Long-term effects of major climatic events on the resilience and capacity for recovery of a tropical seagrass habitat

McKenna, Skye, Rasheed, Michael, Carter, Alexandra, and McCormack, Catherine (2013) Long-term effects of major climatic events on the resilience and capacity for recovery of a tropical seagrass habitat. In: Abstracts from the 50th Australian Marine Science Association Annual Conference. p. 169. From: AMSA 2013: 50th Australian Marine Science Association Annual Conference, 7-11 July 2013, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia.

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Abstract

In the summer of 2010/2011 Queensland experienced severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi and some of the worst floods on record. Cyclones and plumes associated with flooding have the potential to negatively impact seagrass habitats physically and/or physiologically. Many seagrass communities on the east coast of Queensland were already in decline prior to the floods due to strong La Niña conditions for several years meaning that these communities were likely to be less resilient to further impacts and have a reduced capacity for recovery. Significant losses of coastal and deep water seagrasses near Bowen and Abbot Point were observed after the floods and TC Yasi. Results of long-term seagrass monitoring have shown evidence of recovery of deep water seagrass however, the coastal inshore meadows have not recovered. Experimental investigations of the potential for seagrass recovery at Abbot Point indicated that coastal seagrass species have a strong reliance on vegetative growth for recovery, while deep water species at Abbot Point recover through both vegetative growth and seeds within the sediment seed bank. Seed bank assessments of the coastal species at Abbot Point only found a very small store of seeds in the sediment. The lack of seeds combined with the complete loss of inshore adult plants may mean that the potential for these coastal species to recover may be restricted. The scale and longevity of the 2010/11 La Niña events were unprecedented and may have potentially resulted in a state change for Abbot Point coastal seagrasses.

Item ID: 39906
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Keywords: seagrass, recovery, resilience, port management, environmental management
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Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2015 02:03
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 > 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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