Billabong river interactions during flood in the mid-Murray region - M/03/5104 - SB/1/41; National River Health Program - MDRI3; LWRRDC - R6038
MDFRC Technical Report
As with all ecosystems, rivers are supported by primary production - the function whereby inorganic building blocks are turned into living (organic) material which forms the energy (carbon) supply for the rest of the biota. This is almost all achieved through photosynthesis and in river ecosystems it is carried out by organisms in the biofilm, free living algae, aquatic plants, riparian vegetation, and the floodplain ecosystem which includes terrestrial plants (e.g. Redgums, grass) and billabongs. Billabongs are known to be di verse and highly productive systems (Hillman 1986, Boon el al. 1992) and recent research has demonstrated a rapid reaction to inundation in experimental billabongs (Nielsen el al. 2000) leading to predictions that high productivity in billabongs during high flow events may provide strategic inputs to the river system. This project set out to study the response of billabongs to connectivity and measure the exchanges between river and billabong during periods of high flow. Sites were chosen on the Murrumbidgee floodplain near Wagga Wagga with the aid of aerial surveys and historic flow records.
MDFRC funding agency: Land & Water Australia, Murray Darling Basin Commission, Natural Resource Management Strategy, Land and Water Resources Research and Development Corporation; and in-kind support from Cooperative Research Centre for Freshwater Ecology and Charles Sturt University
MDFRC client: Land and Water Resources Research and Development Corporation