Extreme weather conditions in the Great Barrier Reef: drivers of change?

Devlin, Michelle, Wenger, Amelia, Da Silva, Eduardo, Alvarez Romero, Jorge G., Waterhouse, Jane, and McKenzie, Len (2012) Extreme weather conditions in the Great Barrier Reef: drivers of change? In: Proceedings of the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium. 21A_1. pp. 1-5. From: 12th International Coral Reef Symposium, 9-13 July 2012, Cairns, QLD, Australia.

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There has been a well-recognized link between declining water quality and the ecological health of coastal ecosystems. A strong driver of water quality change in the Great Barrier Reef (hereafter GBR) is the pulsed or intermittent nature of terrestrial inputs into marine ecosystems, particularly close to the coast. Delivery of potentially detrimental terrestrial inputs (freshwater, sediments, nutrients and toxicants, typically via flood plumes) will be exacerbated under modelled climate change scenarios and presents an on-going risk to the resilience and survival of inshore GBR ecosystems. This paper presents an overview of flow and water quality associated with extreme weather conditions experienced in the GBR over the 2010 – 2011 wet season. Water quality data collected during this period within the Reef Rescue Marine Monitoring Program is presented, including the spatial and temporal extent of the water quality conditions measured by in-situ sampling and satellite imagery. The consequence of the long wet season has had profound impacts on the people living and working within the Queensland coastal area, but may also be the driver of large scale reported decline in the many inshore seagrass systems and coral reefs and species that rely on these habitats, with concerns for the recovery potential of these impacted ecosystems.

Item ID: 22406
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
ISBN: 978-0-9808572-5-2
Keywords: extreme weather, GBR, flood plumes, impact
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Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2012 03:53
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050206 Environmental Monitoring @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960399 Climate and Climate Change not elsewhere classified @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960503 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 50%
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