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|Title:||Tareena Billabong - a palaeolimnological history of an ever-changing wetland, Chowilla Floodplain, lower Murray-Darling Basin, Australia|
|Citation:||Marine and Freshwater Research, 2005; 56(4):441-456|
|Publisher:||C S I R O Publishing|
|Peter A. Gell, Sorell Bulpin, Peter Wallbrink, Gary Hancock and Sophie Bickford|
|Abstract:||A 427-cm sediment core was extracted from Tareena Billabong, a Murray River floodplain wetland in the extreme south-west of New South Wales, Australia. Analysis of fossil diatoms and pollen, sediment 210Pb and 137Cs profiles and radiocarbon and luminescence dating reveal that Tareena Billabong has undergone substantial environmental change in its ~5000-year history. Shortly after its formation, the billabong was a freshwater lagoon with a diatom flora dominated by Synedra ulna and Planothidium lanceolatum. An increase in Aulacoseira granulata, a river plankton dominant today, reflects two phases of increased connectivity with the Murray River in the mid to late Holocene. A shift to lagoonal taxa after ~3000 years BP is attributed to water balance and river-flow changes, possibly associated with regional climate change. Importantly, it appears to have undergone an extended phase of increasing turbidity, and possibly wetland salinity, commencing ~3000 years BP. Sedimentation increased at least 15-fold in the European phase. Billabong salinity increased markedly soon after European settlement, reaching a peak in the late 1800s AD. While regulation then increased the degree of connection between the billabong with the River in the 1920s AD, salinity levels remained high. Increased salinity is revealed by increases in the diatom taxa Amphora spp., Cyclotella meneghiniana, Gyrosigma acuminatum, Planothidium delicatulum and Tryblionella hungarica and by declines in Casuarinaceae, Eucalyptus, Myriophyllum and Cyperaceae pollen. Tareena Billabong was subjected to considerable environmental pressures from the early stages of European settlement in terms of sediment load, hydrological change and salinity.|
|Keywords:||diatoms; lead-210; river regulation; salinisation; sedimentation rates|
|Rights:||Copyright © CSIRO 2005|
|Appears in Collections:||Geography, Environment and Population publications|
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