Research stories: the power of participatory research

Lead author Rachel Aronoff recalls her discovery of Hackuarium, a community laboratory, whose study on lake water quality demonstrates how meaningful environmental monitoring can be achieved with participatory research. It was late in 2015 when I first encountered Hackuarium and its ‘biohacker’ members while organising a biosensor course in collaboration with several of its members – I had never seen anything like it. Who were … Continue reading Research stories: the power of participatory research

Weighing-in: universally applicable biometric conversion equations to support comparative assessment of invasive freshwater bivalves

Invasive bivalves continue to detrimentally impact freshwater ecosystems worldwide, with their ecological effects often being standardised by body size or biomass measurements. In their latest research, Coughlan and colleagues aim to derive universally applicable conversion equations to support reliable comparative assessment of bivalve driven ecological effects. As dominant filter-feeders, most bivalves’ ecological impacts are a result of their filtration or particle clearance rates (i.e. the … Continue reading Weighing-in: universally applicable biometric conversion equations to support comparative assessment of invasive freshwater bivalves

Behind the cover 2:3 – Sand addition augments gharial nesting in degrading aquatic habitats

Gaurav Vashistha and colleagues describe their latest research attempting to reverse the observed decline in gharial nesting by improving nesting site conditions. Find out more about the research behind the cover of our latest issue. The gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) is a critically threatened, freshwater crocodile. Gharials nest in sandy substrates such as river banks and mid-river sand bars where females dig holes and lay their … Continue reading Behind the cover 2:3 – Sand addition augments gharial nesting in degrading aquatic habitats

Small but damaging: low-head barriers can cause selective effects on river fish communities

Artificial barriers are widespread and abundant in rivers worldwide, contributing to the global decline in freshwater biodiversity. In their latest research, Jones and colleagues aimed to assess potential selective effects of barriers on fish communities to better inform fish passage science. The impact of large barriers is well documented for large fish like salmon: disrupting well known movements between adult marine habitat and freshwater spawning/juvenile … Continue reading Small but damaging: low-head barriers can cause selective effects on river fish communities

Behind the cover 2:1 – Q&A with David O’Brien

In this Q&A, we find out more about the author and research: “A co‐development approach to conservation leads to informed habitat design and rapid establishment of amphibian communities” behind the cover image of our first issue of 2021. The research What’s your article about? Our article describes habitat creation and management for amphibians in economically active sites. We worked with farmers, foresters and a golf … Continue reading Behind the cover 2:1 – Q&A with David O’Brien

Where do escaped farmed salmon go after unintentional release from aquaculture facilities?

The unintentional release of domesticated salmon poses a significant risk to wild Atlantic salmon populations. In their latest research, Mahlum and colleagues use a hierarchical species distribution model to determine the spread and potential impact of domesticated salmon, following escape events in aquaculture facilities. Atlantic salmon is a culturally and economically important species that has been subjugated to intense anthropogenic pressures over the last century. … Continue reading Where do escaped farmed salmon go after unintentional release from aquaculture facilities?

Editor’s choice 57:07 – An urgent need for standardised monitoring of Arctic freshwaters

Heino et al.’s recent Policy Direction provides an approach to freshwater biomonitoring that could equip us to manage the effects of climate change in the Arctic. Associate Editor, Robert Britton highlights the work as our latest Journal of Applied Ecology Editor’s Choice. Anthropogenic climate change is not resulting in uniform warming rates across the world, with some regions increasing in temperature faster than others. This … Continue reading Editor’s choice 57:07 – An urgent need for standardised monitoring of Arctic freshwaters

eDNA snapshots of invasion, infection and extinction from a freshwater crayfish tragedy

For the first time, a devastating crayfish plague outbreak has been monitored from the onset to crayfish extinction using eDNA methodology. David A. Strand and colleagues surveyed a watercourse over three years and discovered a remarkable correlation between eDNA fluctuations and host-pathogen dynamics. Noble crayfish (Astacus astacus) are macroinvertebrates that can be found in both lotic and lentic freshwater systems across most of Europe. Previously … Continue reading eDNA snapshots of invasion, infection and extinction from a freshwater crayfish tragedy

Why quantifying riverine ecosystem services matters

Dalal Hanna, aquatic and landscape ecologist, talks about her article reviewing riverine ecosystem service quantification. This paper was on the 2018 list of highly commended papers for this year’s Southwood Prize early career researcher award. An additional video about Dalal’s research is available here. Read the full article, A review of riverine ecosystem service quantification: research gaps and recommendations in issue 55:3 of Journal of … Continue reading Why quantifying riverine ecosystem services matters