Flow-MER Fridays

This webinar series is an opportunity to hear firsthand the activities taking place in the Flow-MER Program. Each video is presented by one of our team members who provide an insight into the latest findings and progress being made in their area of expertise. We invite you to watch and share these videos widely.

If you would like to attend future webinars and learn about our latest work, please subscribe below.

Webinar Video #6: Understanding trends of woody vegetation using field evapotranspiration and remote sensing

Presenter: Dr. Tanya Doody

New broadscale information to identify and understand trends in vegetation response to water are required to plan where, when, and how long, to target environmental water to specific locations in order to maintain ecosystem function.

In this project we are using field collected water use data (evapotranspiration) for River red gum and Black box to calibrate the outputs of a Basin-scale remote sensing evapotranspiration model. Evapotranspiration is a surrogate for vegetation condition, and outputs of this model allow us to observe trends in vegetation condition from 2001 to current time, for each remote sensing pixel in the Murray-Darling Basin. Data can be observed at various intervals depending on the management questions, and include weekly, monthly, seasonally, annually (for example). Some questions we are exploring include:

  • What do existing remotely sensed models tell us about the antecedent and current condition of long-lived woody floodplain vegetation at regional and Basin-scales?
  • How are vegetation condition and trends related to hydrology across scales including Basin-scale?
  • Determine condition of long-lived woody floodplain vegetation prior to the involvement of CEWH water;
  • Understand the influence of environmental water on woody vegetation condition

About Tanya

Webinar Video #5: Fish population diversity and abundance in the MDB

Presenters: Jason Thiem, Brenton Zampatti, Charles Todd, Ivor Stuart

The Fish Theme of the Flow-MER program is evaluating the contribution of Commonwealth environmental water to fish population diversity and abundance across the Murray-Darling Basin. The research program includes two innovative projects:

Research Project F1: Fish population models to inform Commonwealth environmental watering.
Research Project F2: Flow, movement and fish population dynamics in the MDB.

Using existing field data, these projects will apply cutting-edge techniques including: population modelling, acoustic fish tracking data and otolith (i.e. earbones) microchemistry, to answer questions about where and why fish move, and how best to provide environmental water to support key life-history processes.

In this webinar video, we discuss fish population models and integrated analysis of fish movement data to illustrate river system connectivity. We explore two key questions:

  1. What is the contribution of Commonwealth environmental water to key native fish population processes, including movement, reproduction and survival at local and regional scales?
  2. How can this research inform environmental water delivery to enhance native fish populations?

Jason Thiem

Brenton Zampatti

Charles Todd

Ivor Stuart

Presenter bios can be found here.

Webinar Video #4: Co-designing engagement with Indigenous peoples for better environmental water delivery: Cultural Values, Protocols and an Indigenous Seasonal Water Calendar

Presenters: Assoc Prof. Bradley Moggridge and Dr Emma Woodward

This project will draw on Indigenous activities already underway within Flow-MER Selected Areas, as well as working closely with other Indigenous engagement activities within CEWH, MDBA and other programs.

In this webinar, Brad and Emma discuss how the project:

  • frames options and avenues for the engagement of Indigenous people across the seven Flow-MER Selected Areas, and incorporate their perspectives on Australian water management, with a particular focus on environmental water.
  • draws on current knowledge and practice in regard to approaches and tools (including Protocols and Seasonal Calendars) for engaging with Indigenous water knowledge, values and interests.
  • meets a need for contextual information and synthesis around Indigenous perspectives on water management.

About Bradley

About Emma

Webinar Video #3: Identification, characterisation and management of refuge habitat

Presenter: Dr. Joanne Bennett

As part of the Flow-MER Biodiversity Basin Theme, we are learning and understanding more about aquatic refugia habitats, their characteristics, and the species they support.

Refugia are places that stay wet and cool when it’s hot and dry. They are important because they enable flora and fauna to persist during low/no flow and then recover, disperse and recolonise following the return of flow. Examples of refugia are deep waterholes in intermittent streams, perennial waterbodies, areas that receive cool groundwater inputs and shady riparian areas.

This webinar video looks at the work being undertaken to locate refugia and identify how refuge habitats change over time, and explores two questions:

  1. What are the characteristics that define, identify and describe refugia habitats across the Basin?
  2. What are patterns of refuge use and habitat suitability for water dependent species with a focus on fish, turtles, frogs and bats?

About Joanne

Webinar Video #2: Developing an environmental water energetics response model

Presenter: Paul McInerney, Senior Research Scientist (CSIRO) and James Hitchcock, Postdoctoral Researcher (University of Canberra)

As part of the Flow-MER Food Webs and Water Quality theme, we are developing a bioenergetic food web model by incorporating a range of existing and new data relating to food web dynamics in wetlands, flood channels and rivers during Commonwealth environmental watering. In this webinar, we talk about the model and how we plan to use it to demonstrate rates of carbon transfer and production in food webs under different environmental flow scenarios, exploring two key questions:

  • How does environmental watering influence the flow of energy through to vertebrate consumers such as fish and birds?
  • How can energetics response model support the prediction of trophic carrying capacity of rivers and wetlands in response to environmental water delivery?

About Paul

About James

Webinar Video #1: Spatial and temporal scales of waterbird movements and habitat use

Presenter: Dr Heather McGinness, Senior Research Scientist – CSIRO

This research project is tracking the movements of waterbirds using satellite transmitters. The information being gathered is improving our understanding of:

  • how waterbirds move across the MDB and beyond, in response to e-water or flooding.
  • which habitats they are choosing.
  • how connected our waterbird populations are and the implications for environmental water management to prevent further population declines.

About Heather

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