ICE WaRM was proud to host leading researchers Dr Paul Hanson from the Centre of Limnology, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Dr Kane Aldridge from the University of Adelaide as speakers at a free seminar on “The State of the Lower Murray Lakes”. Dr Hanson visited Adelaide to collect data on the condition of the Coorong with the research cluster CLLAMM ecology which focuses on the Coorong, the Lower Lakes and the Murray Mouth.

Primary productivity forms the base of food webs to support life in ecosystems. In
aquatic ecosystems, primary productivity derives primarily from – algae in the water
column, plants in the benthos, and macrophytes that grow near shore. Little is known
about the magnitude of primary production in the Coorong and how this has changed
in response to changes in salinity. In his presentation, Dr Hanson described a recent field study intended to quantify the primary productivity along the length of the Coorong
and to understand the implications for wildlife in the area.

Primary Productivity in the Coorong

Kane has been working on hydrodynamic-ecological models to predict resource
processing in Lake Alexandrina and Lake Albert. His presentation summarises initial
findings; analysis of historical water quality data, changes in water temperature, spatial
variation in sediment characteristics across the lakes, influence of sediment resuspension on nutrient release from the sediments, and salt intrusions into the lakes. As part of his ongoing research, ICE WaRM funded Kane’s to visit the Max Planck Institute in Germany last year to learn new techniques in investigating the impacts of drying and reflooding on nutrient dynamics and bacterial communities in Lake Alexandrina.

State of the Lower Murray Lakes