Seagrass Habitat of Cairns Harbour and Trinity Inlet: annual monitoring report 2015

York, Paul H., Reason, Carissa, Scott, Emma, Sankey, Tonia, and Rasheed, Michael A. (2016) Seagrass Habitat of Cairns Harbour and Trinity Inlet: annual monitoring report 2015. Report. TropWATER, James Cook University, Cairns, QLD, Australia.

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1. Seagrasses in Cairns Harbour and Trinity inlet improved from a very poor condition in 2014 to poor in 2015 following substanti al increases in biomass (50 % increase) and area (3.4 fold increase), although they remained well below long-term averages.

2. Improvements in overall condition were largely driven by expansion of the large monitoring meadows (11, 13 & 34) in Cairns Harbour (see Figure 1) although these were offset to a degree by the reduction in area of meadows (19 & 33) containing smaller colonising species in Trinity Inlet.

3. Regional mapping of all meadows in the area for the first time since 2012 mapped a n additional significant subtidal meadow in Cairns Harbour dominated by Halodule uninervis.

4. The recovery of these meadows from historical lows following climate associated losses between 200 9 and 2012 has coincided with the continuation of favourable light and climate conditions driven by the El nińo climate system that has dominated f or the past few years.

5. Seed bank abundance and viability was reduced compared to 2014 indicating that sexual reproduction within the expanded meadows has yet to reach sufficient output to replenish seed banks. This leaves the meadows with a limited capacity for natural recovery in the event of further disturbance.

6. The deployment of light (PAR) and temperature logger s and quarterly monitoring of seagrass biomass and seed banks on the Esplanade meadow in 2014 has enhanced the monitoring program and improved interpretation of meadow - scale change over time and the ability of the program to assess future seagrass declines and recovery.

Item ID: 44551
Item Type: Report (Report)
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A Report for Far North Queensland Ports Corporation Limited (Ports North)

Funders: Ports North (PN)
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2016 05:23
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 40%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050206 Environmental Monitoring @ 60%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960503 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 100%
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