Substrate roughening improves swimming performance in two small-bodied riverine fishes: implications for culvert remediation and design

Rodgers, Essie M., Heaslip, Breeana M., Cramp, Rebecca L., Riches, Marcus, Gordos, Matthew A. and Franklin, Craig E. (2017) Substrate roughening improves swimming performance in two small-bodied riverine fishes: implications for culvert remediation and design. Conservation Physiology, 5 . doi:10.1093/conphys/cox034


Author Rodgers, Essie M.
Heaslip, Breeana M.
Cramp, Rebecca L.
Riches, Marcus
Gordos, Matthew A.
Franklin, Craig E.
Title Substrate roughening improves swimming performance in two small-bodied riverine fishes: implications for culvert remediation and design
Journal name Conservation Physiology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2051-1434
Publication date 2017-05-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1093/conphys/cox034
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 5
Total pages 10
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Oxford University Press
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Worldwide declines in riverine fish abundance and diversity have been linked to the fragmentation of aquatic habitats through the installation of instream structures (e.g. culverts, dams, weirs and barrages). Restoring riverine connectivity can be achieved by remediating structures impeding fish movements by, for example, replacing smooth substrates of pipe culverts with naturalistic substrates (i.e. river stones; culvert roughening). However, empirical evaluations of the efficacy of such remediation efforts are often lacking despite the high economic cost. We assessed the effectiveness of substrate roughening in improving fish swimming performance and linked this to estimates of upstream passage success. Critical swimming speeds (Ucrit) of two small-bodied fish, purple-spotted gudgeon (Mogurnda adspersa; 7.7–11.6 cm total length, BL) and crimson-spotted rainbowfish (Melanotaenia duboulayi; 4.2–8.7 cm BL) were examined. Swimming trials were conducted in a hydraulic flume fitted with either a smooth acrylic substrate (control) or a rough substrate with fixed river stones. Swimming performance was improved on the rough compared to the smooth substrate, with Mo. adspersa (Ucrit-smooth = 0.28 ± 0.0 m s−1, 2.89 ± 0.1 BL s−1, Ucrit-rough = 0.36 ± 0.02 m s−1, 3.66 ± 0.22 BL s−1, mean ± s.e) and Me. duboulayi (Ucrit-smooth = 0.46 ± 0.01 m s−1, 7.79 ± 0.33 BL s−1; Ucrit-rough = = 0.55 ± 0.03 m s−1, 9.83 ± 0.67 BL s−1, mean ± s.e.) both experiencing a 26% increase in relative Ucrit. Traversable water velocity models predicted maximum water speeds allowing successful upstream passage of both species to substantially increase following roughening remediation. Together these findings suggest culvert roughening may be a solution which allows hydraulic efficiency goals to be met, without compromising fish passage.
Keyword Culvert design
Passage
Turbulence
Velocity barrier
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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