Freshwater Matters October2013
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Freshwater Matters October2013 Document Transcript

  • 1. Freshwater Matters What’s happening at the FBA? Gilson Le Cren Memorial Award 2014: £4000 grant for research from the FBA Looking for a small research grant? The Gilson Le Cren Memorial Award (formerly the Hugh Cary Gilson Memorial Award) provides an annual grant of up to £4000 to support scientific research into freshwater biology. Applications for the 2014 award are now invited and should be submitted between 15 October and 15 November 2013. Application is open to FBA members in good standing who joined the FBA on or before 1 July 2013. The award will be made in April 2014 and last for a period of 12 months. Visit the FBA website for terms and conditions, and more details about the application process (http://www.fba.org.uk/gilson-le-cren- memorial-award). FBA AGM & London Freshwater Group Meeting, 8 November 2013 Scientific programme now available The scientific programme for the London Freshwater Group meeting is now available on the FBA website at http://www.fba.org.uk/fba-annual-scientific- meeting-asm. The meeting incorporates the FBA’s Annual General Meeting, which will be held at 12:15, and takes place in The Flett Lecture Theatre at the Natural History Museum, London. Papers for the FBA AGM will be circulated to FBA members later this week and available on the FBA website. There is a modest attendance fee for the scientific meeting (£20 standard, £10 students), payable on arrival; this includes lunch and is also applicable to anyone attending just for the AGM but wishing to stay for lunch. To help with planning, if you wish to attend this meeting please email Sarah Lynch (sfl161@bham.ac.uk); please also let Sarah know if you wish to present a poster. Accredited macroinvertebrate training course from the FBA, 22nd – 24th October BOOK NOW! The FBA is now offering an accredited identification course for freshwater invertebrates, please see details below. It is a three day course which covers the identification of the freshwater macroinvertebrate families used for biotic assessment (BMWP etc). Completion of this course and exam to the required standard results in the award of a certificate of competence in family-level freshwater macroinvertebrate identification. Such evidence is often invaluable in lending credibility when applying for posts or seeking promotion, or for consultants tendering for contracts, and demonstrates a recognised level of competence in a highly-employable skill. The last course we ran in October 2012 proved very popular and was fully booked, with participants coming from as far October 2013 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 On the clock: new technique improves precision of extinction predictions by giving a timeframe Pearl Mussels under threat and on the way to recovery A new era begins for the Experimental Lakes Warming waters will harm freshwater fish and thousands of jobs Yellow peril: Are banana farms contaminating Costa Rica’s crocs? Why Fish Don’t Need to Be ‘Schooled’ in Swimming Guppy fish proven to be cheap, effective tool in fight against dengue fever British water vole population slumps by more than one-fifth A fast fish with a huge impact: Major changes to the Danube ecosystem Aquarium species is a real fish out of water
  • 2. afield as Cyprus and Nigeria! If you are interested in finding out more details, or would like to book a place, please contact us at events@fba.org.uk or ring 01539 42468. Invertebrate identification for biotic assessment (including examination) Date: Tuesday 22 - Thursday 24 October; Tutors: Mike Dobson, Melanie Fletcher, Simon Pawley; Cost: £600; early bird rate £585; FBA member £575; Location: FBA Windermere, Cumbria This three day course covers the identification of the freshwater macroinvertebrate families used for biotic assessment (BMWP, etc.). It is aimed at professionals with some experience of identification, who wish to consolidate their knowledge. At the end of the course, participants will be examined on their identification skills and, if the required standard is attained, a certificate of achievement in family- level invertebrate identification will be awarded. This course is part of a series of FBA accredited invertebrate identification courses; future courses will allow participants to demonstrate their skills in taking individual groups of invertebrates to species level. Mike Dobson is the former Director of the FBA and has extensive experience of teaching invertebrate identification at all levels. Simon Pawley and Melanie Fletcher are FBA staff who have taught on a range of FBA invertebrate identification courses. Mike, Simon and Melanie are authors of the FBA publications SP67 Guide to British Freshwater Macroinvertebrates for Biotic Assessment, and SP68 Guide to Freshwater Invertebrates. A copy of SP67 is included in the course fee for each participant. Conference Announcement- Ecosystem Services 3: Rivers- A Framework for Action CIEEM’s forthcoming autumn conference, the third in the series on Ecosystem Services, will focus on rivers with particular emphasis on the aims and objectives of the Water Framework Directive (WFD). The event is being held at the Grand Harbour Hotel in Southampton, on the 6th-7th November 2013, and will be delivered through a series of presentations, Q&As, case studies, workshops and panel discussion. Further to the Memorandum of Understanding between CIEEM and FBA, CIEEM are offering FBA members a reduced delegate rate. For more information and to book a place, please see http://www.cieem.net/2013-autumn- conference. Research Article Published: Do mudskippers and lungfishes elucidate the early evolution of four-limbed vertebrates? You may be interested in this recent article by Ulrich Kutschera and J Malcolm Elliott (2013), published in Evolution: Education and Outreach 6 (8). For more information and to access the article, please see http://www.evolution-outreach. com/content/6/1/8. This month’s articles On the clock: new technique improves precision of extinction predictions by giving a timeframe On-going stressors such as habitat degradation, overexploitation and eutrophication are likely to cause more extinction of freshwater fish than climate change according to work published in the Journal of Applied Ecology. Although tackling climate change is important, the research suggests dealing with other pressures is likely to deliver the most benefit for freshwater species over time frames that correspond to major policy drivers. http://biofreshblog.com/2013/08/13/on-the-clock-new-technique-improves- precision-of-extinction-predictions-by-giving-a-timeframe/ Pearl Mussels under threat and on the way to recovery Two stories this month. In Northern Ireland plans for wind farms have been put on hold following the discovery of freshwater pearl mussels in the river catchment. The mussels did not feature in a number of environmental reports about the site, and campaigners are calling for a halt to the proposal to protect the endangered species. Meanwhile, in Cumbria a joint initiative between Cumbria Rivers Trust
  • 3. and the Environment Agency has seen the introduction of young salmon carrying mussel larvae into the River Ehen where it is hoped they will help improve the existing old aged population. http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/endangered-pearl-mussels- found-near-planned-connemara-wind-farms-1.1524360 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-24193975 A new era begins for the Experimental Lakes Following a threat to its survival due to budget constraints, the Ontario-based Experimental Lakes Area has been saved after an agreement was reached that ensures a continuation of research that has been on-going for the last four decades. Work at the system of lakes has been central in identifying the impacts of phosphorous and acid rain on freshwater systems, and so helped shape environmental policy to address these problems. http://www.timescolonist.com/comment-a-new-era-begins-for-the-experimental- lakes-1.614006 Warming waters will harm freshwater fish and thousands of jobs Research by the National Wildlife Federation in the US suggests that warming waters over the coming decades could halve the number of suitable habitats available for freshwater fish, leading to billions of dollars of lost revenue from the recreation and fishing industries. http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/09/05/report-warming-waters-will- harm-freshwater-fish-and-thousands-of-jobs Yellow peril: Are banana farms contaminating Costa Rica’s crocs? Analysis of blood samples from spectacled caiman in Costa Rica’s national parks suggest that agrochemicals from the banana industry may be having a wide scale impact on aquatic systems across the country. The research published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry calls for the development of a strong regulatory and enforcement infrastructure to protect the countries freshwater habitats. http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-09/w-ypa091613.php Why Fish Don’t Need to Be ‘Schooled’ in Swimming A study published in this month’s issue of Current Biology suggests that the schooling behaviour of fish has a genetic underpinning rather than being a learned behaviour. http://news.yahoo.com/why-fish-dont-schooled-swimming-195412041.html Guppy fish proven to be cheap, effective tool in fight against dengue fever The colourful Guppy fish represents a low-cost, year-round safe way of reducing the spread of dengue fever according to a study carried out in Lao and Cambodia. The community based project encouraged people to keep fish in their water containers, where the guppies feed on mosquito larvae helping to control the vector of the disease. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130912091656.htm British water vole population slumps by more than one-fifth A five year survey of water vole populations in the UK has found the population has slumped by more than a fifth across the country since the last survey in 2004-08. The loss is being attributed to a wide range of factors from mink, to loss of habitat and extreme weather events. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/sep/06/water-vole-population-slump A fast fish with a huge impact: Major changes to the Danube ecosystem When it comes to invading new habitats, bigger is better according to a report published this month in PLOS ONE. Researchers studying the invasion of the Danube by the Round Goby have found that stronger and more powerful individuals act as pioneers moving up the river and gradually eliminating native fish populations. http://phys.org/news/2013-09-fast-fish-huge-impact-major.html
  • 4. Aquarium species is a real fish out of water Aquarists at the Blue Planet Aquarium in Cheshire, UK, celebrated the birth of some rather unusual fish this month. Using a specially designed tank the aquarists provided overhanging vegetation to act as the spawning site for a shoal of splash tetra. This unique fish from South America is the only fish that lays its eggs out of water. http://www.chesterchronicle.co.uk/news/chester-cheshire-news/freshwater- splash-tetra-fish-bred-6039604 Please forward this bulletin to any of your colleagues who may be interested!