Catchment management and health of coastal ecosystems: synthesis and future research

Kroon, F.J., and Brodie, J. (2009) Catchment management and health of coastal ecosystems: synthesis and future research. Marine and Freshwater Research, 60 (11). pp. 1196-1200.

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Abstract

Globally, many coastal ecosystems are threatened by a decline in water quality from land-based runoff. However, dynamic and complex biophysical and socioeconomic interdependencies often hamper the reversal of this decline in water quality. This Special Issue illustrates an integrated approach to address deteriorating water quality from land-based runoff in the Tully basin to the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Australia. Nitrate was identified as the key pollutant, and was mainly derived from sugarcane and banana farms. To achieve GBR water quality targets for chlorophyll a, the dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) load needs to be reduced by at least 80%. Modelling shows that financially beneficial changes to management of sugarcane results in a 50% reduction in DIN load. However, larger reductions would come at a significant cost. An adaptive approach is proposed as a framework to assess (i) the efficacy of implementing the recommended management practices, and (ii) progress against set targets. Quantification of linkages between catchment management and coastal ecosystem health will help inform management strategies based on ecosystem performance measures. Verification of the efficacy of existing and exploration of innovative management strategies, as well as spatial and temporal prioritisation of their implementation, remain critical to achieve coastal ecosystem rehabilitation, including water quality improvement.

Item ID: 10800
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: Great Barrier Reef, integrated assessment, water quality
ISSN: 1448-6059
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2010 06:22
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050102 Ecosystem Function @ 30%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 30%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050206 Environmental Monitoring @ 40%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960502 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic Environments @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960902 Coastal and Estuarine Land Management @ 50%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 6
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