Summary The Mekong River is one of the largest river systems on earth, flowing approximately 4000 km from its source on the Tibetan Plateau to its mouth at the South China Sea. Ecologically, the lower Mekong basin is of global significance as it supports one of the most biologically diverse aquatic ecosystems in the world, containing approximately 2,000 fish species, including 500 endemic and 300 threatened species including the giant Mekong catfish. Tonle Sap Lake (aka The Great Lake of Cambodia) is a keystone component of the LMB and supports many of the species endemic to the LMB as well as one of the most productive freshwater fisheries in the world. Tonle Sap Lake is a flood pulse lake, seasonally inundated during the flood season of the Mekong, when the Tonle Sap river reverses flow and the flood waters of the Mekong fill the Tonle Sap basin. The fisheries associated with the Tonle Sap and its flood pulse ecology provide the majority of the protein for several million people in Cambodia. Despite the global ecological significance of the Tonle Sap and the regional importance of the fishery, scientific knowledge of the ecology of the ecosystem and of the processes underlying its productivity is rudimentary. The life histories of most fish species in the system have not been documented, data on foodweb relationships are almost entirely lacking and the basic processes sustaining the incredible productivity of the system are unknown. Absence of detailed knowledge on the ecology of the system is particularly troubling in light of the twin threats of climate change and upstream dams that will impact the system this century.
|Effective start/end date||9/1/12 → 12/31/13|
- NSF: Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO): $16,433.00