From coral to cows: using ecosystem processes to inform catchment management of the Great Barrier Reef

Bartley, Rebecca, Bainbridge, Zoe T., Lewis, Stephen E., Kroon, Frederieke J., Wilkinson, Scott N., Brodie, Jon E., and Silburn, Mark D. (2014) From coral to cows: using ecosystem processes to inform catchment management of the Great Barrier Reef. In: Proceedings of the 7th Australian Stream Management Conference. pp. 9-16. From: 7th Australian Stream Management Conference: catchment to coast, 27-30 July 2014, Townsville, QLD, Australia.

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Abstract

In this paper we propose a framework that can be used for designing management responses that are effective in improving the condition of Great Barrier Reef (GBR) ecosystems. The approach starts by defining the ecological process that is threatened and quantifies the properties of the constituent that is causing the impact. The framework then allows the use of a range of scientific approaches to work back up into the catchment from the coast to look at the dominant sub-catchment sources, the key processes generating the constituent, and the potential management options for reducing delivery of the constituent. We demonstrate this approach for sediment in the Burdekin catchment, however, it could be used for other constituents and chemicals of concern (e.g. nitrate). The results suggest that there is excess sediment (above pre-European) levels reaching coral reefs. The dominant source of this sediment is the Bowen and Upper Burdekin sub-catchments, and sub-surface (rill, scald and gully) erosion is dominating sediment loads. Further work on the various rehabilitation options and time frames for reducing sediment from these sources is required.

Item ID: 38404
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
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Date Deposited: 06 May 2015 23:21
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050209 Natural Resource Management @ 25%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070101 Agricultural Land Management @ 25%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950503 Understanding Australias Past @ 34%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 33%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960904 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Land Management @ 33%
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