Polo de Ecología Fluvial

Polo de Ecología Fluvial, CENUR Litoral Norte – Sede Paysandú, Universidad de la República, Uruguay

Coordinacion: Dra. Christine Lucas

The “Polo de Ecología Fluvial” or Fluvial Ecology Group provides an ecological perspective on streams and riparian ecosystems, complementary to the Department’s focus on hydrology, hydrogeology, hydraulic engineering, and water management in agricultural and urban landscapes. The group is dedicated to research and education in watershed ecology, riparian ecosystems, and fish behavior in the context of increasing anthropogenic impacts and climate variability.  We also participate in extension projects dedicated to monitoring water quality in collaboration with government entities in Littoral Uruguay.


1. Continuous monitoring of water quality in streams feeding a National Protected Area in Uruguay.
We monitor two key factors influencing available fish habitat for reproduction, growth and survival: Temperature and Dissolved oxygen using a small network of sensors in the Queguay River Basin.  The objective of this study is to understand the spatial and temporal variability in key parameters for migratory fishes in a watershed in Littoral Uruguay.  Collaboration: SNAP-UdelaR with support from the Intendencia of the Department of Paysandú.

2. Dendrochronology as a tool for understanding historical climate and streamflow of rivers in Uruguay.
In collaboration with Chile and the Laboratory of Wood in Rivera, we are developing some of the first chronologies based on tree ring growth of native species.  The goal of this research, in addition to providing baseline data on incremental growth rates of common species in Uruguayan forests, is to understand the relationship between net annual productivity and climate, as well as the relationship between tree growth and streamflow.  Given the abscence of streamflow data for most rivers in Uruguay prior to 1980, these data could help reconstruct past streamflow data.

3. Telemetry of Salminus spp. in the Uruguay River
We collaborate on the study of migratory patterns of the Salminus spp. below the Salta dam on the Uruguay River between Uruguay and Argentina, coordinated by researchers in Uruguay (Marcelo Crossa), Argentina (CONICET) and Brasil (Consultoria Neotropical).  The study contributes information regarding the movement patterns of this species in the River Uruguay over time.  The project is funded by CARU (Comisión Adminsitradora del Río Uruguay).