Port of Weipa long-term seagrass monitoring: 2000-2014

Taylor, H.A., Rasheed, M.A., and Carter, A.B. (2015) Port of Weipa long-term seagrass monitoring: 2000-2014. Report. TropWATER, James Cook University, Cairns, QLD, Australia.

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Key Findings:

1. Seagrasses in the Port of Weipa were in a good condition with biomass, area and species composition of monitoring meadows all close to or above the long-term average.

2. The 4,741 ha of seagrass mapped in the broader port limit extent was the second highest recorded since monitoring began in 2000.

3. Results of the seagrass and light monitoring indicate that Weipa's marine environment was in a healthy condition.

4. The good condition of seagrasses, including the large Enhalus acoroides meadow (A2) on the western bank of the Embley River, means seagrasses should continue to be resilient to planned maintenance dredging activities in 2015 without the requirement for additional mitigation measures.

5. Monitoring of light (Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR)) at key seagrass locations indicates that the light environment remained favourable for seagrass growth during the majority of 2013-2014. The light environment naturally fell below the likely light requirements for seagrass for a short period of time during the peak of the wet season.

6. Tidal exposure and solar radiation explain a significant component of previous declines in some intertidal meadows. More frequent (quarterly) assessments of seagrass change coupled to the PAR monitoring would enable a better understanding of the actual light requirements for seagrasses in Weipa and help to develop relevant light thresholds for management.

7. The good condition of seagrasses in Weipa and other monitoring locations in the Gulf of Carpentaria and Torres Strait contrast with many of the seagrass meadows on Queensland’s east coast that were significantly impacted by major climate events and are yet to fully recover.

Item ID: 39662
Item Type: Report (Report)
Keywords: recovery, resilience, management, environmental monitoring, marine monitoring, marine water quality, seagrass, reproduction, seagrass habitats, Great Barrier Reef, port development, dredging
Additional Information:

Access: This report is openly accessible from the link to TropWATER's Technical Reports web page above.

Copyright: Please refer to the copyright statement in the report.

Funders: North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation (NQBP)
Date Deposited: 26 Aug 2015 06:13
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050206 Environmental Monitoring @ 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 @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960503 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 50%
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