Impact of secondary salinisation on freshwater ecosystems : effect of experimentally increased salinity on an intermittent floodplain wetland

James, Kimberley R., Hart, Barry T., Bailey, Paul C. E. and Blinn, Dean W. 2009, Impact of secondary salinisation on freshwater ecosystems : effect of experimentally increased salinity on an intermittent floodplain wetland, Marine and freshwater research, vol. 60, no. 3, pp. 246-258, doi: 10.1071/MF08099.

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Title Impact of secondary salinisation on freshwater ecosystems : effect of experimentally increased salinity on an intermittent floodplain wetland
Author(s) James, Kimberley R.ORCID iD for James, Kimberley R. orcid.org/0000-0001-8504-4376
Hart, Barry T.
Bailey, Paul C. E.
Blinn, Dean W.
Journal name Marine and freshwater research
Volume number 60
Issue number 3
Start page 246
End page 258
Total pages 13
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
Place of publication Collingwood, Vic.
Publication date 2009
ISSN 1323-1650
1448-6059
Keyword(s) diatoms
macrophytes
mesocosms
salinity
water quality
Summary Intermittent wetlands are particularly at risk from secondary salinisation because salts are concentrated during drawdown. We conducted a field experiment to examine the effect of adding salt at two different concentrations (to achieve nominal conductivities of 1000 μS cm–1 (low salt) and 3000 μS cm–1 (high salt)) on water quality, freshwater plants and epiphytic diatoms in an intermittent wetland during a 3.3-month drawdown. Conductivity increased to 3000 and 8500 μS cm–1 in low-salt and high-salt treatments respectively. Salt was apparently lost to the sediments, causing protons to be released from the sediments and reducing water column pH from 6.9 to 5.5 in the low-salt treatment and to 4.0 in the high-salt treatments. Forty days after adding the salt, biomass, %cover and flower production in Potamogeton cheesmanii were significantly reduced, whereas Amphibromus fluitans was not significantly affected. The salt effect on Triglochin procera was intermediate between the other two macrophytes. Significant reductions in the density, species richness and diversity of epiphytic diatoms occurred in the high-salt, but not in the low-salt, treatments. Our work shows that increases in salinity, and thus conductivity (up to 8500 μS cm–1), in low-alkalinity intermittent wetlands can change water quality, with significant adverse effects on some macrophyte and diatom communities.
Language eng
DOI 10.1071/MF08099
Field of Research 060204 Freshwater Ecology
Socio Economic Objective 960506 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Environments
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
HERDC collection year 2009
Copyright notice ©2009, CSIRO
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30032666

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