Journal article

Impacts of drought and predicted effects of climate change on fish growth in temperate Australian lakes

John R Morrongiello, David A Crook, Alison J King, David SL Ramsey, Paul Brown



Climate change is expected to negatively impact many freshwater environments due to reductions in stream-flow and increases in temperature. These conditions, however, can already be found today in areas experiencing significant drought; current observations of species' responses to droughts can be used to make predictions about their future responses to climate change. Using otolith analysis, we recreated golden perch (Macquaria ambigua) growth chronologies from two temperate lake populations in southeastern Australia over a 15-year period pre- and during a supraseasonal drought. We related interannual growth variation to landscape-scale changes in temperature and hydrological regimes: fish ..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Funding Acknowledgements

We gratefully acknowledge the Office of Water, Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) and Fisheries Victoria for financial support and to Paul Bennett (DSE) for managing the project and providing valuable input. Thank you to Janet Pritchard for valuable advice and helpful discussions. John Mahoney, Damien O'Mahony, Andrew Pickworth (DSE) and Kylie Hall and Russell Strongman (DPI) helped in sample collection. Zeb Tonkin and Jed Macdonald (DSE) provided valuable help with otolith preparation and image analysis. Paul Reich (DSE) contributed helpful comments and advice on the manuscript. Anonymous referees greatly enhanced the final manuscript through their constructive criticism. This project was conducted under ARI Animal Ethics Committee approval 05/017, Fisheries Victoria permit RP827 and Flora and Fauna research permit 10003509.