest issue of the FBA journal Freshwater Reviews (Vol 5(2)) was published in December, with papers on the effects of temperature on phytoplankton, carbon sources supporting large river food webs, the visual representation of phytobenthos to help understand ecological status, the use of airborne remote sensing, and the effects of on rivers when motorway crossings are constructed. A list of contents and abstracts can be viewed online at: https://www.fba.org.uk/ journals/index.php/FRJ/issue/view/109. Full-text articles can be downloaded by subscribers, with all articles made open access after 36 months. If you do not currently subscribe and wish to have access to the journal, please email info@ fba.org.uk or recommend the journal to your library at https://www.fba.org. uk/journals/index.php/FRJ/user/recommendLibrary. Individuals who are FBA members can subscribe to online access for only £20, and Corporate Members are entitled to free online access. So why not subscribe today? Latest issue of Inlands Waters now published The latest issue of Inland Waters – Journal of the International Society of Limnology (Vol 3(1)) has now been published, including the first four papers on a special theme of Lake Simcoe, Canada (to be continued in the next issue). A list of contents and abstracts can be viewed online at: https://www.fba.org.uk/ journals/index.php/IW/issue/view/110. Full-text articles can be downloaded by subscribers and SIL members. If you do not currently subscribe or are not a SIL member and wish to have access to the journal, please either take out an
  2. 2. individual subscription (complete the subscription leaflet at https://www.fba.org.uk/journals/GuidanceDocs/IWSubscriptionLeaflet_2013ForWebsite.pdf and returnto the SIL Business Services Coordinator) or recommend the journal to yourlibrary at https://www.fba.org.uk/journals/index.php/IW/user/recommendLibrary.This month’s articlesLoch Ken’s biodiversity ‘destroyed’ by invasive crayfishAs the Scottish government updates its biodiversity strategies to meet the targetof halting biodiversity loss by 2020, a member of the parliament has said thatthe biodiversity in Loch Ken has been almost wiped out by the invasive NorthAmerican signal crayfish. This is despite the fact that the loch lies within theGalloway and South Ayrshire biosphere, recently recognised by UNESCO as ‘agood way to demonstrate good nature conservation’.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-south-scotland-21078480Removing doubt over croc snout cloutA study published this month in PLoS One examines the relationship between theshape of a crocodile’s jaw and the prey they feed on. Using complex 3D modelsand computer simulations the team from Monash University showed that theshorter snouted crocodiles had jaws adapted for large prey, whereas the jaws oflonger snouted relatives were more likely to break under comparable strains.http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130118235050.htmTrading wetland no longer a deal with the devilCurrently when a wetland is lost to development it is often stipulated that theloss should be offset by restoration of a wetland at another site. However, if thewetlands are not comparable this can lead to loss of species and little benefit. Nowresearchers have developed a framework based on three factors that are key tothe success of such offset schemes that they hope can guide practitioners and sorealise benefits for biodiversity.http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-01/uoic-twn011713.phpThe politics of freshwater scienceThe Canadian Government have announced the decision to close the ExperimentLakes Area (ELA) to widespread protests from scientists and the general public.The ELA has been at the forefront of much aquatic science and has producedalmost 750 peer reviewed papers over its lifetime.http://biofreshblog.com/2012/12/04/the-politics-of-freshwater-science-why-the-closure-of-canadas-experimental-lakes-area-matters-to-us-all/Salmon runs boom and bust over centuriesOver the last 20 years there has been a growing understanding that salmon runsnot only vary year on year, but also over decade-long cycles. Now work led byUniversity of Washington researchers published in this month’s Proceedings ofthe National Academy of Science suggests that these decade-long cycles maythemselves be overlayed by century-long cycles which influence fish productivity.http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130114153426.htmSecret of fish’s climbing ability revealedResearchers studying the Nopili rock-climbing goby (Sicyopterus stimpsoni) havefound that the fish uses the same sets of muscles for both climbing and eating.The authors suggest that as the fish evolved it began to use its specialised feedingmechanism to reach otherwise inaccessible areas.http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130104203850.htmDragonfly shows human like power of concentrationResearch published in Current Biology suggests that dragonfly’s brains have theability to screen out useless visual information and focus on a specific target, aprocess called selective attention. This is the first time that this ability has beenfound in an invertebrate animal.http://news.yahoo.com/dragonfly-shows-human-power-concentration-000311471.html
  3. 3. New fish named after author of Darwin’s DreampondA newly discovered fish found in Lake Victoria has been named after TijsGoldschmidt, the author of Darwin’s Dreampond. The book documented thedramatic extinction of hundreds of cichlid species in the lake following theintroduction of Nile perch together with other environmental pressures.http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-01/pp-anf010213.phpGenetic matchmaking saves endangered frogsResearchers in Panama are using genetic tests to avert mating mix-ups betweenspecies that may look very similar but which are actually different species. Theresearchers hope that using this technique will reduce the risk of creating hybridsthat are not genetically suited to their environment, thereby reducing the chancesthat they can be successfully re-introduced.http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-01/stri-gms010813.phpThe one that didn’t get awayOne hungry pike bit off more than it could chew when it attempted to eat aZander three-quarters its own size. A boat owner in Norway found the fish lockedtogether and took some amazing but slightly gruesome pictures.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20971848 Please forward this bulletin to any of your colleagues who may be interested!