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Open AccessArticle

Science to Support Management of Receiving Waters in an Event-Driven Ecosystem: From Land to River to Sea

1
Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University, 170 Kessels Road, Nathan, Queensland 4111, Australia
2
Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Queensland 4222, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Present address: Irstea, UR MALY, Biologie des Ecosystèmes Aquatiques, 5 rue de la doua, CS70077, 69626 Villeurbanne, France
Water 2013, 5(2), 780-797; https://doi.org/10.3390/w5020780
Received: 15 April 2013 / Revised: 27 May 2013 / Accepted: 6 June 2013 / Published: 19 June 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological Watershed Management)
Managing receiving-water quality, ecosystem health and ecosystem service delivery is challenging in regions where extreme rainfall and runoff events occur episodically, confounding and often intensifying land-degradation impacts. We synthesize the approaches used in river, reservoir and coastal water management in the event-driven subtropics of Australia, and the scientific research underpinning them. Land-use change has placed the receiving waters of Moreton Bay, an internationally-significant coastal wetland, at risk of ecological degradation through increased nutrient and sediment loads. The event-driven climate exacerbates this issue, as the waterways and ultimately Moreton Bay receive large inputs of nutrients and sediment during events, well above those received throughout stable climatic periods. Research on the water quality and ecology of the region’s rivers and coastal waters has underpinned the development of a world-renowned monitoring program and, in combination with catchment-source tracing methods and modeling, has revealed the key mechanisms and management strategies by which receiving-water quality, ecosystem health and ecosystem services can be maintained and improved. These approaches provide a useful framework for management of water bodies in other regions driven by episodic events, or where novel stressors are involved (e.g., climate change, urbanization), to support sustained ecosystem service delivery and restoration of aquatic ecosystems. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecosystem health; ecosystem services; adaptive management; flood; land use; erosion; restoration; riparian vegetation; water quality ecosystem health; ecosystem services; adaptive management; flood; land use; erosion; restoration; riparian vegetation; water quality
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Leigh, C.; Burford, M.A.; Connolly, R.M.; Olley, J.M.; Saeck, E.; Sheldon, F.; Smart, J.C.; Bunn, S.E. Science to Support Management of Receiving Waters in an Event-Driven Ecosystem: From Land to River to Sea. Water 2013, 5, 780-797.

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