An assessment of residence times of land-sourced contaminants in the Great Barrier Reef lagoon and the implications for management and reef recovery

Brodie, Jon, Wolanski, Eric, Lewis, Stephen, and Bainbridge, Zoe (2012) An assessment of residence times of land-sourced contaminants in the Great Barrier Reef lagoon and the implications for management and reef recovery. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 65 (4-9). pp. 267-279.

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Abstract

We argue that the residence times of key pollutants exported to the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) are greater in the GBR lagoon than those of the water itself, in contradiction to some previous assumptions. Adverse effects of the pollutant discharge will be greater and longer lasting than previously considered, in turn requiring stronger or more urgent action to remediate land practices. Residence times of fine sediments, nitrogen and phosphorus, pesticides and trace metals are suggested to be from years to decades in the GBR lagoon and highly likely to be greater than the residence time of water, estimated at around 15-365 days. The recovery of corals and seagrass in the central region of the GBR following current land-use remediation in the catchment depends on the residence time of these contaminants. Ecohydrological modeling suggests that this recovery may take decades even with adequate levels of improved land management practices.

Item ID: 25477
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-3363
Keywords: watershed, river catchments, sediment, nutrient, pesticides, trapping, flushing, Reef degradation, reef recovery, climate change
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2013 05:26
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050204 Environmental Impact Assessment @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 100%
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