Seagrass habitat of Cairns Harbour and Trinity Inlet: sediment seed bank analysis

Jarvis, J.C., McKenna, S.A., and Rasheed, M.A. (2013) Seagrass habitat of Cairns Harbour and Trinity Inlet: sediment seed bank analysis. Report. TropWATER, James Cook University, Cairns, QLD, Australia.

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Abstract

An examination of the density of seagrass seeds and their viability was conducted in Cairns Harbour in July 2013. The assessment was conducted in response to large scale seagrass declines that have occurred over the past 4 years, to assess the likelihood of seeds continuing to provide a mechanism for future recovery of the meadows. Results of the survey found that:

• Cairns Harbour still contained viable seeds of the foundation species Zostera capricorni and Halodule uninervis on the banks that previously supported large seagrass meadows

• Seed density and viability of those seeds was considered low compared to the limited data for other meadows that have been studied in Queensland

• It was likely that the seeds of both species that remained were at least 18 months old and it is unknown how much longer they would remain viable without replenishment.

This study was commissioned as a proactive environmental management action by Ports North to improve the understanding of the ecological processes of Trinity Bay and to better inform and guide management of the port area. As this is the first detailed survey to assess seed viability within Trinity Bay, conclusions drawn from the collected data are based on an initial understanding of recovery dynamics within Trinity Bay seagrass habitats. Future investigations are recommended, and further information may become evident during the 2013-14 monitoring surveys which will assist in interpreting the findings of this study in the broader context of the status of Queensland's coastal seagrass resources.

Item ID: 39696
Item Type: Report (Report)
Keywords: seagrass habitats, port management, recovery, resilience, dredging, marine monitoring, environmental monitoring
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: Far North Queensland Ports Corporation (FNQPC) trading as Ports North
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2015 06:08
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050206 Environmental Monitoring @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960503 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 50%
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