Freshwater Matters May2014


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Monthly update on news and research in freshwater biology

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Freshwater Matters May2014

  1. 1. Freshwater Matters What’s happening at the FBA? Clear Waters Oral History Project: Exhibition Schedule As part of the FBA Clear Waters Oral History project, which is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), a mobile exhibition of the project will run from May 2014 to May 2015 touring venues in Cumbria and one venue in Lancashire. The exhibition schedule is listed below. If you would like further details please contact Schedule: 23rd May to 31st August 2014 - Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal 3rd September to 15th October 2014 - The Lakes Aquarium, Newby Bridge 18th October 2014 to 4th January 2015 – Lancaster Maritime Museum, Lancaster 7th January 2015 to 1st of March 2015 – Cumbria Archive Centre, Carlisle 4th March 2015 to 29th April 2015 – Whitehaven Archive Centre, Whitehaven 2nd May 2015 to 31st May 2015 – Kendal Library, Kendal Latest issue of Inlands Waters now published The latest issue of Inland Waters – Journal of the International Society of Limnology (Vol 4(2)) has now been published. A list of contents and abstracts can be viewed online at: showToc. 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 individual subscription (contact the SIL Business Services Coordinator, Denise Johnson by email or recommend the journal to your library at index.php/IW/user/recommendLibrary. Upcoming FBA Training Courses Identifying aquatic beetles Date: Monday 2 - Tuesday 3 June; Tutor: Garth Foster; Cost: £220; FBA member £195; Location: FBA Windermere, Cumbria This two day course will concentrate on the collection and identification of water beetles. The aim of the course is to increase confidence in beetle identification and will include: beetle morphology as used for identification, field survey techniques, the use of identification keys, microscope work, and some aspects of conservation. There will also be the opportunity to try out the Royal Entomological Society British water beetles handbook. Garth Foster is the coordinator for the Aquatic Coleoptera Recording Scheme for Britain and Ireland and has done nothing else for 47 years! May 2014 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 Don’t move a mussel: Small freshwater biofoulers carry a big price tag Water users can reduce risk of spreading invasive species 2014 ten most endangered rivers Making dams safer for fish around the world Fish exposed to antidepressants exhibit altered behavioural changes Urban river pollutants suppress wild bird development Snails with parasites more promiscuous Salvation for sores lies in the bladders of freshwater carp When dads go missing, frogs start hatching AND FINALLY: It’s a whopper
  2. 2. Identifying caddis Date: Wednesday 4 - Thursday 5 June; Tutor: Ian Wallace; Cost: £220; FBA member £195; Location: FBA Windermere, Cumbria; Caddis (Trichoptera) are a fascinating and varied group of insects that are used in water quality assessment. Participants will be shown various methods of collecting larvae and at the end of the course they should be able to identify any caddis larva to family and also identify a range of species. Caddis adults are also significant in fly fishing and for those students who so wish, there will be training in collecting and identifying that life stage. The course is aimed at biologists and naturalists who want to develop their knowledge of this group of insects. Ian Wallace is the national coordinator for the Trichoptera Recording Scheme, author of many guides to caddis including the FBA key to case-bearing caddis, and an Honorary Research Fellow of the FBA. For further details or to book a place on a course, please visit fba-training-courses or contact us at or on 015394 42468. This month’s articles Don’t move a mussel: Small freshwater biofoulers carry a big price tag A paper published this month in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment suggests that biofouling in the worlds freshwaters costs $277 million per year to clean up. Most of this economic burden falls on utility companies where biofoulers such as mussels colonise pipes restricting the flow of water. Water users can reduce risk of spreading invasive species A new report published by the University of Leeds and CEFAS suggests that recreational users could be helping the spread of invasive species around Britain’s waterways. The study found that a high proportion of anglers and canoeist used their equipment in multiple waterways without cleaning or drying it in-between. 2014 ten most endangered rivers This month saw the annual announcement of the top 10 most endangered rivers in the US. Topping the list this year is the San Joaquin River in California, where a combination of drought and poor management has put the river at breaking point. The annual report aims to highlight rivers that are at a critical point, and where upcoming decisions will determine their future. Making dams safer for fish around the world An article in the March issue of Fisheries details an international effort to protect fish from the changes in pressure that they experience in the turbulent waters round dams. Known as barotrauma, such changes in pressure can result in death or serious injury for fish. But now a team of scientists have identified modifications that can be made to dam design to help reduce the problem. Fish exposed to antidepressants exhibit altered behavioural changes A study published this month in Aquatic Toxicology reports that fish exposed to the antidepressant Fluoxetine show significant of behavioural changes relating to mating and aggression. The study adds to a growing body of evidence that pharmaceuticals in our rivers are affecting aquatic organisms. Urban river pollutants suppress wild bird development Meanwhile research published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry shows that hormone disrupting chemicals in urban rivers can have a significant effect on the health of wild nesting birds. The study found that compared to their rural counterparts chicks of the Eurasian dipper reared on urban rivers were underweight with fewer female chicks hatching. This could have negative
  3. 3. implications for the populations’ long term success. Snails with parasites more promiscuous Research published in Biology Letters this month shows that New Zealand Mud Snails become more promiscuous when infected with a parasite that makes them sterile. It is thought the increase in mating frequency may be a way to ensure some offspring are born before the snail becomes infertile. promiscuous Salvation for sores lies in the bladders of freshwater carp Powdered particles of the swimbladder of freshwater carp may offer an innovative treatment to help wounds heal according to a pilot study currently being carried out by the NHS. sores-lies-in-the-bladders-of-freshwater-carp.html When dads go missing, frogs start hatching The amount of parental care that a species of amphibian invests in its eggs has a significant influence on the length of time they take to develop according to a study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The eggs of the glass frog, which are laid on plant leaves outside water, rely on their fathers to keep them moist as they develop. But should their father abandon them the eggs shorten their development time reducing the risk of desiccation. hatching AND FINALLY: It’s a whopper After an epic 45 minute struggle a 14 year old school boy from Essex has smashed the junior angling record by landing a 7ft long 122lb catfish, thought to be the biggest living freshwater fish in Britain. which-is-the-biggest-fish-in-Britain Please forward this bulletin to any of your colleagues who may be interested!