CLLAMMecology: A whole-of-system approach to plan management intervention in the Coorong
The Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth (CLLAMMecology) Research Cluster evaluates water management options for the region, to secure and sustain the health of the estuary.
8 July 2011 | Updated 29 May 2013
Improving water benefits
The Coorong and Murray Mouth region is one of the best habitats for waterbirds in Australia. However, following a decade of low to no River Murray inflows, the region is now degraded, with significant declines in fish and bird numbers.
The CLLAMMecology project has developed a two-step approach to help plan future management interventions to rehabilitate this region.
The first step of this approach is to evaluate future climate and management intervention scenarios using a hydrodynamic model to predict future water level and salinity regimes, the two key ecosystem drivers in this region.
These water level and salinity predictions can be made for the length of the Coorong (~110 km) at decadal or longer time-scales as a function of River Murray discharge over the Lower Lakes barrages, connection to the sea via the Murray Mouth, and Upper South East Drainage discharge.
This hydrodynamic model is practical to use because it can be directly incorporated into existing models forecasting River Murray discharge over the Lower Lakes barrages.
The second step of the approach is to evaluate ecological responses to changes in water level and salinity. Several tools have been developed, including models that evaluate the change in the distribution of key fish and bird species, of key habitats (such as mudflats), or of whole ecosystems.
An overview of the outputs from the project and their potential applications are presented in the final summary report. These tools are now available to help plan management intervention in the region.
The final report is now available:
Brookes JD, Lamontagne S, Aldridge KT, Benger S, Bissett A, Bucater L, Cheshire AC, Cook PLM, Deegan BM, Dittmann S, Fairweather PG, Fernandes MB, Ford PW, Geddes MC, Gillanders BM, Grigg NJ, Haese RR, Krull E, Langley RA, Lester RE, Loo M, Munro AR, Noell CJ, Nayar S, Paton DC, Revill AT, Rogers DJ, Rolston A, Sharma SK, Short DA, Tanner JE, Webster IT, Wellman NR, Ye Q. 2009. Ecosystem Assessment Framework to Guide Management of the Coorong. Final Report of the CLLAMMecology Research Cluster. CSIRO: Water for a Healthy Country National Research Flagship, Canberra. [external link, PDF 6.3 MB]
The decision-support management framework developed by the Cluster has been delivered through four linked research themes:
The partnership received A$2.2 million from the CSIRO Collaboration Fund with partner contributions taking the total investment to A$5.3 million over three years.
Partners in world-class research
Our research partners include:
Management agencies supporting the program include the:
Geoscience Australia [external link], Land & Water Australia [external link] and the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation [external link] have also provided funding and research collaboration, including the following work:
To read the final fact sheet summarising the work, go to CLLAMMecology Research Cluster Brochure July 2009.