Seasonal dynamics, productivity and resilience of tropical deepwater seagrasses and their implications for port developments

Taylor, Helen, McKenna, Skye, and Rasheed, Michael (2011) Seasonal dynamics, productivity and resilience of tropical deepwater seagrasses and their implications for port developments. In: Abstracts from the 48th Annual Conference of the Australian Marine Sciences Association. p. 138. From: AMSA 2011: 48th Annual Conference of the Australian Marine Sciences Association, 3-7 July 2011, Fremantle, WA, Australia.

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Abstract

A research and monitoring program was established to examine the potential impacts of a large scale port expansion on a tropical deepwater seagrass community between February 2008 and June 2010. The aim of the monitoring program was to fill gaps in our understanding of the dynamics of tropical deepwater seagrass habitats, while manipulative experiments aimed to determine their roles in fisheries productivity and their resilience and capacity for recovery from disturbance associated with the proposed developments. Results of the study revealed seagrasses were highly dynamic, changing as a function of season, but also highly influenced by extreme weather events during the life of the study. The productivity and resultant biomass of seagrasses reached a maximum in the late dry season, a trend consistent with observations of seagrasses throughout Queensland. Results also find seagrass meadows at Abbot Point to be highly productive, producing 237g of carbon per m2 per day. Although this is roughly half the productivity of seagrass meadows on reef platforms such as the Torres Strait, this net productivity compares highly with many productive marine and terrestrial ecosystems worldwide. Seagrasses were found to have some levels of resilience to stress, however this varied with species and community type and will be dependent in the future upon the continued availability of seed reserves. Species such as Halophila spinulosa were found to have a high capacity for recovery through the use of seed reserves in the sediment, however shallow near shore species such as Halodule uninervis failed to recover quickly from simulated disturbance, relying on asexual propagation. Implications of the study for managing impacts to deepwater seagrass communities in response to proposed port developments are discussed.

Item ID: 39920
Item Type: Conference Item (Abstract / Summary)
ISBN: 978-0-9587185-6-1
Keywords: seagrass, recovery, resilience, port management, environmental management
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Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2015 06:01
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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