Ancient groundwater enters food web

Ancient groundwater in Australia contributing carbon to food webs through surface water.

An ANSTO-led study that examined the link between groundwater and surface food webs in the Great Artesian Basin has demonstrated for the first time that ancient carbon is incorporated in living aquatic species in these ecosystems in the semi-arid and arid regions of Australia.  

The paper was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research Biogeosciences.

“We suspected that aquatic ecosystems in areas subject to groundwater flows from the Great Artesian Basin might be using carbon from subterranean groundwater as source energy,” said lead author Dr Debashish Mazumder, who used data from previous studies by ANSTO groundwater experts Dr Suzanne Hollins and Dr Karina Meredith.  

>Read more on the ANSTO website

Image: Conceptual model of carbon pathways