Deep-water seagrasses in the tropics: resilience, recovery and establishing thresholds and drivers of change

Rasheed, Michael, York, Paul, Bryant, Catherine, McKenna, Skye, Chartrand, Katie, and Coles, Rob (2014) Deep-water seagrasses in the tropics: resilience, recovery and establishing thresholds and drivers of change. In: The 11th International Seagrass Biology Workshop: declining seagrasses in a changing world: abstracts. p. 22. From: The 11th International Seagrass Biology Workshop: declining seagrasses in a changing world, 6 - 10 November 2014, Sanya, China.

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Abstract

Global seagrass research and assessment efforts have focused on shallow coastal and estuarine seagrass populations. Comparatively little is known about the dynamics of deep-water (>10m) seagrasses despite evidence they form extensive meadows in some parts of the world and may be highly productive compared with their shallow counterparts. Deep-water seagrasses are subject to a similar range of anthropogenic threats as shallow meadows particularly along the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) in Queensland, where they occur close to major population centres and adjacent to the coast. We examine the dynamics of deep-water seagrass populations in the GBR through a range of research studies including long term (>8 years) assessments of change; impacts of major dredging programs; resilience and recovery from severe tropical storms and; targeted research investigating the drivers, thresholds and tolerances behind seasonal and inter-annual change. Collectively these re- search programs have provided new insight into deep-water seagrass dynamics. Despite considerable inter-annual variability deep-water seagrasses had a regular annual pattern of occurrence at some locations, a low level of resilience to reduced water quality, but a high capacity for recolonisation on the cessation of impacts. While susceptible to large scale loss from severe storms these meadows were quick to re-establish compared with nearby shallow coastal seagrasses. The results of the work are establishing a series of key management thresholds and stress indictors that can be applied to ensure greater protection of these seagrasses.

Item ID: 45212
Item Type: Conference Item (Abstract / Summary)
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Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2016 22:37
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050102 Ecosystem Function @ 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%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences @ 50%
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