Evaluating risk to seagrasses in the Tropical Indo-Pacific Region

Coles, Robert, Grech, Alana, Rasheed, Michael, and McKenzie, Len (2012) Evaluating risk to seagrasses in the Tropical Indo-Pacific Region. In: Proceedings of the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium. 15B_2. pp. 1-5. From: 12th International Coral Reef Symposium, 9-13 July 2012, Cairns, QLD, Australia.

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Seagrass meadows are a major ecosystem component of coral reef environments in northern Australia and the Indo-Pacific. Providing advice on the protection and management of seagrasses at ecosystem or regional scales is difficult because of the costs and challenges associated with collecting and analysing data at that scale. To address this we have combined geospatial data with qualitative measures of the vulnerability of seagrass habitats from multiple threats and evaluated the risk to seagrasses at a local and regional scale. In the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, Queensland Australia (GBRWHA), the highest ranked threats to seagrass were agricultural and urban runoff followed by coastal infrastructure. There was a spatial pattern to risk with very low levels in the remote north compared with the urbanised south. The relative impact of multiple threats was also estimated for the Indo-Pacific using the seagrass regions of Short et al. (2007). There were consistencies in threats to seagrass with three of the highest ranked threats found in the GBRWHA in the top five threats for the Indo-Pacific region. Threats associated with climate change received mostly low scores. The approach summarized here provides an estimation of the relative importance of threats and enables coastal management interventions to be directed to issues and locations that will maximise returns for investment in data collection analysis and intervention.

Item ID: 22398
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
ISBN: 978-0-9808572-5-2
Keywords: seagrass, risk, Great Barrier Reef
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Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2012 04:35
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960802 Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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