Australian freshwater ecologist Ellery Johnson draws in sand to give depths of meaning to his PhD research story:
"Estuaries depend on freshwater in-flows to regulate them equally. Their health is not just dictated by their internal water quality, but also their connection to the surrounding catchment. As freshwater in-flows transport resources to estuaries, preventing them may have ecological consequence. With the transport of organic matter and nutrients downstream by in-flows, algal and microbial growth is stimulated. A key organism in transporting these food web resources through the food web are these zooplankton called copepods. I have found that in an unregulated estuary with natural flows, seasonal temperature, algal growth, and adult copepod populations are all correlated. However, in a disrupted system with reduced flow, I found that seasonal temperature, algal growth and adult copepod populations did not correlate. While the mechanisms driving these differences are not fully known, freshwater in-flows seem to be key to the ecological health of estuaries."